Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Because No One Wants to Know”

There is a chilling article on today’s BBC Health News on the silent epidemic of male suicide. Suicide, says the article, is outstripped as the leading cause of death among young men only by road deaths. I have often wondered how many road deaths are also a silent cry of despair?

The silent epidemic of male suicide
By Dan Bell
BBC News

Young men are taught not to talk about their problems

Whatever the individual reasons that drive people to suicide, the one thing that puts you most at risk is being a man under the age of 35.
Of the 13 people who killed themselves in South Wales over the past year, all but one were men aged under 27.

John Hogan, the father who threw himself off a hotel balcony in Greece, was aged 32. When his two brothers Stephen and Paul killed themselves, they were aged 17 and 35.

Suicide is the second most common way for a man between the ages of 15 and 34 to die. It is outstripped, only just, by road deaths.

Suicide ‘epidemic’

About 900 young men take their own lives each year, and they account for about 75% of all suicides in this age group.

“You’ve had what is effectively an epidemic of young male suicide,” says the National Director for Mental Health in England, Professor Louis Appleby. Between 1970 and 1998, the rate more than doubled. At its peak, five men were dying for every woman.

‘It was worse than we knew’
Yet according to Prof Appleby, less than 20% of young men who commit suicide have had any contact with either their GP or mental health services in the previous year. Quite simply, he says, “they don’t seek help when they have problems.”

If suicide is the second most serious public health issue for young men, why don’t we know about it?

According to Jane Powell, coordinator of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the only national organisation that specifically reaches out to young men at risk of suicide, it is because no-one wants to know.

You can read the rest of the article HERE

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February 5, 2008 - Posted by | Community, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Relationships

12 Comments »

  1. I had read before ( I don’t remember where to be quite honest) that the number of suicide attempts by women is much higher than that by men; however, successful suicide attempts by men are much higher than those by women.

    When women attempt suicide, they’re crying for help and seeking attention so they choose “soft” methods that would not necessarily lead to death. On the other hand, when men attempt suicide they employ particularly “hard” methods that lead to death.

    The difference is that when a man wants to put an end to his life, he really means to do so.

    Comment by kinano | February 5, 2008 | Reply

  2. I think you are right, Kinan. What a sad and terrifying waste.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 5, 2008 | Reply

  3. xpatr,do you know the reason behind this?

    Comment by bbq8 | February 5, 2008 | Reply

  4. bbq8, I read the whole article. It seems to say, as Kinan said, that women will get help, and men won’t, and are not encouraged to seek help. It puts a lot of the blame on our cultures; we who expect men to bear all silently, be strong and . . . well, be strong and silent. And the pressure of that strong silence is just so crushing that many young men would rather die.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 5, 2008 | Reply

  5. as much as i want to make a silly comment about the pleasure of having less men in the world.. this is a sad and serious situation. i could never imagine of ending my own life or having a friend attempting to do so. idiots. they’re so weak. i hate them. so selfish. do they even know where they’re off to?

    Comment by nQ | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  6. “Young men are taught not to talk about their problems”

    Is it general or what?

    I don’t think this is common in east…

    Comment by desert-roses | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  7. nQ – I’ve been around a lot of young men high school age to 30. They’re not idiots and they are not weak. Mostly, it is despair.

    Men have a lot of the same worries women do – I think it’s all part of the mating process. Men worry about finding a mate. And men have to worry about the burden – and it is a heavy burden – of supporting a family, too. I think a lot of them get overwhelmed. Also, some of them don’t believe they will successfully find a mate. That’s my best guess, based only on anecdotal evidence.

    Desert-roses – WOW. Good point. I don’t know about men in Arab/Islamic culture, maybe they ARE allowed to express themselves more, and get help when they need it? It’s one really really good think about blogs – it gives a place to vent a lot of those feelings and get some support.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  8. We are marked as Sissy, snob and many more if we expose our emotional worries. It’s not about religion, the entire male being is expected to remain strong emotionally. That is my heavy metal music is appealing most to the males rather than females.

    Well, I survived two suicide attempts in college (that too in my final year), and coincidentally my parents thought of making me work in Kuwait(and voila! I’m here!) after graduating. It has helped me partially in quitting my old friends.I’m hoping to make good friends here 🙂

    (In fact,I created my blog in my dorm room when I had nothing much to do after surviving!)

    Comment by Joel | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  9. i still stand by me beliefs, its like getting a cab to nowhere. why would anyone escape in such way, when it is not clear where they’re going to!

    Comment by nQ | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  10. Oh Joel, I am so sorry you had such despair, and I am so thankful you are here. I am thankful your parents were paying attention, and brought you where you could feel their support. I would be so sorry if you disappeared from the Kuwait blog world.

    Does the blog help? When I went through a really bad time in my life, I was encouraged to write, that writing it out would help me know what I was feeling and help me get it out where I could handle it. Does it work that way for you?

    nQ, I pray you never never feel that despair. As Kinan said, above, women who consider suicide are often unsuccessful; what they want – and what they get – is attention.

    Males who attempt suicide are usually seeking oblivion. What they are facing is SO unbearable that they seek oblivion, even not knowing what the next life will hold. I have a very bad feeling that a lot of young male road deaths are suicide-in-disguise.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  11. Kind of,when I was blogging at first. But now I’m more reader specific, since I don’t want to blatantly post about me(I’m no celebrity) 😀

    Comment by Joel | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  12. Joel, I am glad you are blogging. And this isn’t about celebrity, is it? It is about connecting on an idea level, creating a virtual community, sharing ideas, sharing news, and encouraging one another. Are you working? What are you up to these days?

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 7, 2008 | Reply


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