Is Money Enough To Make Someone End Their Life?

Spring_Branch_1920x1200 hd wallpaperMick Jagger’s girlfriend ended it all this week and the press is speculating that her debt, estimated to be $6 million, may be the reason behind her suicide.

Her name was  was L’Wren Scott and I had never heard of her until she decided to take her own life.  I do not follow fashion but she seemed to be a fairly successful designer who clothed many famous ladies.  She had dated Mick Jagger for years and her friends, including actress Nicole Kidman, are saying they are devastated.  She had debt.  Was the debt enough to make her take her own life?  Is a lack of money enough to make anyone take their own life?

After Black Tuesday, the New York stock market crash of 1929, many people lost their fortunes in a single day and it was rumoured that many investors had jumped to their deaths after hearing the news.  This was greatly exaggerated in the press and there were no mass suicides over losses.

Suicide rates in Greece jumped in the last 2 years when that country’s economic future became uncertain and many people were thrown in to unemployment and lost the good social safety net that the Greek government had previously supplied.

I don’t know if a lack of money would make you commit suicide but maybe for someone famous, like Ms. Scott, losing power, prestige and influence that comes when you are very successful leaves you with a hopeless feeling that she couldn’t escape.  Maybe everyone knowing your deep dark secret – that you are broke and your business is a failure – is too much for some people to bear.   Maybe the feeling that you will be humiliated by your failures can push you over the edge.

I have never understood suicide and have always found it a very selfish thing to do.   I have never had those feelings and no matter how much debt I have or how much weight I put on I can never imagine feeling that depressed.   I am trying to understand and not judge but I am not sure why a healthy person, as opposed to a person suffering from a terrible physical condition, would choose to end their life over money, lack of money or every one finding out that you don’t really have any money.

I always say that money and emotion are linked so strongly that you cannot separate them.  When I am not happy I waste money on junk food.  Others shop for things they don’t need.   Lack of money is strongly connected to emotion as well.  Feeling less than adequate, when you can’t provide for your family in the way you want, is a very powerful feeling.

I have had periods of terrible guilt as I watched my sons’ student debts grow because I couldn’t pay for all of their educations.

I publish my debt and income levels here and regular readers know how much I owe and I am not ashamed.  I also don’t want everyone in my life (my ex-husband, some of my coworkers) knowing my financial situation because I like to keep many things private.  Maybe Ms. Scott was ashamed of her situation or terrified that people would find out about her financial situation and that pushed her over the edge.

I still owe $8,280 on my HELOC and I have a car loan of $10,800.  I find the debt frustrating and draining and it seems like there will never be an end to it.  Sometimes the debt seems to be the only think I think about and sometimes the debt seems in control of my life.   Then I remind myself that I have my health and my sons have their health and that I have more than enough food to eat every single day and that my simple life is very good.

We will never know why Ms. Scott really took her own life.  Maybe she just forgot to look at what is good in her life.


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10 Responses to Is Money Enough To Make Someone End Their Life?

  1. Meghan says:

    I feel badly for her and her family. I would guess that all the factors you mentioned played a role but that there was probably a chemical tendency towards depression as well.

  2. Daisy says:

    This is so sad. It is a tragedy when anybody decides to take their own life. I acn’t imagine feeling so hopeless that I would take my own life. I don’t know that money would be enough to make somebody end their own life unless they had a history of depression outside of their financial situation. It’s unfortunate that we will never know 100% why she did it.

  3. We still have a culture where talking about money in a healthy manner is not encouraged, which I think could be part of the reason why she suicided if it was related to her debt. How could she feel like telling anyone she was successful yet in so much debt? It must have been overwhelming for her.

    It is definitely a selfish thing to end your life. Things must have gotten to the point of sheer desperation and loneliness that she couldn’t even talk to anyone about how she felt and she felt so completely alone that she wanted to die instead.. which leaves a vacuum in the hearts of everyone else who can’t understand why you’d die over something as stupid as money. (yes.. stupid, it’s just a tool.)

    Some people die because they have too much money. There was a NY banker who jumped to his death because his net worth dipped a little and he wasn’t a decamillionaire any longer, he couldn’t handle just being a millionaire so he wanted to die.

    • janesavers says:

      All those close to her will be left wondering why she didn’t reach out to them and why they didn’t see any signs of trouble. I really don’t understand why anyone, who was not suffering from a physical illness, would end their own life.

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  6. debT debS says:

    Jane – I just lost a colleague to suicide and just attended the funeral yesterday. I am quite disturbed by it. It seems we had a lot in common, but I don’t think debt was one of them. It’s so hard to know what was the catalyst for people in this type of pain, and we will never know while we are still in the land of the living.

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