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Old 01-05-2018, 06:29 PM
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The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

Male suicide is a major problem.

This is from the British Columbia Medical Journal..

"Suicide in men has been described as a “silent epidemic.” It has a disturbingly high incidence and is a major contributor to men’s mortality. In British Columbia, suicide is one of the top three causes of mortality among men aged 15 and 44. Among men of all ages in Canada, suicide ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in 2007"

While accumulating empirical evidence confirms that men in Western nations consistently die by suicide at higher rates than women (with the pattern reversed for nonfatal suicidal behaviors), surprisingly few explanatory frameworks have been developed to account for this persistent pattern."

I think one obvious big difference between men and women is that women tend to confide more in friends and family. And of course, we cry, which relieves stress. Whereas men will often prefer to keep their own counsel. And, admitting to a mental health problem isn't something that men generally do. They keep personal stuff to themselves. How awful that must be.

In your opinion what do you think is the contributing factor to this? Why are so many men committing suicide?
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:50 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

It is a major problem in Australia as well. Our indigenous people have an even higher rate of suicide than the general male population.
There are many factors- powerlessness being one of them.
I was part of a "suicide survivors" group because my mother committed suicide. So I got to listen to many stories of the families that these young males left behind.
Why remains the biggest question.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:22 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

I turned to spirituality instead.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:07 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

Western culture is structured so that a certain percentage of males are considered disposable. That's why the suicide rate for men is many times higher, the incarceration rate is many times higher, homelessness for men is quite a bit greater, murder rates are much higher both as perpetrators and victims, the rate of childlessness for men is about ten percent higher than with females, the number of men with dangerous jobs besides the obvious military or police jobs is higher than it is for women. Women live longer probably do to more social safety nets and better health care too. For instance, 61% of women will receive government assistance in their lifetime vs 49% for men. We live in a society that treats women's lives as more valuable than mens.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:26 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

This is an easy one. Women pretend to have mental health issues, whilst men pretend not to have them. However, the reality is probably that men drink more alcohol and are more likely to make impulsive decisions whilst under the influence.

Last edited by ianuk : 01-05-2018 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:05 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

In a suicide prevention workshop i took a few years ago, the stats stated that 50 year old men held the title for the highest success rate of suicide.
Women and teens were not far behind in attempts, but much lower in successes.
Also notable, men are far more likely to use guns and women/teens more likely to use pills, which certainly sways the success/failure rate variations.

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Old 01-06-2018, 03:57 AM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

The Bridge.
Powerful documentry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnsj...hjL yb42kawDZ

The Bridge is a 2006 British-American documentary film by Eric Steel spanning one year of filming at the famed Golden Gate Bridge which
crosses the Golden Gate entrance to San Francisco Bay, connecting the city of San Francisco, California to the Marin Headlands of Marin County,
in 2004. The film captured a number of suicides, and featured interviews with family and friends of some of the identified people who had thrown
themselves from the bridge that year.

The film was inspired by a 2003 article titled "Jumpers," written by Tad Friend for The New Yorker magazine.
The film crew shot almost 10,000 hours of footage, recording 23 of the known 24 suicides off the bridge in 2004
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:11 AM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

I personally don't think that women's lives are valued more than men. What I have observed is that society has rigid gender structures that it expects both men and women to conform to, and these cause different kinds of pressures. For example, as a voluntarily childfree woman, I've been verbally attacked by otherwise intelligent people who seem to think that there's something wrong with me. It used to bother me ad make me doubt myself, but these days such people get the sharp side of my tongue.

f you think about the societal pressures on men, about how they're expected to act, what they're supposed to want - you can see how the toxic gender stereotyping can lead to feelings of failure, depression, not meeting society's standards. It's especially hard for people who not only don't fit the stereotype because maybe they're emotionally sensitive, caring, unconfrontational, etc., but add into that mix people who are not gender binary, or have a different sexual orientation than those currently "accepted", and you have the ingredients for serious mental health problems.

