Friday, June 18, 2010

Male Desire to Be Strong and Protect Family Key to Preventing Suicides, Study Finds

While women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression - however, the suicide rate is at least three times higher in men overall, and as men get holder, the suicide rate increases substantially (2005 stats) - see the full graph at the link.

All Ages Combined
Elderly (65+ yrs)
Youth (15-24 yrs)
Number of Suicides
Rate of Suicide
Elderly Suicides
Elderly Suicide Rate
Youth Suicides
Youth Suicide Rate






















A study to appear in a forthcoming issue of Social Science and Medicine finds that traditional masculine ideals and a sense of duty to protect and provide for family are two sources of strength that men rely on to battle suicidal thoughts. It is the connection with family members that seems to most prevent suicidal acts.

However, it is the same traditional masculine values set - not showing pain, burying hard feelings like sadness and despair, never relying on others - that men can find so inspirational in good times are the same values that prevent men from expressing the pain that leads to suicide rather than facing the feelings and asking for help.

We need to learn how to talk about our feelings - especially with other men.

If you are feeling suicidal right now,
please scroll to the bottom of this post and call someone -
talking really does help.

Male Desire to Be Strong and Protect Family Key to Preventing Suicides, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2010) — Masculine ideals of strength coupled with strong family ties can help men combat depression and overcome thoughts of suicide, according to University of British Columbia research.

In a study to appear in a forthcoming issue of Social Science and Medicine, UBC researchers John Oliffe and John Ogrodniczuk looked at how men's ideas of masculinity served or hindered them during bouts of severe depression. Their findings shed light on risk factors and prevention strategies for suicide.

The authors analyzed qualitative data from interviews with 38 men between 24 and 50 years of age living in Vancouver and Prince George. The participants were self-identified or were formally diagnosed with depression.

The study suggests that men can best counter suicidal thoughts by connecting with others -- namely intimate partners and family -- to regain some stability and to secure emotional support from others.

"Support from friends and connecting to other things including spirituality is often the conduit to men seeking professional help to overcome the suicidal thoughts that can accompany severe depression" says lead author Oliffe, an associate professor in the School of Nursing.

Men die by suicide at least three times more than women although it is women who are diagnosed at twice the rate of men for depression. Men aged 20-29 have the highest rate of suicide. Statistics Canada reports that in 2003, the last year for which data is available, more than 2,900 men committed suicide.

The investigators found that most study participants expressed a strong commitment to their families and turned away from suicide for the hurt and trauma it would cause loved ones.

"Here, men's strong sense of masculine roles and responsibility as a provider and protector enables men to hold on while seeking support to regain some self-control," says Oliffe.

But Ogrodniczuk says the "stoic warrior" ideal also presents a downside that can lead men to shut down and look for escape. In these situations, study participants chose to mute their feelings or disconnect from others. They often overused alcohol and other drugs.

"Instead of finding respite from their emotional, mental and physical pain, self-harm emerged as the most common outcome of these actions," says Ogrodniczuk, an associate professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry.

Journal Reference:

John L. Oliffe, John S. Ogrodniczuk, Joan L. Bottorff, Joy L. Johnson, Kristy Hoyak. "You feel like you can't live anymore": Suicide from the perspectives of men who experience depression. Social Science & Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.057

Just in case . . .

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger
because of thoughts of suicide

Please call 911 now

If you are not in the U.S., please call your local emergency number.

There is help for you. Stay on the phone with the operator and wait for help to arrive. Do not hesitate to call. Your life is extremely valuable, and people care about you. Please reach out for help. Never act on your thoughts of suicide. Never.

* * * * *

If you are not in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, but need someone to talk with about your suicidal feelings, please do not hesitate to call one of the following national suicide prevention lines:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Suicide Prevention Lines

You may call these suicide prevention numbers from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day. People are waiting to help you. Call a suicide prevention number right now if you need to. And always remember that it is never okay to act on your thoughts of suicide. Never. Again, call a suicide prevention number now if you need to.

Never act on your thoughts of suicide.

Extensive suicide prevention hotline numbers, categorized by country or state, can be found on the Suicide Prevention Hotlines pages of this web site. Go to the Suicide Prevention Hotlines index page now if you need to.

Suicide is never the answer.

Getting help is the answer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...