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Male Suicide

Dark111

SF Supporter
#1
Listening to a TED talk from 2018 given by Steph Slack on male suicide in the United Kingdom, she opens by stating that "by the end of this debate three men in the UK will have died by suicide."

Voice to text translation excerpt:

"I can still remember where I was when my dad called me to tell me that they found my uncle. He had taken his life and it had taken 3 weeks to find his body. Richard was 47. He was a doctor. Super smart, creative, artistic, he spoke new languages with ease, he played and wrote music and he understood science ands Math no one else I knew. He's the kind of kid you'd hate at school, right? He saved peoples lives for a living and yet, he decided to take his own. I'd like to take you back to 2010. I was at my new flat in Brighton having dinner with a friend, about to start my third year of university, when my dad calls me to that they found my uncle. That feeling, that sinking feeling, in your stomach, when your heart drops all the way down and all can think is: What could you have done to stop that from happening. That's a feeling I wish no one ever has to experience.

Men are facing a crisis. How many men do you think die by suicide each day in the UK? it's 12. That's 1 man every two hours. While we're all enjoying our day, we're gonna lose 12 men to suicide that same day.

In my work we talk a lot about the fact that 76% of all suicides are male. And that this silent killer is claiming the lives of more men under 45 than anything else. And I can't help but find myself asking: Why is that? Doesn't that trouble you, because it's troubles me? These are our brothers, fathers, uncles, partners, sons. These are our friends and they decide to die.

I think there are some hard questions we need to ask about male suicide. I don't believe there is anything wrong with men having suicidal thoughts. But is there something wrong with how we react to suicide being thought about. Let me explain.

We all die at one point or another, right? Our bodies will fail us and we'll die of disease or old age. Or we'll have our lives taken from us in a tragic accident. So isn't it perfectly normal to consider being in control of our own death? Yes, suicide is intentional but does that automatically make it wrong?

I believe suicide is preventable and I believe we should do everything in our power to prevent it. But I also believe there's nothing inherently wrong in thinking about our own death. I've considered what it's like to die.

<<She asks the audience to close their eyes and raise their hands if they've had a bad day, or week or month, has ever led you to harming yourself or taking your own life. When she tells them to put down their hands and then open their eyes, she tells them about half of the room raised their hand to this question. She then invites them to consider what might be different if we didn't see having suicidal thoughts as wrong, and what that might mean for the men in our lives thinking of suicide.>>

Let's go back to my uncle Richard. For most of his life, he experienced what was most likely bipolar disorder, and he had suicidal thoughts on more than one occasion. In fact, 6 years before his death he attempted to take his life. The sad fact was that Richard lived in a time when suicide was not considered something you spoke about. It was swept under the carpet as a cause for shame amongst families, there was something wrong with it. It was only in 1961 that we stopped making suicide a crime.

Richard's parents were medics, and anesthetist and a nurse, and they didn't understand suicide either. They didn't think that it was real. And I think they were probably in denial about what was happening with Richard. What happened to Richard isn't my grandparents fault. Suicide is complex and rarely attributed to just one factor. But when I reflect on Richard's experience, and how we still struggle to speak about suicide today, nothing's really changed. We still struggle to talk about it. We label it as abnormal or unusual. And we make men wrong for having suicidal thoughts. We say that they're unwell or that they need to get better. And because we think about it this way, it stops us from having a real conversation about it. We stay silent instead. And Suicide remains shrouded in this stigma. That stigma is only perpetuated by irresponsible and sensational journalism that happens in the cases of celebrity suicides. Just look at some of reporting at the time of Anthony Bourdain's death. When I was thinking how best to explain this point, it made me think of sex and sex education. It's really uncomfortable for us to talk to kids about sex, it's so tempting to think "if we don't talk about it, it won't happen. Our kids won't have sex". But we know that teenage pregnancy and STDs are the risks if we don't have that conversation. And we take those risks seriously. We introduce sex education into schools and it's now compulsory across the UK. It's far from perfect, but what it has been shown to do improve positive attitudes to safe sex, to delay sex, and to reduce teenage pregnancy when used alongside other methods.

With suicide, we know it's a myth that talking about it will plant that idea inside someone's head. And if suicide is claiming the lives of more men 45 than anything else, it's time we start accepting that suicidal thoughts are something that just happen, and start talking openly and responsibly about it. I don't think there is anything wrong with men having suicidal thoughts. But perhaps there is something wrong with our expectations of men in society that lead them to have those thoughts. Let's think about that.

