Towns and villages across Britain are becoming "ghost towns" because of the death of local services, according to an MP.
Lorely Burt (Lib Dem Soli-hull) said communities had lost hospitals, post offices and shops.
She claimed: "The psychological health of our nation and our communities is at stake."
The result was an increase in vandalism, graffiti and anti-social behaviour, she said.
The MP was speaking in a House of Commons debate about the closure of post office branches, but she claimed this was only one symptom of the slow death of local services.
She said: "About 80 community hospitals are under threat. We have lost 1,400 beds since 1999.
"Members have already spoken about small shops, pubs, pharmacies and many other organisations.
"I remind the House that 30,000 independent retailers have closed during the past ten years.
"We have often debated the encroaching role of the super-markets, whose non-food sales have doubled in the last five years, and we have spoken of their predatory pricing and their squeezing of suppliers, and particularly in rural areas, those selling at the farm gate."
About one-in-five post offices had closed over the past five years, she added.
"It has been alleged that members of my party and others who are extremely worried about the sustainability of communities are clinging on to a romantic concept of the village and the community as they used to be 50 years ago.
"We certainly cannot go back, but we can use what works."
Ms Burt told colleagues: "In control is where people want to be. People want to be in control of their lives, their destinies and their communities.
"When that control is taken away, the sense of community breaks down and we see alienation in the countryside and the town, where the need, particularly of the young, to assert identity manifests itself in a plague of graffiti and other forms of antisocial behaviour.
"We see elderly people alone, afraid to go out, with nowhere to go, and with their shops and post offices shutting down; and we see communities disintegrating as their character is changed beyond control and beyond recognition.
"The psychological health of our nation and our communities is at stake. It is worth more than a few figures on the balance sheet."
"We want community services to be just that - services run by and for the community. We say no to ghost towns.