Also add into that mix the rising costs of living, the lack of decent jobs, the poor economy, and you get this miasma of utter helplessness. Even with a degree or post-grad qualification, jobs aren't easily available and even when they are employed, many people don't have job security. Society also still expects men to be the main breadwinners and women to give up their future to be mothers, so there's added pressure there too. (Again, a big part of the reason I'm childfree by choice is that there's no way I'm giving up my entire future - even if I had children and went back into the workforce, I'd have my career set back by more than a decade.) Plus ageism - if you're out of a job and you're over forty, say, then you're going to struggle, as even though they won't admit it, a lot of companies don't like hiring older middle-aged people.

WRT homelessness, most women have children, and children are a priority for authorities to home, so women do have an advantage, if one wants to call it that, whereby, as the main caregiver to the children (again, a societal expectation - there's no reason, beyond breastfeeding, that men can't be as good as women at child rearing). They will be housed along with their children; unless dad is the main caregiver and mum isn't in the picture, or they're a married family unit, children and mum will be the priority, so many men will be suffering from being homeless.

With all this, I don't really think it's surprising that men have high suicide rates and high homelessness rates. It's disgraceful, but it's not about women being valued more; it's about the toxic, rigid expectations attached to gender roles, age roles (how we are required to be adults, must be able to cope, never be childish, etc.), and how unhelpful and uncaring society is in general.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:12 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

DarkFlights, I agree with you that it's the gender stereotyping. Men get shamed for any failure. "There is no excuse for failure." Which means any bad luck in life becomes "a failure" and translates in a sick way into "You Are A Failure." No matter what caused the problem.

Huge company downsizes and throws out a third of its employees? He's A Failure. Can't get another job immediately and takes a big pay cut once one comes along a year later? He's A Failure. Blame the Victim is a principle deep in mainstream society and men Don't Complain if they're living by that definition of masculinity. So when they break, they are more likely to break down completely and be unable to endure it.

Men are never supposed to ask for help with anything, it means you're less than a man.

Both sets of gender roles do something twisted, they attack and de-gender anyone who doesn't conform. Period. There are some interesting paradoxes involved.

"Girls who wear glasses never get passes." Girls who read too much will never attract a man. It's not feminine.

Guys who wear glasses are just asking to be bullied, they're the funny nerd in the back row pushed around by the successful guys with muscles. It's not masculine to wear glasses or read too much.

Reading anything that wasn't required by a teacher is reading too much, just saying...

Yet, mysteriously, my parents met and got together at a university, flirted at bookstores and married. They had me. But look at what the stereotypes say about them. They couldn't do it because they happened to read for pleasure and wear glasses.

You get things like that and you get this immense shaming of an indeterminate de-gendered less-than kind of people, who aren't the Norm. It's presented as Normal when it's actually anything but if you start breaking it down, that means lucky enough to have a good job and good health and good looks and good school and live in a good place in the country with no kind of trouble at home... it's quite a collection of lucky circumstance that results in a pretty small minority of people who fit "the mainstream" without ever having major trouble in their lives or even anything different in their hobbies.

Seriously, what difference does it make who watched TV and who read a book on their evening off? There's things to be said for both.

But the conformity is something deep and ugly, a life few can live at all that strips away anything that might be personal in favor of what's labeled as appropriate. She has to enjoy knitting and women's crafts, he has to enjoy only the men's crafts, maybe leather and wood. Art is almost in a category with reading books and wearing glasses.

Fortunately for us, especially since I'm disabled, artists get a pass on a lot of it. Artists get to be eccentric, creative, weird, colorful and individual. We get to go our own way and do things the way we want to. We are also spared the death sentence of retirement.

When a man holds his job as the center of his identity, retirement can kill him. You're done. Sit down and rest. After he's slept for a week, life has no purpose, there's nothing to do, there's nothing interesting in life because he never had enough time off to develop anything else. Work came first. Guys die a lot right after retirement, either from various health problems suddenly getting a lot worse or from active suicide.

Despair can kill.

Oh and minorities can't be Normal no matter how much they try, it just doesn't work.

This was a big issue to me because until I was in my forties, I didn't realize I was physically disabled. I thought I was just making life choices and not wasting my time on things I didn't enjoy, not making ever more elaborate and complicated adaptations to the lack of some pretty standard human abilities. Like walking down the block to catch the bus, sort of thing.