What does it mean to be masculine? What does it mean to be a man? Society tells us men should be strong, dependable and able to provide for their family. There is very little research into why men choose suicide. But the recent research that does exist speaks about how men's high suicide rates are linked to risk factors: history of being abused a child, single status or relationship breakdown, financial difficulty & unemployment. So that means if you're a man who's had a troubled childhood, you're still searching for the one or you're worried about money, you're at risk of suicide. How many of us know men in that situation? Plenty, and my uncle Richard was one of them. In fact, I've probably just described half of all millenial men in the UK. Unsurprisingly, these risk factors are linked to those traditional notions of masculinity. It seems so that men can't meet what is expected of them, they make themselves wrong for that. The research backs this up too. Just last year there was a paper confirming that there is a link between men feeling unable to fulfill the stereotypical characteristics of masculinity and suicidal thoughts.

Many people don't agree with those masculine stereotypes but there also a lot who do. That conversation, however, is starting to change.

But is it just men who are perpetuating these outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a man and making themselves wrong for that? I don't think so. I'd like us to consider what our role is as women. Just last month I was chatting to a female friend of mine who described the guy she was dating as a "sponge" and "too sensitive" because he opened up to her about some of the anxieties he was facing in the relationship and how that was making him feel vulnerable. I cannot begin to describe the look on some women's faces when I speak about how men I know have broken down in tears in front of me. It's somewhere between discomfort and disdain.

Men are already making themselves wrong for not living up these masculine ideals of being strong, dependable, and being able to provide for their family. They're already shaming themselves for that. Are women compounding the problem by making men wrong and shaming them for demonstrating those open and vulnerable behaviours that women say they want men to show them? Are we making men wrong for breaking out of these rigid stereotypes and for just being fully human? To the women in the room I'm not saying male suicide is our responsibility. I absolutely acknowledge that men have a role to play in breaking down these stereotypes. But as a woman I can only speak to my experience and how I do see our role. What I'm inviting all of us to do, regardless of our gender, is to reconsider the expectations that we have of men in society, and reconsider how we view men who have the courage to show us their vulnerability. I'm inviting us to ask the men in our lives how they're really doing and if they're struggling with anything they haven't told us about. And can we think about how we respond to that. How we might try to empathize with their pain. Can we hold space for men and listen to them without trying to fix things, tell them that we love them and that it's ok to feel however they're feeling.

The full presentation is available at:
 

Lekatt

Love Cats Love All
SF Supporter
#2
I think your post is great. In the U.S. there is little difference in the percentage of the statistics. In 2018, suicide deaths were 132 a day. We do need to talk openly and profusely about this problem. I have been talking about death and suicide for over 30 years on my site and blog. It is not a subject we should ignore, but I believe people are held back by the fear caused by misinformation. The thought of judgement, retribution, and places like Hell which are nonsense in reality have done damage to conversation about death. These old lies take time to die themselves and allow meaningful discussions. Thank you for the post, we will keep trying. Love.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#3
Thanks Lekatt for your supportive words and also for your own efforts to continually highlight the importance of honest conversation on this subject. Be well.
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#4
Listening to a TED talk from 2018 given by Steph Slack on male suicide in the United Kingdom, she opens by stating that "by the end of this debate three men in the UK will have died by suicide."

Voice to text translation excerpt:

"I can still remember where I was when my dad called me to tell me that they found my uncle. He had taken his life and it had taken 3 weeks to find his body. Richard was 47. He was a doctor. Super smart, creative, artistic, he spoke new languages with ease, he played and wrote music and he understood science ands Math no one else I knew. He's the kind of kid you'd hate at school, right? He saved peoples lives for a living and yet, he decided to take his own. I'd like to take you back to 2010. I was at my new flat in Brighton having dinner with a friend, about to start my third year of university, when my dad calls me to that they found my uncle. That feeling, that sinking feeling, in your stomach, when your heart drops all the way down and all can think is: What could you have done to stop that from happening. That's a feeling I wish no one ever has to experience.

Men are facing a crisis. How many men do you think die by suicide each day in the UK? it's 12. That's 1 man every two hours. While we're all enjoying our day, we're gonna lose 12 men to suicide that same day.

