white paper – rowanstudent

  1. men and suicide
  2. More women are seeking help because women are more willing to reach out and talk about their emotions. Men are told to “man up,” to not show emotion or vulnerability. They seek help for mental health way less often, at 32%. This, putting them at a greater risk for suicide.
  3. Women had a higher rate of suicide attempts, however men have higher suicides. In 2018, men died by suicide 3.65x faster than women did.
  4. Men actually use more violent methods of suicide than women, and even if the same method is used by both genders, more men are pronounced dead and more women are hospitalized.
  5. Men also show different signs of depression that are not commonly found in women and some symptoms can be seen as normal behavior. Men are at greater risk due to the stigma against them and mental health and lack of willingness to reach out for help.

Working Hypothesis:

Men who are depressed are less likely to ask for help due to the societal norms and a stigma of masculinity, leading more men to commit suicide. If society normalized speaking on mens mental health and brought more attention to it, more males will feel comfortable reaching out which can prevent future mental illness and suicide.

Purposeful Summaries:

https://www.verywellmind.com/gender-differences-in-suicide-methods-1067508

Gender differences do exist when it comes to suicide. Women are more likely to have thoughts of suicide, and men are more likely to actually take their own lives. Though this is a harsh topic to speak on, it can prevent future suicides by talking about it. Statistics reveal that men choose more violent, lethal ways and women are normally by drugs or poison. Due to the fact that women have more attempts but men have more deaths by suicide, it is a common belief that women do this for attention or a cry for help, and that is why they end up in being hospitalized instead of dead. However, this is not true, in any case. Either gender a previous suicide attempt puts a person at greater risk to attempt again. This article discusses the difference in suicide methods further in men who were married, unmarried, had a history with substance abuse and other forms of suicide. Even when comparing the genders using the same method, mens attempts are still more serious and definite. This may be because women have a less serious intent to die. It is emphasized that mens health should be normalized. It is important to talk about and bring awareness to.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539603/

This study compared and evaluated the methods used in suicide attempts by men and women and investigated the possible role of gender in the selection of suicide method. The study population consists of 147 participants (33 males and 114 females) aged between 14 and 33 years. The study resulted with the most popular method being drugs, 42.31%, and exsanguination at 25.64%. This study also showed that more women chose drug overdose and more men chose hanging or asphyxia. In conclusion to the study, resulted that women as a group more oftenly attempted suicide rather than actually committing it. While men were more likely to complete suicides and choose more violent suicide methods; thus, females are said to be “attempters” and “survivors” of these suicide attempts. The study results have implications for therapy and suicide prevention, and suggest that psychotherapeutic activities should be fitted and associated to the psychological and personality traits associated with gender identity. This study comes with a lot of numbered data and graphs for visuals on the topic and their experiment.

Mens mental health is something that is often over looked or even forgotten about. In the U.S. alone men make up 80% of the suicides. Even when a man is aware of his feelings of depression they are still less likely to ask for professional help than women. Why is this? One possible reason being the stigma for mental health overall, is a sign of showing weakness. The stigma can be worse for men too because it is not, “masculine.” Another reason would be masculine role socialization. An example, “boys don’t cry,” from a young age this is what they are hearing. To suppress their emotions, and appear strong. And lastly, social norms. Suppressing their emotions becomes such a habit that by the time they reach adulthood, they may be unclear of most emotions aside from anger. Seeking help from a mans perspective might seem like abnormal behavior, because they are supposed to “tough it out,” on their own. This all leads back to normalizing men having and expressing emotion and not feeling so closed off when it comes to their mental health.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/male-depression/art-20046216

This consists of useful information containing symptoms and signs of depression specifically in males. Some signs are the same as women such as feeling sad, hopeless or empty, feeling extremely tired, having difficulty sleeping or sleep too much, and not get pleasure from activities usually enjoyed. However, men cope way differently. These are some behaviors that can be seen as signs of depression: Escapist behavior, such as spending a lot of time at work or on sports, physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive problems and pain, problems with alcohol or drug use, controlling, violent or abusive behavior, irritability or inappropriate anger, and risky behavior, such as reckless driving. Male depression often goes undiagnosed. This can be a result of failure to recognize depression, it is not just being sad. There are other psychical symptoms men can experience. Another reason is downplaying signs and symptoms, thinking they can handle it on their own or the feelings will just blow over. Other reasons can be the reluctance to discuss symptoms and resistance of treatment. When it comes to suicide, men are more likely to use methods that cause death, they may act out of impulse, and show fewer warning signs. The end of the article offers help with suicide and bad thoughts and also discusses coping skills.

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/12/numbers

This link is filled with statistics with men and depression. According to a National Health Interview Survey, 9% of men reported having feelings of depression or anxiety. The suicide rate among American men is four times higher than women. Women are more likely to attempt suicide but men are more likely to succeed. 30.6% men have suffered from a period of depression in their lifetime, when measured by a “gender inclusive depression scale” that includes symptoms such as rage and risk-taking, according to a 2013 study in JAMA Psychiatry. This study didn’t find any significant differences between the rate of depression in men and women. There are several other statistics and shares giving more insight and numbers on men and depression.

Current State of Research Paper:

So far I feel as if I could take this a few directions, I am still unclear and I hope to gain clarity through feedback and further research. I believe our meeting was extremely useful. I felt as if I could be more open minded and speak on such a sensitive topic. I also felt more organized, like I had a sense of what I should have together. I was more confident in my hypothesis after helping me make useful changes to strengthen my points. I enjoyed our conversation and felt it was very beneficial. I would like to keep an open mind about my topic and continue research and finding new information, asking new questions.

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1 Response to white paper – rowanstudent

  1. davidbdale says:

    I enjoyed our conversation too, rowanstudent, and I like the way your research is beginning to shape up, with some exceptions. For example, your “by the numbers” source is not nearly the original source it should be, but it does point you to the studies on which its breezy summary notes are based.

    For my money, your overall thesis is a little too pat and a common observation, but we’ve discussed that you’ll remain open to surprise and share with us the most remarkable insights you encounter.

    When you say male macho attitudes make them less likely to seek medical attention, I hear two things that DON’T involve your observation that avoidance makes them more likely to attempt suicide.
    1. The attitude that keeps them from seeking treatment also means they don’t get diagnosed, so we have to factor their reluctance to see doctors into the statistics about female suicides being twice as likely to die with a diagnosis. They’re probably twice or three times as likely to live with a diagnosis too.
    2. Wanting to be macho also means men can’t accept failure in anything, including their suicide attempt. That could explain why they choose methods that are much more likely to succeed.

    Keep the channel of communication open, RS. Put this back into Feedback Please any time you want to discuss something new. (But DO make it a discussion. Don’t just drop the whole thing back into Feedback. Let me know what you want to investigate with me.)

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