A study released by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, has shown that one in 10 senior citizens aged 65 and older have had suicidal thoughts in just the past year.
The study has shown that anxiety over intergenerational conflicts, income and the skyrocketing cost of medicine are among the key factors.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, most of the country’s elderly live in abject poverty.
The seniors, who are no longer employable and can no longer depend on the country’s welfare system. They are forced to become dependent on their adult children, who largely only see them as a financial burden.
Already struggling to make ends meet, they complain about things like the cost of medicine and their parents’ inability to partake in the Workers’ Party. Out of frustration they place pressure on their elderly parents’ to kill themselves.
UPI reports, The notion of killing themselves is not unfamiliar to elderly North Koreans, particularly war veterans who once devoted their lives to the Workers’ Party and sacrificing for North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.
Their devotion has not paid off, as neither the state nor their children are tending to their needs.
In North Korea, mental health care is scarce and suicide is among the many negative aspects of society that the government tries to keep quiet domestically, and hidden from the outside world. Although, a study by the World Health Organization has shown that North Korea’s suicide rate is among the worst in the world.