In my work we talk a lot about the fact that 76% of all suicides are male. And that this silent killer is claiming the lives of more men under 45 than anything else. And I can't help but find myself asking: Why is that? Doesn't that trouble you, because it's troubles me? These are our brothers, fathers, uncles, partners, sons. These are our friends and they decide to die.

I think there are some hard questions we need to ask about male suicide. I don't believe there is anything wrong with men having suicidal thoughts. But is there something wrong with how we react to suicide being thought about. Let me explain.

We all die at one point or another, right? Our bodies will fail us and we'll die of disease or old age. Or we'll have our lives taken from us in a tragic accident. So isn't it perfectly normal to consider being in control of our own death? Yes, suicide is intentional but does that automatically make it wrong?

I believe suicide is preventable and I believe we should do everything in our power to prevent it. But I also believe there's nothing inherently wrong in thinking about our own death. I've considered what it's like to die.

<<She asks the audience to close their eyes and raise their hands if they've had a bad day, or week or month, has ever led you to harming yourself or taking your own life. When she tells them to put down their hands and then open their eyes, she tells them about half of the room raised their hand to this question. She then invites them to consider what might be different if we didn't see having suicidal thoughts as wrong, and what that might mean for the men in our lives thinking of suicide.>>

Let's go back to my uncle Richard. For most of his life, he experienced what was most likely bipolar disorder, and he had suicidal thoughts on more than one occasion. In fact, 6 years before his death he attempted to take his life. The sad fact was that Richard lived in a time when suicide was not considered something you spoke about. It was swept under the carpet as a cause for shame amongst families, there was something wrong with it. It was only in 1961 that we stopped making suicide a crime.

Richard's parents were medics, and anesthetist and a nurse, and they didn't understand suicide either. They didn't think that it was real. And I think they were probably in denial about what was happening with Richard. What happened to Richard isn't my grandparents fault. Suicide is complex and rarely attributed to just one factor. But when I reflect on Richard's experience, and how we still struggle to speak about suicide today, nothing's really changed. We still struggle to talk about it. We label it as abnormal or unusual. And we make men wrong for having suicidal thoughts. We say that they're unwell or that they need to get better. And because we think about it this way, it stops us from having a real conversation about it. We stay silent instead. And Suicide remains shrouded in this stigma. That stigma is only perpetuated by irresponsible and sensational journalism that happens in the cases of celebrity suicides. Just look at some of reporting at the time of Anthony Bourdain's death. When I was thinking how best to explain this point, it made me think of sex and sex education. It's really uncomfortable for us to talk to kids about sex, it's so tempting to think "if we don't talk about it, it won't happen. Our kids won't have sex". But we know that teenage pregnancy and STDs are the risks if we don't have that conversation. And we take those risks seriously. We introduce sex education into schools and it's now compulsory across the UK. It's far from perfect, but what it has been shown to do improve positive attitudes to safe sex, to delay sex, and to reduce teenage pregnancy when used alongside other methods.

With suicide, we know it's a myth that talking about it will plant that idea inside someone's head. And if suicide is claiming the lives of more men 45 than anything else, it's time we start accepting that suicidal thoughts are something that just happen, and start talking openly and responsibly about it. I don't think there is anything wrong with men having suicidal thoughts. But perhaps there is something wrong with our expectations of men in society that lead them to have those thoughts. Let's think about that.

What does it mean to be masculine? What does it mean to be a man? Society tells us men should be strong, dependable and able to provide for their family. There is very little research into why men choose suicide. But the recent research that does exist speaks about how men's high suicide rates are linked to risk factors: history of being abused a child, single status or relationship breakdown, financial difficulty & unemployment. So that means if you're a man who's had a troubled childhood, you're still searching for the one or you're worried about money, you're at risk of suicide. How many of us know men in that situation? Plenty, and my uncle Richard was one of them. In fact, I've probably just described half of all millenial men in the UK. Unsurprisingly, these risk factors are linked to those traditional notions of masculinity. It seems so that men can't meet what is expected of them, they make themselves wrong for that. The research backs this up too. Just last year there was a paper confirming that there is a link between men feeling unable to fulfill the stereotypical characteristics of masculinity and suicidal thoughts.

