It’s a sad reality but in the United States, men are more likely to take their own lives than women. Males were four times as like to commit suicide than women. It’s the seventh leading cause of death in men, with men representing 79 percent of all U.S. suicide cases.
In recent years, middle age men have become most at risk to commit suicide. In 2007, people aged forty-five to fifty-four had the highest suicide rate of any age group: 17.7 per 100,000; and the rate for fifty-five to sixty-four-year-olds showed the greatest increase from the previous year.
A 2010 study published in the journal Public Health found suicide rates among baby boomers – particularly white men without college degrees – had gone up significantly.
Young men and older people are also at high risk for suicide. Suicide rates peak between ages 20 and 24. It is also high among the elderly over age 70.
Gender differences not only make the difference in if suicide is attempted but also how it is done.
According to research, nearly 60 percent of men choose firearms as compared to 30 percent of women. While 40 percent of women poison themselves, only 13 percent of men take that route.
Some of the common risk factors for suicide include:
- Using drugs and/or alcohol to help cope with problems.
- Social isolation or living alone.
- The inability to form or sustain meaningful relationships.
- Divorce or end of a relationship
- A history of physical and sexual abuse.
- Being bullied at school/college/work.
- Loss of a loved one through trauma or disease.
- Mental illness, particularly where this is related to depression. painful and/or debilitating illnesses or conditions.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, contact a doctor or hospital to get support and counseling. If you know someone who is in imminent danger, call 911 and do not leave them alone.