Since 75 percent of suicides in Australia are by men, a survey was conducted of 251 men who had recently unsuccessfully attempted suicide to understand the language men use regarding their depression and what is needed to get men back on the right track. Around the world, men are twice as likely to commit suicide than women.
While women have more reported anxiety and mood disorders, men have higher rates of risk-taking, impulsivity and substance-abuse disorders that translate to a higher conversion rate from suicidal thinking to suicidal attempts. Men also have less social support and are less likely to use it than women. Another reason for the difference in the gender gap in the suicide rate is that men tend to choose a more lethal means than women, causing a higher death rate among men with fewer attempts.
This led the researchers to see what was causing so many suicides in men and figure out what could be done to stop them from going through with it.
A few phrases the men used when asked how they describe their sadness when they were feeling suicidal were: useless or worthless, I’ve had enough, hopeless, pointless, and I’m over it. When discussing their depression the participants used words such as: stressed, tired, not going too well, and down in the dumps.
The men said that some behaviors others would have noticed about them when they were feeling particularly bad were: loss of interest in everything, shutting themselves away, changes in sleep and poor self-care, as well as being flustered or easily upset or irritated.
The survey conveyed some interesting attitudes men had that were barriers to accessing health. These included 66 percent of the participants saying, “They didn’t want to burden others” while 63 percent had “isolated themselves.” When asked what had prevented going through with a suicide attempt, 67 percent of the men said, “I thought about the consequences to my family.” The participants also stated they, “needed support from someone they really trusted and respected.”