According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die by suicide more than 3x as often as women. In fact, white males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2018.
Those are startling statistics. But what’s the reason behind these numbers? Well, according to a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) survey, the number of men who seek treatment for depression is far lower than the number of women who seek out guidance.
Some mental health experts believe that certain cultural and social norms, as well as rigid views of masculinity, most likely prevent many men from seeking help. Men also have a much more difficult time trusting, opening up, and communicating their feelings.
Mental health issues also tend to manifest much differently in men than women, resulting in issues going ignored and untreated. Men often either don’t recognize they are in emotional pain or take a “walk it off” attitude toward it. This leads to unprocessed emotions building and building until the man may act out and commit violence against himself or someone else.
Therapy for Suicidal Thoughts
Should you or someone you know be experiencing thoughts of suicide, it is critically important that you seek help. While a high level of risk requires hospitalization or intense in-patient out-patient treatment, those not currently in a high-risk crisis can be successfully treated through psychotherapy.
Therapy offers a safe space for men to open up and admit they are hurting and need help. There is no judgment, only compassion, and guided healing. A focus of this therapy will be to address the factors that led to thoughts of suicide, ways to resist the urge to self-harm, and creating a plan that includes coping strategies to address suicidal thoughts should they recur.
Your therapist will also determine whether you may benefit from prescription medications, which are sometimes necessary as a temporary aid to cognitive behavioral therapy.
You don’t need to suffer alone. And seeking help does not make you weak. It actually makes you very strong. If you have had thoughts of harming yourself, please reach out to someone. You may contact me and I would be very happy to discuss what therapy offers in more detail and how I might be able to help.