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Market crash triggering suicidal tendencies

June 16, 2006 11:58 IST

The sudden stock market crash has triggered severe depressesion among a number of investors and some have developed suicidal tendencies, according to a noted pysciatarist in Ahmedabad.

"The downswing in the Sensex has heightened anxiety level among several investors and many of them  are coming to me in acute panic state as they want to end their lives," said Hansel Bachech, psychiatarist and member, Mental Health Authority, Gujarat.

Usually the symptoms that they exhibit are dryness of mouth, palpitation, breathlessness, uneasy feeling in the stomach, insomnia and acute fear.

"One patient who landed in my hospital complaining of chest pain was a doctor who had made huge investments in the stock market when the prices were soaring.

"His cardiogram was found to be normal and he was diagnosed with acute anxiety. The severe market crash had shattered him completely as he had lost nearly Rs 1400,000 (Rs 1.4 million) in the stock market," Bachech added.

He said a senior bank officer had visited the hospital in acute panic state after he lost nearly Rs 500,000 and was unable to overcome the depression.

The psychatrist said most people who regretted having invested in the stock market were below 40. The problems were more for those who had borrowed money to invest in the hope of making a huge profit when the sensex was heading north. 

The worst affected were those who had used credit cards for investing in the stock market. Dissapointment at the loss of money coupled with the constant fear of high interest that they would have to shelve out to credit card companies were taking a heavy toll on them, the doctor said.

Though none of the patients have so far committed suicide, the tendencies that they have been exhibiting was alarming, Bachech added.

With more women taking a keen intrest in the share market that was once considered to be a male domain, there have been cases of severe guilt among those who have singed their hands in the market.

"A woman, who had made heavy losses in the stock market, came to me sobbing uncontrollably saying she was unable to tell her husband the amount of loss that she has made.

"Most investors who have been approaching me are below 40 and are mostly short term investors who were lured by the bull market hoping to make a quick profit," Bachech said.

The worst moment was when the Sensex dipped below 800 points when several people exhibited panic state and were seen approaching pyschiatarists for counselling.

About the treatment part, Bachech said "We counsel them and then give them anti depressants and anxiolytics to calm them.

"We advise them never to enter into stock market with borrowed money or if they are hyper sensitive to volatilty," he added.

According to Bachech, psychological problems being seen during this market downslide is worse than what it was during the Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh scams.

"This is because a large number of people have started investing in stock markets through online trading and have made  stock-brokers redundant, he explains.

Unlike previously, now one can buy or sell stock at the click of a mouse and almost everybody has started joining the stock market bandwagaon without realising the inherent risk.

Hence we advise that only people who have tolerance to withstand its volatality should enter the stock markets or it could be detrimental to their health, Bachech said.

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