(The Hill) — America faces a large and growing public health problem of male suicide.
More than 38,000 men will die by suicide in 2021, the highest number and death rate in 20 years. men die by suicide 4x rate Female.
As a social problem, male suicide is somewhat overshadowed by societal influences. A very real mental health crisis It afflicts American women and girls.
37% of women diagnosed with depression Gallup survey data released Wednesday showed that the rate of death in a lifetime has risen compared to 20 percent for men.
Paradoxically, women are more likely to attempt suicide, whereas men are more likely to die by suicide. The main reason is firearms.
People who try to kill themselves with guns many times more likely You are more likely to die than someone who uses alternative methods, such as drugs or self-cutting. Only 5% of suicide attempts are caused by firearms, but more than half of deaths are caused by firearms.
America might be leading developed countries A 2008 study of suicidal ideation in 17 countries found that rates of suicide attempts are declining.
Many people who attempt suicide are conflicted and indecisive. The gun often makes the final decision.
“Even at the moment a person decides to attempt suicide, there are many ambiguous emotions,” says Ellie Stout, a suicide prevention expert at the nonprofit Center for Educational Development. “When you take a lot of medicine, there is a moment when you change your mind.”
Between 2015 and 2020, 122,178 men and 19,297 women died from gun suicides, according to federal data. Together, these deaths account for about 2.5 million years of human life lost.
Asphyxiation, the second most common method of suicide, killed 59,382 men and 17,088 women over the past five years. Asphyxiation usually means death by hanging or covering the head to cut off the air supply.
Drug addiction, the third most common, was the only significant method of suicide, more common among women (16,678 deaths) than among men (12,641).
The rise in male suicides reflects the prevalence of guns in America.purchased by the people Approximately 60 million firearms From 2020 to 2022, it became part of a larger cycle of panic buying amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
more americans killed by gun violence 2020 and 2021 saw more growth than any other year on record. Most of those deaths were suicides.
“Our suicide rate has a lot to do with firearms,” says Mitch Prinstine, John Van Setters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina.
By age and gender, the population group most likely to die by suicide is older men. In 2021, 42.2 per 100,000 Americans will die by suicide among men age 75 and older, the highest rate of any age group for men and women.
“Part of it has to do with our stereotypes of masculinity,” says Julie Serrell, a suicide researcher at the University of Kentucky. “If you are no longer in your prime, what does it mean? A widowed man, a man who can no longer feed.”
However, suicide among older men has remained relatively flat over the past two decades.
Perhaps even more alarming is the rapid rise in youth suicide. The suicide rate among boys and adolescents aged 15-24 has nearly halved from 2001 to 2021, from 16.5 to 23.8 per 100,000 people.
Suicide rates among girls and women in the same age group more than doubled during the same period, to 6.1 per 100,000 people.
Little-known 20 years ago, suicide among girls aged 10-14 has increased to 2.3 per 100,000 in 2021.
Girls and women are also dying from their own gunshot wounds in greater numbers than in previous years.
“Before, women rarely used guns,” Serrell said. “There was a myth that women would not use methods of ending their lives that would essentially alter their appearance, but that does not appear to be the case.”
The ready availability of firearms is a significant factor in the male suicide rate. Other reasons also speak to the essence of American masculinity.
Society encourages girls to be open about their mental health and to seek treatment for depression that is not encouraged for boys.
“Neither boys nor men are socialized to discuss mental health concerns. Historically they have been considered weaknesses,” Serrell said. “What is expected of men in this country is that they are strong, independent, self-sufficient and do not need help.”
Women are twice as likely as men to Seeking mental health treatmentaccording to federal data.
And why are young people suicidal? One factor may be a sense of belonging, but it seems to be disappearing in recent years.
Especially in recent years, men make friends and build relationships.
“I think we have such a tenuous sense of community connection,” said Nadine Kaslow, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine.
“When I was a kid, I knew everyone in my neighborhood,” Kaslow said. “It’s changed. It’s this feeling of isolation and loneliness.”
“During the summer, during the holidays, and during the pandemic, these rates actually went down,” Serrell said.
That’s true. People are actually less likely to commit suicide while on vacation. “Suicide rates rise in the spring and summer, when people keep their distance from each other and go out into the world,” Serrell said.
Loneliness and suicide go hand in hand. Humans don’t want to die where their loved ones find them. Because of the trauma such discoveries inflict and the fact that loved ones may try to save them.
Part of Serrell’s research focuses on breaking down the myth that only a few loved ones suffer when someone dies by suicide.
A long-standing theory held that every suicide leaves about six people behind.Serel found the number close to 135, a large circle of friends and loved ones who may need mental health support to endure the loss. Sadly, suicide can breed more suicides.
“For many people, losing someone to suicide opens a door to suicide that hasn’t been opened before,” she says.
Social media plays an ambiguous role in suicide. There are many reports suggesting a relationship between TikTok and Instagram, deteriorating mental health. But researchers believe these platforms have potential advantages.
“Social media is where marginalized people can find help,” Serrell said. “And even if you don’t have social support at home, you can find social support online.”
Suicide experts say investment in mental health is desperately needed in our country.
Prinstein said all Americans can benefit from an annual mental health check-up in addition to standard health checks.
Unfortunately, mental health diagnosis it’s actually nothingPartly due to intolerable stigma about mental health.
The number of psychotherapists is small. Prinstein said the country spends hundreds of times more money training health workers than it does training mental health care providers.
As a result, people in rural America may have to drive an hour to the nearest therapist, a scenario that is hard to imagine in the medical world.
“We don’t have as much access as we need,” Kaslow said.
If you are considering suicide, please contact us at: 988 Lifelines of Suicide and Crisis.
https://www.mystateline.com/news/more-women-attempt-suicide-more-men-die-by-suicide/ More and more women are attempting suicide. More and more men are dying by suicide.