- Fully one-third of U.S. employees suffer chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all “millennials” (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.
- The CDC reported that antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased nearly 400% in the last two decades, making antidepressants the most frequently used class of medications by Americans aged 18-44. As many as 11% of all Americans aged 12 and older are currently taking SSRI antidepressants — highly controversial, mood-altering psychiatric drugs with the FDA’s “suicidality” warning label and alarming correlation with school shooters. Women are especially prone to depression, with almost 1 in 4 (23%) of U.S. women in their 40s and 50s now taking antidepressants.
- Suicide has surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of injury death for Americans. More U.S. soldiers died last year by suicide than in combat.
A recent rash of suicides by pastors and bankers is symptomatic of the pandemic stress and depression.
1. Teddy Parker
On Nov. 10, 2013, Teddy Parker, 42, senior pastor of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Georgia, shot himself in the head outside his home while his 800 member congregation waited for him to conduct the Sunday service.
International Business Times reports that just days before, Parker had told his congregation that he felt disconnected from God. His body was discovered by his wife, Larrinecia, in the driveway of their house. Houston County Sheriff confirmed that he died from a “self-inflicted gunshot.”
2. Ed Montgomery
On Dec. 7, 2013, Ed Montgomery, a pastor at the Full Gospel Christian Assemblies International Church in Hazel Crest, Illinois, who was grieving the death of his wife a year ago, reportedly shot himself inside his Matteson home in front of his pleading son.
The Christian Post reports that Montgomery had said he was hearing the voice and footsteps of his late wife, Prophetess Jackie Montgomery. He later died from the gunshot wound.
3. Isaac Hunter
On Dec. 10, 2013, Isaac Hunter, former pastor of Summit Church in Orlando, Fla. and the son of Obama’s “spiritual adviser” — Northland Church Senior Pastor Joel Hunter – died from an apparent suicide.
Hunter founded Summit Church in 2002. It has since become one of the fastest-growing churches in Central Florida, with five locations and an estimated 5,000 worshippers. The church grew out of a ministry the younger Hunter started at his father’s megachurch. In 2012, Isaac Hunter resigned after admitting to an affair with a former staffer.
1. William Broeksmit
Bloomberg reports that on Jan. 26, 2014, William Broeksmit, 58, a recently retired executive at Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) who worked at Merrill Lynch in the 1990s, was found hanging in his home on Evelyn Gardens in London. Deutsche Bank spokesman Michael Golden didn’t give a cause for Broeksmit’s death and authorities aren’t treating the death as suspicious.
Broeksmit had built a reputation in “interest rate swaps” at Continental Bank in Chicago, which led Merrill Lynch to recruit him to be head of global equity derivatives. He was risk manager at Deutsche Bank AG. Interest rate swaps are contracts to exchange fixed-rate payments for floating-rate ones over a period of years.
2. Gabriel Magee
Two days later, on Jan. 28, 2014, Gabriel Magee, 39, a JPMorgan vice president in technology operations, fell to his death from the 33 stories-high JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s London headquarters at 25 Bank Street in the Canary Wharf area onto a 9th-floor roof.
Magee was not a trader or a banker but had worked since 2004 in JPMorgan’s technology support department; he had previously worked as an application developer for Intel. Described by a source as “a respected employee, well thought of by managers,” Magee was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
3. Mike Dueker
Two days later, on Jan. 30, 2014, Mike Dueker, 50, the chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state.
Bloomberg reports that police said Dueker might have jumped over a 4-foot fence before falling down a 40- to 50-foot embankment, and that his death appeared to be a suicide.
Dueker was reported missing on Jan. 29, and a group of friends and law enforcement had been searching for him. Reportedly the economist was having problems at work, but Russell Investments spokeswoman Jennifer Tice said Dueker was in good standing and declined further comments.
Dueker had worked at Seattle-based Russell for five years, and developed a business-cycle index that forecast economic performance. He was previously an assistant vice president and research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where he published dozens of research papers over the past two decades, many on monetary policy. St. Louis Fed’s website ranks him among the top 5% of economists by number of works published.
4. Richard Talley
David Migoya reports for The Denver Post that on Feb. 4, 2014, Richard Talley, 57, founder and CEO of American Title, was found dead in his home from 7-8 self-inflicted wounds from a nail-gun fired into his torso and head.
Both Talley and the company he’d founded in 2001 were under investigation by state insurance regulators at the time of his death. It’s unclear whether Talley’s suicide was related to the investigation by the Colorado Division of Insurance, which regulates title companies.
Before coming to Colorado, Talley was a former regional financial officer at Drexel Burnham Lambert in Chicago, where he met his wife, Cheryl, a vice president at the company. When the two married in 1989, their wedding announcement in the Chicago Tribune described Talley as “a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic swimming team.” But a spokeswoman for USA Swimming said Talley was not on the team.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.