ne very worrisome problem that has been occurring in increasing numbers is Suicide amongst men and the effect it has on those that are left behind. While many have lost loved ones to other ills in life, there are those that will not or cannot get passed acknowledging or admitting that someone close to them, a brother, mother, father, sister, child or parent has taken their own lives. I have personally experienced the loss of a nephew many years ago, but even closer and recently, lost my son as well to the same illness, that causes someone to take their own life. Depression, anxiety and social and chemical imbalances in a person can be and most likely is the reason behind more than 90 percent of what happens.
While many will not admit it openly what has happened in the family and their life, there are avenues and organizations out there that can help us to cope and gather amongst other Survivors of Suicide to find solace and opportunities to talk and release the unspoken truth inside us. If you find yourself in need to connect with a person or group to talk about and open yourself up to the pain you feel from the loss of family member or friend, then go to this link. If you are contemplating your own depression and thoughts of suicide then I am asking you to reach out to this organization and others through out the U.S.
Below is a reprint from an article regarding Suicide.
Written by Dr Ciaran Mulholland, MRC clinical scientist, senior lecturer and honorary consultant psychiatrist
Suicide accounts for l in 100 deaths. The majority of those who die in this way are men.
A worrying recent trend is the increasing rate of suicide among younger men (a trend not seen among young women). The majority of these men have not asked for help before their deaths.
The suicide rate in men also increases in those aged between 65 and 75 years. In contrast, the suicide rate in women varies less with age.
The higher suicide rate among men is a worldwide phenomenon. A few exceptions to the general rule exist, for example, among elderly women in Hungary and in some Asian countries. The reasons why men are more likely to kill themselves than women are complex and ill-understood. However, several pointers help our understanding.
As well as being male, several other risk factors for suicide have been identified.
Many of the above risk factors affect men more than women. It is important to remember that many people are subject to these factors, but only a tiny minority of them will end their own lives.
Other factors are also significant. The most important risk factor is the presence of a mental illness. The most important protective factor is the presence of good support from family or friends.
Research has shown that the vast majority of those who kill themselves are mentally ill at the time of their death. Two thirds are troubled by a depressive illness and 20 per cent by alcoholism.
Of people with severe depressive illnesses, 10 to 15 per cent will commit suicide.
Paradoxically, as mentioned above, depressive illnesses are more common in women, but suicide is more common in men.
Several possible explanations exist for this apparent discrepancy.
The reasons why the number of men taking their own lives has risen in recent years are far from clear. All of the proposed explanations share a common feature – the changing role of men in society.
In many societies, expressing emotions, for example sadness, fear, disappointment or regret, is seen as being less acceptable for boys than girls.
This cultural stereotype is very difficult to shake off, though the advent of ‘new men’ in the 1990s, and ‘metrosexual’ men in this century, have made it more acceptable for men to open up to others.
If a man, particularly an older man, does cry openly, this is often a sign of severe depression and is taken very seriously indeed by health professionals.
Some of those who ‘attempt’ suicide do not actually intend to kill themselves. They mimic the act of suicide by taking an overdose or cutting themselves.
They do so in an attempt to change an intolerable situation or gain attention from significant other people in their lives. This process is know as deliberate self-harm or parasuicide.
Such people can get considerable relief of tension and anxiety from these acts.
Deliberate self-harm is more common in women, though the proportion of men who self-harm is increasing.
Some 10 to 15 per cent of those who attempt suicide go on to complete suicide. Of course this means that 85 to 90 per cent do not.
It’s not true that suicide hurts no one except the person who takes his or her life.
Those who are left behind will typically go through a number of stages as they grieve – denial, anger, guilt, confusion, a protective wish to prove death was accidental, and, perhaps, depression and anxiety.
Something about modern life is killing more and more young men by suicide. But at the same time it’s not affecting young women.
We need to know more about why this is happening and if necessary society must consider changes in the way we live in an attempt to reduce the toll of suicide.
Education campaigns could help men, and young men in particular, to seek assistance rather than suffer in silence.
If you have any of the symptoms of depression outlined above, consult your doctor. If you have three or four symptoms, if you feel hopeless about the future, or if the thought of suicide has crossed your mind, you should contact your doctor urgently.
If you see the signs of depression in others, advise them to consult their doctor. If someone you know threatens suicide take the threat seriously.
Remember: depression is treatable and suicide is avoidable.
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