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Analysis Of The Epidemic Of Male Suicide

1837 words - 7 pages

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” - Phil Donahue. As a complex, tragic public health issue, suicide occurs in men significantly more often than in women. Suicide is simply defined as the act of intentionally ending one’s own life, however, the factors that play into a person making that decision are anything but simple. The most evident and severe effect of suicide is the loss of a valuable, meaningful human life. According to Harvard School of Public Health (n.d.), suicide affects parents, children, siblings, friends, lovers, and spouses; the loss to society is psychological, spiritual, and financial. People who lose a loved one to suicide often experience devastating effects and deal with a complex grief. These “suicide survivors” typically experience a range of emotions from havoc, sadness, blame, and guilt to extreme anger and confusion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2012), provides facts such as, “Suicide among males is four times higher than among females and represents 79% of all U.S. suicides”. This gender paradox is one of the utmost compelling components regarding who is greatest at risk to attempt suicide. Why is it that men commit suicide more often than women? More than four times as many men as women die by suicide because depressed men are less likely to pursue help. Men archetypally use violent methods which cannot be reversed, and men bear the pressure of providing for and protecting a family.
Suicide has no definitive beginning or initial cause, it has been reoccurring throughout history, stemming from ancient to modern times due to a multitude of causes. Culturally, suicide was not always been seen as an issue. According to the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center (n.d.), “To the ancient Egyptians, suicide was not a violation of either the spiritual or legal code. Suicide was seen as a just way to die if one was faced with unendurable suffering - be it physical or emotional”. Throughout time, suicide has been viewed and dealt with in countless ways. Recently in America, the problem has grown increasingly. In the past decade, suicide rates have been on the incline; especially among men. According to the New York Times (2013), “From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent… The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000”. A 30 percent increase with an average of 19 more male suicides than female suicides is certainly an issue for both genders, and an epidemic for men. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (n.d.), found that in 2010, 38,364 suicides were reported, with 78.9% being men. The economic recession, unemployment, and various other factors are speculated to be responsible for this incline in male suicide. As of 2010, an estimated 30,308 men ended their own lives, and it seems as if there is a great risk of...

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