'Happiness' may be factor in suicide rates
THE "happiest"' places on earth breed the highest suicide rates, a study has revealed.
The study compared life satisfaction statistics with suicide rates in countries across the world.
It showed a range of nations - including Canada, the United States, Iceland, Ireland and Switzerland - display high happiness levels and yet also have high suicide rates.
Statistics also showed that while Greece languishes at the bottom of the happiness scale in the countries studied, it also had the lowest suicide rate, just over five per 100,000 people.
At the other end of the scale Switzerland had the fourth-highest suicide rate, seven times that of Greece, at 35 per 100,000, yet was rated the third happiest country.
The researchers believe that the study shows that human beings judge their emotions relative to those around them.
So anyone surrounded by happy people who feels depressed will feel worse than before.
Professor Andrew Oswald, a researcher at the University of Warwick, who worked on the study, said: "Discontented people in a happy place may feel particularly harshly treated by life.
"Those dark contrasts may in turn increase the risk of suicide. If humans are subject to mood swings, the lows of life may thus be most tolerable in an environment in which other humans are unhappy."
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