Suicide rates in the United States and in the United Kingdom are climbing ever higher each and every year over the last two decades, which is remarkable considering the fact that the other 10 leading causes of death in both of these countries have seen a significant decline.
Even more interesting is that the majority of people contemplating, attempting, and succeeding at suicide are middle-aged men, a figure that simply wasn’t the case 10 or 15 years ago.
According to the research produced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, suicide rates for middle-aged men (men between the ages of 45 and 65) have jumped up almost 45% between 1999 and 2015.
This isn’t an insignificant figure.
Why are more middle-aged men contemplating and moving through with suicide?
Though the researchers behind this new information have been trying to figure out exactly why middle-aged men in specific are so likely to commit suicide, the truth of the matter is that doctors in these organizations still aren’t quite sure of why this specific group more than maybe any other is so susceptible to suicide today as opposed to in the past.
However there are some theories, and the real answer is likely an amalgamation of most of these theories combining with one another to create a “perfect storm”, so to speak.
Men today are under a significant amount of pressure, maybe more than they have ever been placed under in the past. Because of technology, the world today is constantly changing, of all things, and morphing right underneath our feet.
Once stable jobs and careers are completely disappearing, the role of the band in romantic relationships has shifted, more and more men feel disconnected from their families and their communities, and the old “rights of initiation” into manhood have slipped into the past and disappeared almost all together.
Each and every one of these contributing factors – combined with the “instant gratification and almost instant disappointment” culture that the world is moving towards play a significant role in how these middle-aged men feel about themselves.
Depression is up (as evidenced by the significant spike in sales of prescription antidepressants and visits to therapy), but men feel like they are still left behind – especially those that realize that they are “glory days” and prime are steadily behind them.