Many people don't agree with those masculine stereotypes but there also a lot who do. That conversation, however, is starting to change.

But is it just men who are perpetuating these outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a man and making themselves wrong for that? I don't think so. I'd like us to consider what our role is as women. Just last month I was chatting to a female friend of mine who described the guy she was dating as a "sponge" and "too sensitive" because he opened up to her about some of the anxieties he was facing in the relationship and how that was making him feel vulnerable. I cannot begin to describe the look on some women's faces when I speak about how men I know have broken down in tears in front of me. It's somewhere between discomfort and disdain.

Men are already making themselves wrong for not living up these masculine ideals of being strong, dependable, and being able to provide for their family. They're already shaming themselves for that. Are women compounding the problem by making men wrong and shaming them for demonstrating those open and vulnerable behaviours that women say they want men to show them? Are we making men wrong for breaking out of these rigid stereotypes and for just being fully human? To the women in the room I'm not saying male suicide is our responsibility. I absolutely acknowledge that men have a role to play in breaking down these stereotypes. But as a woman I can only speak to my experience and how I do see our role. What I'm inviting all of us to do, regardless of our gender, is to reconsider the expectations that we have of men in society, and reconsider how we view men who have the courage to show us their vulnerability. I'm inviting us to ask the men in our lives how they're really doing and if they're struggling with anything they haven't told us about. And can we think about how we respond to that. How we might try to empathize with their pain. Can we hold space for men and listen to them without trying to fix things, tell them that we love them and that it's ok to feel however they're feeling.

The full presentation is available at:
What you present is very interesting. Having been married I gave thought also to the role of women in listening to men and the expectations and pressure on them. Also as a parent of two young men.

I'm sorry for the loss of your uncle. I cant imagine the pain for his parents. My father killed himself. I could analyze it more, but I'm not ready to now...he was under pressure and unsupported. I feel very sorry for him looking back @Dark111. His father did as well.

@extraterrestrialone and I have spoken about mental health awareness and it becoming more acceptable. I recall telling my son once that if anything ever happened to to please DNR and he wasnt pleased. But I believe in honesty and dialogue.

I hope the next generations are more open than mine at 51 or my older sisters at 65. I know the pressure is there to survive (support a family, pay for your education, rent, keep mentally heakthy)
It can he so hard.

I would like to see a commercial showing a man talking about feeling suicidal and someone listening, educating people.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#5
BRAVO!!!! Long but on the mark. I would add that with women being breadwinners, they are now suicidal for similar reasons including single hood, unemployment, trauma, money woes. I read a young single mother jumped to her death with her child because of financial issues. We can talk all day about this. Now what are we going to do about it?
 

extraterrestrialone

hi, guess who... its me...
SF Supporter
#6
Are women compounding the problem by making men wrong and shaming them for demonstrating those open and vulnerable behaviours that women say they want men to show them?
is to reconsider the expectations that we have of men in society, and reconsider how we view men who have the courage to show us their vulnerability.
@extraterrestrialone and I have spoken about mental health awareness and it becoming more acceptable.
I feel I need to say “been there, done that”. Only exclude suicide as a viable thought/action for me. a doctor suggested that my self harm is "little suicides". Maybe, maybe not. I think the self harm via hijacker actually turned out to be self help though taking form in a dangerous way. its been suggested that suicide is a form of self help as well. the one attempting may not actually be trying to die but to stop the pain. And maybe that is what suicide is - be it male or female. But absolutely yes, I think the demands society puts on men does uniquely damage the male mind but I am certain the female mind is damaged uniquely too. I don't think male suicide should be singled out and separated from suicide in general nor do I think suicide in general should be singled out from mental health. Further I think the term mental health should not be used at all. It perpetrates “stigma” - a term which also should not be used at all or at least not so freely.

ok, one can argue that “banning” words is a foolishing thing to do. but i’m suggesting that the term mental illness/health/disorder and the like and stigma all strengthen the stigma and help all people to step back and say “oh no, its not me”. when we talk about mental this and mental that we are pointing fingers at a certain group when really it is everyone that struggles with mental this and mental that. i invented a word not too long ago to replace the term. and even more recently i invented another, simply so that we can have words to apply to everyone so that everyone becomes equal. the important point is that everyone becomes equal in the eye of society. that is how any issue can be tackled correctly and fairly buy truly looking into everyone’s minds and learn what is going on and understanding the sameness inside.

