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Nearly half of men have considered suicide by age 40

Discussion in 'Personal' started by scienceteachasghost, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Does this surprise you?

    Does this concern you?

    I am surprised the number is so high although personally (with a history of depression) I have seriously considered it on 4 separate occasions (although never actually gone ahead with an attempt.)
  2. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I had a low spot after an adverse life event when I became indifferent as to whether I lived or died. I was fortunate enough to have a very good friend - whom I hadn't recognised as such before - whose plain simple friendship helped me immensely.
    I just asked Dear Alfred and he said he'd never considered it.
  3. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    How do we know this? And do we know how many women have considered it?
  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    It doesn't surprise me. I've always got the impression that men I have known have gone through a period of dissatisfaction with their lot in their mid/late 30's. Feeling like they are running out of years to be young, tied down with children and hefty mortgages, working all hours to balance the bank account. The women seem to be more content with their lot. All conjecture and anecdotal of course, just something I've felt in the people around me.
  5. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I'm not surprised. The pressure to be the breadwinner and to keep a roof over partner and children is just as great now as it always has been, despite feminism and the fact that women often have great careers, own their own property etc etc. It's still a hunter-gatherer thing. It creates lots of anxiety and worry. That's just one aspect. There are many more reasons for it, often inexplicable. There was no rhyme or reason to the suicide of an 18 yr old I know of. Only he knows why he walked onto the track that day. His family never will.
  6. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I understand the chief demographic for suicide is 40-45 yr old men. There's another peak at 85+.
    Men's suicides outnumber women's four to one.
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    The times I considered it were not necessarily in mid 30s. They were 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2013. (The first two caused by social isolation at uni, the second two by teaching and its pressures.)

    I use the analogy of a computer game. Unless you are playing it really well, you **** it up somewhere and if it were a computer game, you would hit 'Start over.' With Life itself, you cannot do that and have to carry the **** ups through with you as you go. (As ridiculous as it sounds, it once occurred to me to take my own life so that I could get reincarnated an 'do' Freshers week correctly in 2033! - a fleeting thought which doesn't count as one of the main 4 episodes!)

    Two people committed suicide from a place I worked as a student - a place with fewer than 100 employees! Which shows how common it is!
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Yup, I considered it once.

    Then I got drunk.

    I'm not being flippant, there was a time I considered it. It was a bad phase and I got through it. I think it was due to feeling I had no purpose or function. With help from friends and family I got better. This was 20 years ago.
  9. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I on the other hand only know one person who committed suicide, and he had a life-destroying disease. My mother attempted it too, but that was because her GP abruptly discontinued her prescription of Ativan after adverse publicity, and plunged her into a serious discontinuation episode. And yet was neither prosecuted, disciplined nor sacked.
  10. Treefayre2

    Treefayre2 Established commenter

  11. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I went through that for a while, it was being the breadwinner and having to plod on for others that meant I never considered suicide. "This too will pass", it did.

    A male student in my class killed himself at 17, another (male) former student did the same a few years after leaving, the suicide of a father of kids I taught and the awful fall-out that resulted has fixed my views on it somewhat.

    It is the leading cause of death in the 20-34 age group and is increasing again after years of gradual fall.
    Treefayre2 likes this.
  12. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    The mental health project I worked on last year had a target market of men 40-50 at risk of suicide so I think @xena-warrior is right.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

  14. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    40-50 and 85+ have the highest absolute numbers as other posters have said, but more of those die from other causes than the 20-34 group. If someone of 20-34 dies the most likely reason is suicide.
  15. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I think the problem is two-fold. First is that mental health provisions are not as good as they could/should be, but arguably more important is that in order for someone to even be offered help with mental illness, they have to recognise that they are in need of help. It's a known fact that men are less likely to visit the GP, less likely to get regular health check ups and more likely to underestimate the severity of their health issues, so it follows that they're less likely to seek professional help when they're experiencing depression. There's not only a stigma around mental illness as a whole, but it does tend to be painted as an issue that mainly affects women. I don't know whether that's just because women tend to talk more openly about it or whether it's that there is a cultural bias which places more values on the common reasons women develop depression (postnatal depression, miscarriage, rape and domestic violence - all of which can have an impact on men but tend to be seen as women's issues) and ignores the pressures men face.
  16. felltogroundinberkeleysquare

    felltogroundinberkeleysquare Established commenter

    My straw pole of things I know suggests that women are prone to mental illness fairly evenly from puberty until late middle age ( mainly due to "doing it all", body image, frustration at work and the effects of being mothers, and probably the moon). I have a friend in the Samaritans, whose opinion I value ( known him since I was in my 20's as it was his night job - what a star), and he says that certainly men are more prone in the age brackets above ( middle age and older).

    There are so many reports of suicide jumpers onto train tracks these days that if you commute anywhere into London it is not that unusual to have a couple a week, and those are the ones I hear of.

    There is a lot of talk presently about opening up mental health issues, however, this has been around for years, when the NHS was better resourced. Confidentiality is often used as a closing off block of reporting a history of mental illness between professions, which conveniently gets them off the hook, whereas if you were reporting neglect about lack of cancer care you would get listened to. If you agitate, then you may then be blamed as the cause of the problem.

    These people have it all sewn up, and whilst it is right for celebs to speak out, the problems are systemic, unsupported and ultimately left to the most direct carers who are family if the affected are lucky enough to have any left.
  17. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    My husband was horrified when his best friend announced he was suffering from depression and was seeking medication and counselling. The very fact that said friend had a happy marriage and was earning more than him, and had a fantabulous HMRC pension waiting, apparently negated the possibility of unhappiness. Good for Mate for recognising, ackonewledging and getting successful treatment for episode. but I think dear Alfred might be more typical. He had a very bad period of unacknowledged grief and other-resentment (impotent wrath and disappointment being the major parts) late 90s. Was awful. If they won't admit it and just attack everyone, there's really nowhere you can go except behind a wall.
  18. felltogroundinberkeleysquare

    felltogroundinberkeleysquare Established commenter

    It's all very sad, but the "professions" are not distinguishing between the normal feelings of later age, loss and the disappointment of life which can come on, as opposed to serious mental illness such as spoken about by Anthony Clare. There is a difference between the regret we feel looking back, and it can take us just as much as any manic depressive illness or the like at any time, but the latter tend to be more long term. This is why mental health has to be integrated into every care service, and not just when people are literally at their wit's end, whatever the cause. And with that, in the words of Dave Allen, " May your God go with you", and by that I don't believe he meant God but quite the opposite, such as whatever keeps you going, and on that note, I'm off to mine.http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/mar/11/artsfeatures.comedy (Ps he was an atheist.
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Celebs can afford to have mental health issues, stop working for a while, pay for treatment, use the story as publicity, reasons of the pressure of celebrity that normal people don't face, makes it almost a glamorous illness or at least an illness of the glamorous.

    As you say though, normal people are left to cope - or not.
  20. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    There are the normal peaks and troughs of wherever your own personal happiness index is set, and these allow for normal functioning within the usual social parameters. Suicidal feelings, and action, fall well outside.

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