Aiden Connor commits suicide
Coronation Street tackled the huge topic of male suicide this week through the death of Aiden Connor, who took his own life after secretly battling depression for months and finding himself unable to talk to family and friends about his plight. (Link to Coronation Street story ) Coronation Street wrote the scenes in conjunction with the Samaritans and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Suicide isn’t a popular topic of conversation so storylines like this one can really save lives. As a character, Aiden was a popular, good looking guy, who had his life ahead of him. Successful business, money in the bank, a close knit and supportive family and solid friends. But as the real life statistics demonstrate, people who seem to have it ‘all to live for’ are equally at risk from feeling like they cannot continue.
Shocking statistics about male suicide
Horrifying isn’t it?
Not all depressed people feel suicidal but depression is the most common condition associated with suicide. With suicide affecting so many people and families – why isn’t it being talked about more?
Men and Suicide: Why it’s a social issue
The Samaritans released a report that you can read HERE detailing that the suicide risk for men is higher because…
Societal expectations placed on men
There is a high expectation for men to perform in line with stereotypical roles, attributes and behaviours that society expects of them. The “masculine gold standard” of power, feeling in control and invincibility – with feelings of shame, inferiority or defeat if they don’t meet that standard. Times and stereotypes are rapidly changing for younger generations now, but having a job or status and ‘being a man’ equals feeling in control. The Samaritans comment that when men are depressed or in crisis, they can feel out of control, and be propelled towards suicidal behaviour as a way of regaining control.
Emotional responses and resilience
Do you remember that term… ‘Big boys don’t cry’, ‘Strong upper lip’, ‘Who is a brave little soldier’? Times are changing and boys are being taught to show their feelings, however previous generations weren’t given this message so strongly.
Use of Alcohol or drugs
Statistics show that men are more likely to use alcohol or drugs to cope with crisis or distress. Alcohol and drugs can lower your inhibitions and leave you feeling more vulnerable and out of control.
Breakdown of relationships
Research has suggested that a man relies on his emotional partners for support, so if he is then faced with a relationship breakdown or being separated from his children, he loses a huge part of his support network. How about if we add it to the fact that male peer groups and friendship circles tend to decrease after 30? Loneliness is a very significant cause of a high risk of suicide.
Common Suicide risk factors include :
- Using drugs and/or alcohol to help cope with emotions, relationships, the pressure of work or other issues
- Social isolation or living alone
- Not being able to form or sustain meaningful relationships
- Divorce or relationship breakdowns
- A history of physical and sexual abuse
- Bullying in the workplace or college
- Loss of a loved one through trauma or disease
- Mental illness, depression and painful or debilitating illnesses or conditions
And the risk for older men?
Suicide is most strongly associated with depression, physical pain and illness, living alone and feelings of hopelessness and guilt.
Signs and Symptoms
If these symptoms sound like you or someone you know – get some help. Speak to your doctor, call one of the helplines, contact a therapist or tell a family member or friend. It doesn’t have to feel like this. Help is available. And people WANT to help.
- Lacking energy or feeling tired
- Feeling restless and agitated
- Feeling tearful
- Not wanting to talk to or be with people
- Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
- Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
Who can you contact for support?
Learn about how to help someone at risk
The Zero Suicide Alliance is a collaborative of National Health Service Trusts,
The alliance is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of and promoting FREE suicide prevention training which is accessible to all. For more information, click on zerosuicidealliance.com
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Phone: 0800 58 58 58
I am a Counsellor, Hypnotherapist and Coach, and have worked with people who experience anxiety, depression and tension for 20 years. I specialise in working with men who want to overcome barriers in their work and personal lives so that they can move forward with ease and confidence to create the success they want. Click here to read ABOUT ME
If you would like to book for a free consultation, then please give me a call on 07786 134541 or use this link HERE.
Hope you enjoyed this article and it has provoked a conversation with somebody you know. Please share it with anyone who may find it useful. 84 deaths a week through male suicide? Something needs to change. Let us start that change NOW.