for myself, i think i have safely sidestepped suicide. i’ll tell you there are many ways i feel i’ve failed in living up to the male standard. i’m lucky i’m not living in some other countries but i’m also in a sense unfortunate to be living here... ... or anywhere for that matter!!! no accident i call myself extraterestrial (combined with alone)! but i think that in order to not be suicidal you have to not only recognize your failings but figure out what successes you have or if you have trouble doing that, or really can’t find any successes then to create a new image of yourself and become that instead. this process takes lots of work. it is work i happen to be doing. i see it as my only option for survival to the maximum possible. i’m preserving what is good in me and reorganziing things and basically ignoring society as a force in placing its requirements on me in my life. but i do recognize society does have some good values. so i am not violent. i don’t kill. i don’t take things that are not mine. i try to promulgate the concept of compassion. but i don’t know. maybe it took 68 years to get to where i am.

but also maybe a society like ours presently is and instead one that does not concentrate on categorizing people as what they are and how they must behave, would be much more helpful in getting people to a proactive state much earlier in life so there is less male suicide, less female suicide and everyone could talk about it freely and share the ways to be proactive. i don’t think you can talk about one thing and not another! yes male suicide is a major issue but still a part of the whole issue - being affected as much as affecting. everything needs to be included.
 

KM76710

KM stands for Kangaroo Manager
SF Supporter
#7
That was an excellent and thoughtful post on the subject. I wish that people would/could be more open in seeking help but the reactions from many may prevent some from even making the effort which should never be the case. There are resources all around but that stigma that can go with admitting the feelings... One of my favorite things here is no judgements, almost no restrictions put on members on what they can share and post such as method so they may be more comfortable in expressing themselves to others knowing that people are on this forum with a shared thought about their lives, often with identical or near similar feelings about their situation. New people may join in and just see hey there are others like me so perhaps I can do it, go on and continue living like they do and so many really do understand. Just take it one day at a time, it can be nothing more than supporting others to keep going on and wanting to return to hear how that person is doing the next day.
 

Gonz

sick and tired of being sick and tired
#8
Watched this talk a couple years ago.

Like her uncle, one of my grandfathers killed himself and it was weeks before anyone noticed he was gone. Shows how much of a social support network he had.

First thing you learn as a man: no one gives half a fuck about your “feelings.“

And I’m being literal when I say “first thing.”

Studies have shown that, even with newborns, parents will let their sons cry considerably longer before soothing them than their daughters.

And it just seems to get worse from there.

Just telling people what’s wrong and expecting anyone to give a shit, even those you trust the most, feels like cowering in front of them with your tail between your legs.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#9
I feel I need to say “been there, done that”. Only exclude suicide as a viable thought/action for me. a doctor suggested that my self harm is "little suicides". Maybe, maybe not. I think the self harm via hijacker actually turned out to be self help though taking form in a dangerous way. its been suggested that suicide is a form of self help as well. the one attempting may not actually be trying to die but to stop the pain. And maybe that is what suicide is - be it male or female. But absolutely yes, I think the demands society puts on men does uniquely damage the male mind but I am certain the female mind is damaged uniquely too. I don't think male suicide should be singled out and separated from suicide in general nor do I think suicide in general should be singled out from mental health. Further I think the term mental health should not be used at all. It perpetrates “stigma” - a term which also should not be used at all or at least not so freely.

ok, one can argue that “banning” words is a foolishing thing to do. but i’m suggesting that the term mental illness/health/disorder and the like and stigma all strengthen the stigma and help all people to step back and say “oh no, its not me”. when we talk about mental this and mental that we are pointing fingers at a certain group when really it is everyone that struggles with mental this and mental that. i invented a word not too long ago to replace the term. and even more recently i invented another, simply so that we can have words to apply to everyone so that everyone becomes equal. the important point is that everyone becomes equal in the eye of society. that is how any issue can be tackled correctly and fairly buy truly looking into everyone’s minds and learn what is going on and understanding the sameness inside.

