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Men in their 30s, 40s and 50s are at the highest risk of suicide, with the changing job market and family breakdowns leaving them in turmoil about their role in life, a study has found.
About 3,000 men aged between 30 and 60 take their own lives each year. This is more than twice the rate among young men â€“ those in their late teens and 20s â€“ who used to be the highest-risk group.
The group of men most at risk, many born during the Swinging Sixties, are described as a â€˜buffer generationâ€™ â€“ unsure whether to behave like their traditionally masculine fathers or younger men who are more in touch with their feelings.
Experts say cultural changes, such as the decline of traditional masculine jobs and lifelong marriages, have challenged the menâ€™s sense of â€˜masculine pride and identityâ€™. Men in the 35-55 age group also tend to be more dependent on their partner for emotional support than women are, and have fewer friends outside marriage, so they take divorce and separation harder, according to the report from the Samaritans.
Working-class men have been affected by recent rises in unemployment and the shift to a service economy which values people skills. They are ten times more likely to kill themselves than affluent men.
Stephen Platt, professor of health policy at Edinburgh University, said: â€˜Weâ€™re thinking of the rise in female employment, births outside marriage, the rise in divorce and cohabitation, second and subsequent marriages, lone parent households, step-families, solo living, partnering and de-partnering.
â€˜All these trends mean that men are less likely to be with a lifelong partner, and if you ally that with their difficulties in coping emotionally and being able to go out and establish new relationships with less support to fall back on than women, that makes them more vulnerable to psychological ill health and suicide.â€™
Until eight years ago, men aged 15 to 35 had the highest suicide rate, along with elderly people, but both of these have gone down, while suicides in mid-life, particularly the 35-to-55 age group, have gone up.
Professor Platt, a trustee of the charity, added: â€˜One of the problems for men is this need to aspire to a kind of gold standard of masculinity which is often very difficult to meet.
â€˜The current generation of men are often called the buffer generation. They are caught between an older generation which is more silent, more resilient, less expecting to deal with emotions openly and a younger generation who are more used to expressing emotions in an open way.â€™
Rory Oâ€™Connor, one of the authors, a professor of psychology at Stirling University, said this generation may carry a higher suicide risk with them throughout their lives â€“ what scientists call a â€˜cohort effectâ€™.
He said: â€˜Suicide is the ultimate response to feeling trapped. The male role is less well defined than it was 20, 30 years ago and men have great difficulty responding to the challenge of how we define ourselves as men.â€™
The report recommends better education to help young people cope with life stresses and helping healthcare workers identify those known to be at high risk of suicide such as heavy drinkers.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ch-30.html
I just have to add here, I have a son and I am so worried about his future, girls are being brought up these days to not care how a man feels or what he wants, its all about them and pretty much what they can get from men. As a Mum I will warn and do warn my son to be very very careful of girls.
- AngelsSin , London, United Kingdom, 20/9/2012 15:53
Interesting comment coming from a woman who understands what is going on in society.
If you talk to older women, 50+, old school type, you would be surprised to see that they would agree with what we preach here, they know todays women are 'junk' compared to women 30-40 years ago
modern males are having an identity crisis. modern females are too, but the culture is becoming more and more orientated towards women, leaving men feeling far more alienated.
males are striving for an identity which is an idea of masculinity that is entirely superficial; the outer appearence of strength regardless of their inner state. they are being given no clue about how to develop true strength which can only come from within and is gender neutral. the modern ideals of masculinity originated as an outcome of the inner strength males traditionally had when they were raised in a far more mentally healthy time period in far less divided societies. emulating the outcome of strength will not give you the source of it, that can only come from truth through developing awareness.
as generally safe as the modern environment is physically, mentally it is comparable to a WW1 battlefeild.
i'm amazed at the terrific thoughts here--all spot on. i'm an interesting guy headed to britain soon 2 do some acting. i cant get a date. the women working at wendys--single moms with missing teeth are doing just fine -- WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and yes---even I thought about it. although it was a passing thought--when you live forced celibacy--it messes with you. this is an EPIDEMIC. and its getting worse. women today are a joke compared to even the 80s and early 90s..
It wasn't like this in the 1980's and early 1990's -- that's for sure bud.