We are still in the month of Suicide Prevention Awareness. All over the world, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and to attempt suicide. So why is the men suicide rate still several times higher than female?
You have probably come across articles with research on suicide. And noticed that 77 percent of the suicide cases were men while the rest were women and children.
Each time a man takes his life, people go like- “omg! I wish I knew!”, “Oh, I wish they talked to me about it” “how could he think no one cares?” “oh how tragic!”…
Yet when they actually talk about it we go like- “man up!” “Eww don’t be a puxxy!” “Don’t be a girl”, “such a freak”, et al
Women are more willing to share their problems while most men would rather end their lives than talk about something that is weighing them down. Why? You may ask. Because men are taught to be tough and to act as if nothing bothers them. They bottle up stuff right from childhood and eventually, it comes out addiction, suicide…
It’s sad because even men are unable to open up to another man.
Society has put so much pressure on men and we don’t talk about how much of an emotional toll it takes on them. I feel like the society has failed the boy child. Society have encouraged men to be “strong” and “masculine” and not admit they’re struggling.
As a guy reading this you may have been ghosted by your friend either male or female for showing feelings, right? Or you probably got laughed at for showing emotions?
Research also shows that very few men seek mental health services such as counseling and therapy. Men may be less likely to admit when they feel vulnerable, whether to themselves, friends, or a professional.
So instead of talking out and being ghosted and or seeking professional help, men choose the easy way out- self-medicate which involves alcohol and substance abuse.
I have heard stories of men who opted to commit suicide last year when COVID-19 was as its peak. And people were losing jobs and the ability to provide for their families. Stress related to family or work and having to worry more about finances or trying to find a job can exacerbate mental health issues for anyone. And some men may opt to end their lives.
How to help
There could never be a single way to deal with this issue. But first of all, stop assuming that anyone concerned about men’s issues is a misogynist.
If you wanna help then create an environment for men equal to that of everyone else instead of putting them separate and last- you see people just wanna know what can be done to help and when they do it’s just buried and they move on.
Don’t expect men to be manly- they too have worries and fears. Sometimes men do not always want sex, they need someone to hold them and tell them everything is going be alright.
Complement men. Even if it’s something small.
Don’t shame them for asking for emotional help or appearing ‘weak’. Offer support.
Don’t turn them away when tell you they’re struggling.
Take their mental health seriously- don’t ask them to man up.
Fathers need to teach their sons that it is okay to be vulnerable and express their emotions, it is okay to cry and it is very much okay to talk about their struggles.
We also need to understand that men too can be victims of sexual and physical abuse. Ask any man how he was treated by the police when he went to report that his wife beat him up. They are asked to man up. You see we need to learn how to listen to men. Because it would be pointless to ask men to open up when no one takes them seriously when they do.
Do not stigmatize men for opening up, while in deed ‘manning up’ is actually a man showing his emotions. Let us make it okay for men to talk about how they’re feeling and acknowledge it as a sign of strength.
What else do you think can be done to help reduce men’s suicide?
Also, kindly watch this video I did on the same topic here.