for myself, i think i have safely sidestepped suicide. i’ll tell you there are many ways i feel i’ve failed in living up to the male standard. i’m lucky i’m not living in some other countries but i’m also in a sense unfortunate to be living here... ... or anywhere for that matter!!! no accident i call myself extraterestrial (combined with alone)! but i think that in order to not be suicidal you have to not only recognize your failings but figure out what successes you have or if you have trouble doing that, or really can’t find any successes then to create a new image of yourself and become that instead. this process takes lots of work. it is work i happen to be doing. i see it as my only option for survival to the maximum possible. i’m preserving what is good in me and reorganziing things and basically ignoring society as a force in placing its requirements on me in my life. but i do recognize society does have some good values. so i am not violent. i don’t kill. i don’t take things that are not mine. i try to promulgate the concept of compassion. but i don’t know. maybe it took 68 years to get to where i am.

but also maybe a society like ours presently is and instead one that does not concentrate on categorizing people as what they are and how they must behave, would be much more helpful in getting people to a proactive state much earlier in life so there is less male suicide, less female suicide and everyone could talk about it freely and share the ways to be proactive. i don’t think you can talk about one thing and not another! yes male suicide is a major issue but still a part of the whole issue - being affected as much as affecting. everything needs to be included.
I love your posts. Intelligent and accurate. Suicide is avoidance of pain. I knew one man with debilitating headaches. And another with pain after heart surgery. Both could not live with the pain.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#10
I feel I need to say “been there, done that”. Only exclude suicide as a viable thought/action for me. a doctor suggested that my self harm is "little suicides". Maybe, maybe not. I think the self harm via hijacker actually turned out to be self help though taking form in a dangerous way. its been suggested that suicide is a form of self help as well. the one attempting may not actually be trying to die but to stop the pain. And maybe that is what suicide is - be it male or female. But absolutely yes, I think the demands society puts on men does uniquely damage the male mind but I am certain the female mind is damaged uniquely too. I don't think male suicide should be singled out and separated from suicide in general nor do I think suicide in general should be singled out from mental health. Further I think the term mental health should not be used at all. It perpetrates “stigma” - a term which also should not be used at all or at least not so freely.

ok, one can argue that “banning” words is a foolishing thing to do. but i’m suggesting that the term mental illness/health/disorder and the like and stigma all strengthen the stigma and help all people to step back and say “oh no, its not me”. when we talk about mental this and mental that we are pointing fingers at a certain group when really it is everyone that struggles with mental this and mental that. i invented a word not too long ago to replace the term. and even more recently i invented another, simply so that we can have words to apply to everyone so that everyone becomes equal. the important point is that everyone becomes equal in the eye of society. that is how any issue can be tackled correctly and fairly buy truly looking into everyone’s minds and learn what is going on and understanding the sameness inside.

for myself, i think i have safely sidestepped suicide. i’ll tell you there are many ways i feel i’ve failed in living up to the male standard. i’m lucky i’m not living in some other countries but i’m also in a sense unfortunate to be living here... ... or anywhere for that matter!!! no accident i call myself extraterestrial (combined with alone)! but i think that in order to not be suicidal you have to not only recognize your failings but figure out what successes you have or if you have trouble doing that, or really can’t find any successes then to create a new image of yourself and become that instead. this process takes lots of work. it is work i happen to be doing. i see it as my only option for survival to the maximum possible. i’m preserving what is good in me and reorganziing things and basically ignoring society as a force in placing its requirements on me in my life. but i do recognize society does have some good values. so i am not violent. i don’t kill. i don’t take things that are not mine. i try to promulgate the concept of compassion. but i don’t know. maybe it took 68 years to get to where i am.

but also maybe a society like ours presently is and instead one that does not concentrate on categorizing people as what they are and how they must behave, would be much more helpful in getting people to a proactive state much earlier in life so there is less male suicide, less female suicide and everyone could talk about it freely and share the ways to be proactive. i don’t think you can talk about one thing and not another! yes male suicide is a major issue but still a part of the whole issue - being affected as much as affecting. everything needs to be included.

You are 68? I respect your survival.
 

extraterrestrialone

hi, guess who... its me...
SF Supporter
#11
• Yeah...
Watched this talk a couple years ago.
I forgot to mention that I believe I watched it too, probably a year+ ago. I wonder if it was brought to my attention here on this site.

• And I also hope that by mentioning that the male issue be not separated from other issues it is not taken as belittling the situation.

• QUOTE="Gonz, post: 2099243, member: 45650"]First thing you learn as a man: no one gives half a fuck[/QUOTE]
So True!!!
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#12
Watched this talk a couple years ago.