It was the shape of my skeleton. It was in my bones. It caused excruciating pain, so I developed a pain tolerance that got ridiculous and half the time acted drunk because pain will do that to the brain. Until one more disability piled on top of all the rest, fibromyalgia, I struggled through life spending five times the body energy on every action as anyone else did... and thought this was normal. I thought everyone else was that miserable too.

There is something wrong with this outlook in life, and breaking the gender roles is a big part of it. This all gets very self destructive unless you're in lucky circumstances and no one around you has their lives disturbed by any tragedy of any kind. It can break on anything.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:34 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

I've always found girls in glasses very sexy. I prize intelligence in women. Not necessarily intellectual, street smart is fine too (which is not to say that a lack of high intelligence is necessarily a problem, but all of my serious girlfriends have been smart one way or the other or both, as are all my female friends, in some cases much smarter than me).

Being a musician is even better than being an artist for neutralizing what would be seen as weirdo behavior in men, since you're not expected to be normal, though you do have to watch out for those guys who have to move color TVs for a living getting all resentful.

Now that ain't workin', that's the way you do it...

I've courted oblivion many times since I got sick. I won't deliberately leave this world before my time while my sweetie is still alive. But if she goes before I do, all bets are off.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:44 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Black
Male suicide is a major problem.

This is from the British Columbia Medical Journal..

"Suicide in men has been described as a “silent epidemic.” It has a disturbingly high incidence and is a major contributor to men’s mortality. In British Columbia, suicide is one of the top three causes of mortality among men aged 15 and 44. Among men of all ages in Canada, suicide ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in 2007"

While accumulating empirical evidence confirms that men in Western nations consistently die by suicide at higher rates than women (with the pattern reversed for nonfatal suicidal behaviors), surprisingly few explanatory frameworks have been developed to account for this persistent pattern."

I think one obvious big difference between men and women is that women tend to confide more in friends and family. And of course, we cry, which relieves stress. Whereas men will often prefer to keep their own counsel. And, admitting to a mental health problem isn't something that men generally do. They keep personal stuff to themselves. How awful that must be.

In your opinion what do you think is the contributing factor to this? Why are so many men committing suicide?

Interesting that your quote came from the British Columbia Medical Journal as I didn't know there was one here! But also, for me, because there was a terrible murder/attempted suicide by a man just a few blocks from where I live. He killed his two small daughters on Christmas Day and tried to kill himself. From what I understand from my wife (I haven't had the heart to read details) he had a serious gambling issue and had lost his savings and his job, the power in his apartment was cut off and he was about to be evicted. His wife had apparently tried to prevent the children from going to him on Christmas but the court had allowed it. So obviously an example of a toxic mix of gambling addiction and psycho-social problems leading to despair and terrible tragedy.

Does society value men's lives less than women's? I don't know that there is a definitive answer. I think we are still living with the effects of historic systemic discrimination against women, that prompted governments to do a bit more to support women getting into institutions of higher education and to provide social supports. The fact that we have lived with a significant discrepancy in life expectancy for decades between men and women and a significant discrepancy in suicide rates is suggestive of a lack of concern for the health and well-being of men, but that could again be simply a systemic holdover from the era when men were expected to be strong and look after themselves and to live with the consequences of their own failures or poor judgment.

The workplace today with its emphasis on office work in social situations and the loss of many well paying jobs in industry tends to make it someone easier for women to achieve successful employment and decent jobs, relative to men. The top positions are still of course dominated by the most successful men, leading to a perception that men have a decided advantage overall, when the reality may be that some highly favoured men still have a real gender advantage, but a significant proportion of men not only lack this advantage, but may also in some cases be at a disadvantage. A lot of late teens and 20-something men (the sons of friends and family) seem to be quite lost--unable to find a career or métier, unable to find a solid relationship. Isolated perhaps by the ease with which they can get lost in video games or online worlds.

But neither of the two male suicide victims I am familiar with fit the expected pattern. Both were employed, seemingly successfully and social young men and other factors seem to have led them to suicide in their 20s.

