The Depressing Crash that led to the Depression: A Psychological View

Tuesday, October 29th, 1929. A day which will live in infamy (I know I sound like FDR saying this after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese back in December of 1941) but in all reality the 29th of October of 1929 was an infamous day, a very FINANCIAL infamous day for the U.S. stock market fell on that day and a huge national and global impact (the world would suffer too) but the United States had it real bad and it would be one of the most catastrophic economic disasters in history. We experienced a depression before back in 1893 but not like the one that knocked America right off its axis (no, that was a figure of speech), but really there was a ripple effect that was felt all over the world no matter where the location was. World leaders and those in the business communities tried to solve the problem itself (like U.S. president Herbert Hoover, who stated that the depression would go away and cure itself) but a majority of the solutions did not work. Banks closed, families lost their homes, the well off started losing their well being, farmers lost farms and the wealthy was getting poor and the poor was getting destitute further and further by the day.

After all that has happened in October of 1929 people would have to think what their next plan of action would be because losing your money, job, home or anything else was very bad and people turned to others who was barely getting along themselves. The fallout of the crash led to anxiety, worry, anger, fear, nervousness and constant panic as far as what would they do next. Most people who suffered through the Depression after the crash occurred never knew what hit them, too busy being preoccupied with living the good life just because the economy was doing so well and also enjoying the glitter and glamour because of the good fortune of the economy.

The stock market crash also had a very mental, physical and emotional impact on Americans as well. Losing a home or job or not being able to get any food touched off a serious reaction and brought about a full influx of psychological and physical anguish that made people do things that were so insane and out right and out of line it was unbelievable! Some slept in the parks, on the streets, lived in cardboard boxes that were big enough for either one person or a group of people. Everyday the poor begged for food or asked for a little change to get through the day or even longer. The soup kitchens that were created stretched almost an entire block, full of people wanting to get a hot meal and a full stomach and the children of those who suffered felt the pains of hunger as well. Charitable organizations did go out of their way to aid and assist those who wanted something to eat, a roof over their head and some clothes on their backs, that’s if they had any clothes at all to own and this was going on all over the country.

Photo by Reynaldo #brigworkz Brigantty on

After the ’29 crash and the start of the Depression demoralization and a sense of giving up set in and people lost their will to survive. Between 1929 and 1932 the suicide rate rose more than 30%. Three times as many people were admitted to mental state hospitals as in normal times. The economic problems forced many Americans to accept compromises and make sacrifices that affected them for the rest of their lives. Adults stopped going to the doctor or dentists because they could not afford the costs. During the Great Depression many people showed great kindness to strangers who were down on their luck.

People who had the basic needs and more of what they had to offer often gave clothes, food, and a place to stay for those who had nowhere to go and aided families who didn’t have much a chance to at least TRY to get back on their feet but that was relatively hard. In addition many people developed habits of saving and thriftiness–habits they would continue on practicing in the event that the Depression lasted longer than expected for through the dark days ahead the Depression would last until the late 1930’s when war clouds started to form and America and the rest of the world would experience not only the nearing of a global depression, but the coming of a global war.

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