Suicide is a major global health issue says the World Health Organisation. Each year, at least 800,000 people die by suicide according to WHO. Surprisingly, more men die from suicide despite reporting mental health issues far less than women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that over 47,000 people died by suicide in 2017 in the United States. Suicide remains the 10th major cause of death overall. As per the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, suicide was the 7th leading cause of death among American men in 2015. However, despite suicide being a serious problem in the United States and worldwide, there is still hope.
So, what are the reasons for this shocking stat, which is described as a silent epidemic in the world?
Although the main underlying causes and motivations are not known for higher suicidality in men, various factors have been attributed to this. Among the numerous psychosocial and neurobiological reasons, a few of them stand out—including lack of help-seeking, undiagnosed depression, impulsivity, substance use disorder, resorting to lethal means, and greater capability.
Reasons why men have a higher susceptibility to dying from suicide than women
A perceived and idealized male idea of invincibility has spelled doom for them when hounded by mental health problems. The cultural and gender perspective about males on certain masculine characteristics and behaviors has come to hurt men. These beliefs have implications for health practices and suicide.
Research suggests that men generally have problems in their understanding and attitudes to mental health due to a specific socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age, sexuality, and other key factors. In most cultures across the globe, men cannot truly express their emotions because they may be regarded as un-masculine. This can greatly hinder men seeking help for any behavioral health problems. They fail to get an understanding of their emotional state. Mainly, barriers to men seeking help for mental health issues and promoting suicide in them include:
- Social stigma
- Difficulty in communicating and sharing emotional problems
- Proclivity to self-medicate
- Society’s judgmental nature etc.
Studies have shown that men are also more likely to go missing than women. Men also have disturbed sleep and other issues in their lives.
It is also a fact that the suicide rate among men is not uniform across the world and varies a lot according to nations and different regions. The cultural and gender explanation is the reason behind this fluctuation in the rate of suicides among different groups of men. They are not a unitary group and their demeanors and attitudes differ based on their socioeconomic status, age, ethnicity, sexuality, urban or rural location, etc.
In this way, perception of manhood differs across and within societies. There is also a difference in how men of different societies define health, and it has an important implication on their health practices and suicidality.
Another reason why more men die from suicide than women is their practice of using guns. Men use firearms more often in suicides. That is why many experts advise people to lock firearms whenever a loved one is feeling low. It is also advisable to keep such men from liquor as it numbs inhibitions and makes one anxious.
Ways to deal and prevent male suicidality
According to many experts, merely giving out the numbers and urging them to find help during troubled times is not enough to prevent male suicides.
More programs should be launched to train teens and adults and recognize warning signs and reach out to men who need help. This can be a very effective and proactive step to curb male suicidality rate. Psychologists and other experts believe that men accept help when it is offered while reaching out for it is a different story altogether for most of them.
Staying active is another way for men to stay positive and maintain a healthy mental state. Doctors always prescribe them to remain active. Men who go to church regularly, are involved in volunteer work, participate in sports or just socialize always have a better chance of coping. At best, such men do not feel any crunch and already remain in a healthy and happy state of mind.
Another important step is to shun societal beliefs and any preconceived notions about a man. Every human being can be gullible at times. There is no exception to it. Men should just be themselves and realize that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.
At the outset, change in men’s attitudes and behaviors relating to mental health has to come. It is important to understand the connections between men’s mental health challenges and suicide. All societal dogmas portraying males as invincible have to be debunked.
However, when it comes to mental health problems, seeking early intervention is the best solution. So, whenever depression or any other behavioral health problem strikes, reach out for help from experts in your vicinity.
If you or a loved one is grappling with mental health problems reach out to Medical Concierge. Our depression treatment centers in California are among the top. You can also check out our inpatient depression treatment centers to ensure 100% recovery.
For further information, call us now on our 24/7 helpline number 877-636-0042 and get immediate assistance.