It is a troubling trend as it suggest a lot of despair and unhappiness out there.
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:03 PM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

Most women I've known are far stronger emotionally than their male counterparts. Many nerdy types at school are now world leaders, so I doubt it's that. I know people with glasses that are beautiful and handsome, I doubt they feel at all inferior. I think it has far more to do with a feeling inside of worthlessness. I have never really understood suicide, but I do think that if someone wishes to take their own life, it's their choice. Albeit an extremely bad choice if they have children.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:24 AM
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

I'm basically socially disabled, let's not get into the "it's all my fault" stuff especially since this is a slippery subject. Some is; some isn't. It may suffice for some to explain that I've always lacked a certain instinct of how to navigate social situations and little natural assimilation for so-called norms. If that wasn't enough as it is, I wasn't lucky enough to get the alleged "gifts" that are supposed to come with social awkwardness; instead, I was blessed with quite a few learning issues instead. The net result is no competency in any area, at all, and diminished ability to gain any even with significant effort.

I deal with thoughts like this every single day, essentially. The "ideation" comes and goes but is usually in some way linked to feeling worthless because I'm too differently-abled to fit *any* of the general expectations, especially considering my age group. Yes, tons of folks in the world have it worse than me... still, whether it's selfish or not, that fact isn't often enough to avoid feeling worthless/useless in my case.

Last edited by Batman55 : 01-07-2018 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:41 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman55
I'm basically socially disabled, let's not get into the "it's all my fault" stuff especially since this is a slippery subject. Some is; some isn't. It may suffice for some to explain that I've always lacked a certain instinct of how to navigate social situations and little natural assimilation for so-called norms. If that wasn't enough as it is, I wasn't lucky enough to get the alleged "gifts" that are supposed to come with social awkwardness; instead, I was blessed with quite a few learning issues instead. The net result is no competency in any area, at all, and diminished ability to gain any even with significant effort.

I deal with thoughts like this every single day, essentially. The "ideation" comes and goes but is usually in some way linked to feeling worthless because I'm too differently-abled to fit *any* of the general expectations, especially considering my age group. Yes, tons of folks in the world have it worse than me... still, whether it's selfish or not, that fact isn't often enough to avoid feeling worthless/useless in my case.

That's the problem with the structure of society. The average human being is extremely shallow, they also, on average don't have any clue of the world. When I lived in Brazil my fellow countrymen/women would talk to me about what they presumed was a third world country (Brazil). I would explain to them that the average IQ in the UK was around 104, whilst in Brazil, the average IQ is around 116.

Women in general that I've met think all homosexual men speak in female tones and have limp wrists. I've known homosexual men that would knock you out without thinking about it. I've known nerdy looking types that are tougher than hunky builders. The public in general and the working class especially, are all in all, pretty thick and the worst group in society for judging others.

Here's a true story from 1712, it's about the last court appearance of a woman being tried for being a witch. The public are baying for her blood and demanding she be burned at the stake. The judge asked the public what evidence they had that the woman was a witch. There were cries from the crowds that the woman could fly. The judges response was. Well there is no law against flying, she can go free.

Preconceived ideas of image, of how one should act and other aesthetic rules of society, need to be stripped to the core with much rethinking. However, we are basically a species that longs for acceptance and approval. I have no idea why anyone needs either the approval or acceptance of another.

And, if you wish to prove a point of acceptance and approval, you can do it right here at WC. Go post in a section that you haven't frequented and see what response you get compared to others that have already been accepted and approved.

Last edited by ianuk : 01-07-2018 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:40 AM
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Katie Black Katie Black is offline
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Re: The Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethanyt
It is a major problem in Australia as well. Our indigenous people have an even higher rate of suicide than the general male population.
There are many factors- powerlessness being one of them.
I was part of a "suicide survivors" group because my mother committed suicide. So I got to listen to many stories of the families that these young males left behind.
Why remains the biggest question.


Australia does have a major problem. I am not sure why that shocked me. Sorry about your mom, I often think how awful it is for the people left behind
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