Like her uncle, one of my grandfathers killed himself and it was weeks before anyone noticed he was gone. Shows how much of a social support network he had.

First thing you learn as a man: no one gives half a fuck about your “feelings.“

And I’m being literal when I say “first thing.”

Studies have shown that, even with newborns, parents will let their sons cry considerably longer before soothing them than their daughters.

And it just seems to get worse from there.

Just telling people what’s wrong and expecting anyone to give a shit, even those you trust the most, feels like cowering in front of them with your tail between your legs.
I would certainly agree with that. My parents went the more equal opportunity route but men overall are expected to be nothing less than pillars of stoicism and they better not complain about that either. Supposedly this is changing, but as pointed in the original post, the societal expectations that everybody else has of men needs to change accordingly. I too wonder if that's possible but I think it's a conversation worth having.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#13
BRAVO!!!! Long but on the mark. I would add that with women being breadwinners, they are now suicidal for similar reasons including single hood, unemployment, trauma, money woes. I read a young single mother jumped to her death with her child because of financial issues. We can talk all day about this. Now what are we going to do about it?
I didn't suggest anywhere I think we should talk about all day and all night. 20 bloody minutes would be fine. Do you think these breadwinning women would be shamed the same way as a man if she opened up about all this to someone, to anyone, had a good cry, let all the pent up emotion out?

Everyone struggles with the day to day crap of life along with whatever demons they're also battling, and all that sucks. Society needs a complete overall & people need to make smarter choices. We can probably talk about that all day too. Any suicide is tragic, whatever the gender, but the point of my post was to highlight that when men suffer they do so in silence because to show the slightest crack in the expected masculine veneer is to show weakness and people are turned off. What to do about it? Toss out an idea. I'm looking into what, if any, sort of men's groups exist to support men in crisis.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#14
I don't think male suicide should be singled out and separated from suicide in general nor do I think suicide in general should be singled out from mental health. Further I think the term mental health should not be used at all. It perpetrates “stigma” - a term which also should not be used at all or at least not so freely.
What words should we use instead of 'mental health'? Something more Klingon perhaps? I jest, of course :)
You're criticism of singling out male suicide though, I'm not really sure what that's about. There are differences when looking at suicide attempts/completions/methods between men and women. And as equal as you wish we all were, men and women are in fact different. One not lesser or greater than than other, just different. Society treats them differently and has different expectations of each. And when trying to understand something, any investigator worth their salt will tell you the devil is in the details.
 

extraterrestrialone

hi, guess who... its me...
SF Supporter
#15
What words should we use instead of 'mental health'? Something more Klingon perhaps? I jest, of course :)
You're criticism of singling out male suicide though, I'm not really sure what that's about. There are differences when looking at suicide attempts/completions/methods between men and women. And as equal as you wish we all were, men and women are in fact different. One not lesser or greater than than other, just different. Society treats them differently and has different expectations of each. And when trying to understand something, any investigator worth their salt will tell you the devil is in the details.
Here again I have to be cautious in my answer so as to not draw my own experience into the discussion.

I hope I did not sound like I was criticising that it should be done but that regardless of it's special qualities, touching the issue of male suicide should be done in conjunction with female suicide. And also that for every requirement placed on a man, as I see it at least, the requirement placed on a woman is a counterpart and should be addressed in conjunction.

If a man is not allowed to cry for example, and a woman expected to cry, reasoning (if reason enters/entered into it at all) behind how this came to be must have significant correlations. I'm wondering right at this moment if a woman crying might have been some kind of way to achieve closeness to a child and then simply assumed would not work if a woman were to enter into a "man's role" and pertaining to men, everyone believes death to be a sad thing but in an ancient battle, it would most likely be counter productive if the soldier in battle began to cry on the battlefield.

Nowadays, for both of these situations we don't do that anymore but the behaviors remain even when old boundaries are crossed or at least offered as a coming change. A man may still try to not cry even if a cry might lead to a better solution.

Open discussion presenting a woman's point of view might prove to be enlightening. There are other sides to this too as to the female experience where changes might be helpful per male experience. I just think both should be approached together since they involve the same "parts" of the machinery.
 
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Lane

SF Supporter
#16
I feel I need to say “been there, done that”. Only exclude suicide as a viable thought/action for me. a doctor suggested that my self harm is "little suicides". Maybe, maybe not. I think the self harm via hijacker actually turned out to be self help though taking form in a dangerous way. its been suggested that suicide is a form of self help as well. the one attempting may not actually be trying to die but to stop the pain. And maybe that is what suicide is - be it male or female. But absolutely yes, I think the demands society puts on men does uniquely damage the male mind but I am certain the female mind is damaged uniquely too. I don't think male suicide should be singled out and separated from suicide in general nor do I think suicide in general should be singled out from mental health. Further I think the term mental health should not be used at all. It perpetrates “stigma” - a term which also should not be used at all or at least not so freely.

ok, one can argue that “banning” words is a foolishing thing to do. but i’m suggesting that the term mental illness/health/disorder and the like and stigma all strengthen the stigma and help all people to step back and say “oh no, its not me”. when we talk about mental this and mental that we are pointing fingers at a certain group when really it is everyone that struggles with mental this and mental that. i invented a word not too long ago to replace the term. and even more recently i invented another, simply so that we can have words to apply to everyone so that everyone becomes equal. the important point is that everyone becomes equal in the eye of society. that is how any issue can be tackled correctly and fairly buy truly looking into everyone’s minds and learn what is going on and understanding the sameness inside.

for myself, i think i have safely sidestepped suicide. i’ll tell you there are many ways i feel i’ve failed in living up to the male standard. i’m lucky i’m not living in some other countries but i’m also in a sense unfortunate to be living here... ... or anywhere for that matter!!! no accident i call myself extraterestrial (combined with alone)! but i think that in order to not be suicidal you have to not only recognize your failings but figure out what successes you have or if you have trouble doing that, or really can’t find any successes then to create a new image of yourself and become that instead. this process takes lots of work. it is work i happen to be doing. i see it as my only option for survival to the maximum possible. i’m preserving what is good in me and reorganziing things and basically ignoring society as a force in placing its requirements on me in my life. but i do recognize society does have some good values. so i am not violent. i don’t kill. i don’t take things that are not mine. i try to promulgate the concept of compassion. but i don’t know. maybe it took 68 years to get to where i am.

but also maybe a society like ours presently is and instead one that does not concentrate on categorizing people as what they are and how they must behave, would be much more helpful in getting people to a proactive state much earlier in life so there is less male suicide, less female suicide and everyone could talk about it freely and share the ways to be proactive. i don’t think you can talk about one thing and not another! yes male suicide is a major issue but still a part of the whole issue - being affected as much as affecting. everything needs to be included.
The self help of suicidal thoughts that you speak of I heard about from a therapist. I think she was just trying to make me feel better, ha. But it does make sense. Her thought was that when you contemplate it so thoroughly and then dont go through with it, it's an accomplishment, something to that effect.

As for making it tabu. I think you wrote that its not a talked about topic. Its good that @Dark111 brings it to light (play on words 😁). I see posts on Facebook for walks on suicide prevention and I really want to do them. I honestly feel like one of my sons is at risk. I dont want this to be about me. Hes so angry and like me, he may have inherited the gene. He doesn't talk about feelings, prime candidate right there. Life is not perfect for those with the imperfect families. Sorry my thoughts get scattered. I think this is an important topic.
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#18
What words should we use instead of 'mental health'? Something more Klingon perhaps? I jest, of course :)
You're criticism of singling out male suicide though, I'm not really sure what that's about. There are differences when looking at suicide attempts/completions/methods between men and women. And as equal as you wish we all were, men and women are in fact different. One not lesser or greater than than other, just different. Society treats them differently and has different expectations of each. And when trying to understand something, any investigator worth their salt will tell you the devil is in the details.
The sadness in it all is healthcare is a moneymaking operation. That's when folks go into treatment. It takes the people like us educate people. Sounds good in theory. I'd be willing to volunteer. Put my money where my mouth is
 

Gonz

sick and tired of being sick and tired
#20
Supposedly this is changing, but as pointed in the original post, the societal expectations that everybody else has of men needs to change accordingly.
Yeah, for a very long time (since I was a kid at least) the messaging has been “Hey men, it’s okay to open up“ when perhaps it should have been “Hey everybody, don’t be a dick if a guy is having feelings or whatever.”
 

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