Gender stereotypes and why suicide is higher among men.
Some of us are perhaps still shocked and heartbroken by the death of Rock Legend, Chester Bennington, the singer from Linken Park, Avicii, Swedish EDM DJ. Chester committed suicide by hanging himself in his private home, alone. When I read this, I felt deeply sad. I didn't know Chester, of course, but something more than that made me feel overwhelmed by this news, - it triggered the memory of my friend Alex who, like Chester, committed suicide by hanging himself nearly 3 years ago - in his home.
The memory of when I spoke to him last time is fresh in my mind, he seemed in good form, in a good spirits, smiling and laughing. It never crossed my mind that it was the last time I would see him. A few weeks later, he was gone.
I knew he was struggling with depression and drug addiction, and he was seeking help from professionals, but obviously it was not enough!. I wish I could have helped him more but when I asked him at that time he said he was 'doing fine and ok'.
"Often it's the loudest voice in the room, the life and soul of the party, that is really struggling"
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics UK the amount of people who die from suicide is 3 times higher than all road accidents, cancers, infectious and parasitic diseases combined.
It also reported that men are 4 times likely to die by suicide than women. More men in the UK have died by suicide in the past 5 years than all British soldiers fighting in all wars since 1945.
In 2015, the total 6,188 number of suicides registered in the UK, 75% of them were men. These numbers are the accumulation of thousands upon thousands of untold stories, of men who didn't make it...
Although as many as 90% of suicides occur in the context of mental illness there is always an environmental element that can be the trigger. In addition, most of us like to think that the type of men who die by suicide are the unwell, disturbed, unlucky, or who stumble at life's biggest hurdles and are too weak to move on. However, this is not the necessarily the case and suicide in men can occur in many different environments and circumstances.
The thing people always want to know is: "why?
Professor Rory O'Connor, a psychologist at Glasgow University who has research published in the British Medical Journal in 2013, showed that during the 2008 recession, English regions with the largest rise in unemployment had the largest increase in suicides. However, in his research, he also showed the puzzle that most people who died from suicide were at work.
Consider recent high-profiles/celebrities example of suicide; like Chester Bennington (Singer - Linkin Park), Chris Cornell (Singer - SoundGarden), Robin Williams (Actor), Alexander McQueen (Fashion Designer) and many more. It is often men who had it all - money, fame, and the respect and admiration of the public. And yet some of us still think - why did they do that?
We forget to consider that their mental health is part of reason they end their life, we forget to think that all those external glories and glamour may not able to alleviate their inner pain.
Perhaps the simple answer is, we don't know why - simply because we refuse to talk about it.
Most researches think that the answer to this complex "why" question is a combination of numerous different risk factors and negative life events that can push vulnerable people over the edge.
Well, we know common factors and experiences that contribute to suicide: relationship breakdowns, bereavement, socioeconomic factors and mental health problems. These factors affect women and men, but it still remains a puzzle that leads to reoccurring research that shows men are much more likely to commit suicide than women across a broad age group - the rate for men is 3 times higher than women.
It is equally true that women are around 3 times more likely to make an attempt. The difference is normally attributed to the method; men are more likely than women to choose a more lethal method such as hanging or shooting themselves.
Dr Martin Seager, a Clinical Psychologist for Samaritans, Central London branch, whose works focused on male psychology, traces this paradox of gender. He suggests that women are in general more prepared to seek help and show their distress.
A female attempt is often closer to a cry for help, hoping for a response, whereas men typically are seeking a different outcome. According to Dr Seager, when a man makes a suicide attempt, he doesn't want anyone to hear it, he wants to succeed.
Men are not only having to fight the stigma of mental health but also that towards gender roles.
As a society we tend to be more sympathetic toward women than men. We also view men who cannot deal with their own issues as weak, so men are more reluctant to admit to the problems they face, hence they do not receive as much support which may lead to increase likelihood to suicide.
From an early age, young boys are often described as being 'big', 'strong', and 'tough'. There are common sayings like 'man up', 'boys don't cry', or 'you're so brave'.
Although attitudes toward traditional masculinity and male roles have evolved, there is still strong gender stereotypes expectations, such as the idea that men should be strong and self sufficient and that asking for help is a sign of weakness and vulnerability. Men are under great pressure to be self reliant and expected to be the breadwinner. Loss of employment and debt see many middle aged men facing the prospect of living in poverty, causing stress and not only a loss of identity but also a loss of masculinity.
The breakdown of relationships can have negative effects on both emotional and physical wellbeing. As the result of it, men are more likely to be separated from their children. Moreover, middle aged men tend to have fewer friends than any other group and rely on their partners for emotional support.
There is also no evidence to suggest that depression hits men harder than women.
Although there is no simple solution to reducing the number of men who take their own lives, I think one of the most important things we can do to reduce suicide in men is - to encourage ourselves talk more and open-up about our feelings and emotions, while ridding ourselves of the unrealistic and outdated expectations we place on ourselves as men. It is also important to sign post to supportive charities such as the Samaritans.
For many men opening up about their feeling is the biggest social taboo - it's what girls do and there is no bigger embarrassment for a 'real man' than to be compared to a girl.
Samaritans provides emotional support, 24 hours for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or thoughts of suicide. 08457 90 90 90.
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Can a relationship survive after cheating?
"If the feeling is mutual, the effort will be equal"
"Can a relationship survive after cheating?" is the most common question after infidelity has occurred, yet is not easy to get the answer. It's more than, whether anyone can answer this question. However, counselling for infidelity or well known as cheating is not uncommon.
Many relationships or marriages do not survive infidelity because the trust has been broken and forgiveness is hard. Most of the time, the infidelity occurs when one of the partners (aware or not aware) feels dissatisfaction in their relationship, or one of the partners feels dissatisfaction in themselves.
However, there are many other reasons for cheating, and they may have very little to do with the relationship, the attitudes, appearances or the behaviours of either spouse. Let's look at a positive way of repairing your relationship and to build the trust that has been broken after the infidelity.
The first step is to involve your partner who has been offended by the infidelity, to attempt to bridge the gaps that have been developed.
Repaired After CheatingTake responsibility.
Face your feelings and your fears, and share these with your partner/spouse who have been offended. Sometimes, the emotional closeness in your relationship has been cut off resulting in one or both of you becoming vulnerable to outside attentions.
Choose time to have this conversation and let the offended partner processes the information in their own time. Please note: it is up to you to disclose the details of the incident. Disclosing it too much or or not enough has equal effect of the injury, however this will differ with each couple in different situation or relationships.
Acknowledge that what you did was hurtful to your partner and be mindful that this may take time to heal. By acknowledging that you are conscious that your partner is injured by your infidelity, coupled with genuine apology and empathy, you express your commitment to repair the relationship.
Committed to change
This may be easy to say than be done. This normally will need a strong commitment by both of you. Building trust after being cheated on or lied to is a challenging period in the relationship. It will need a plan to overcome this. Often, this is where counselling plays a big role in mediating and developing a plan in helping each partner heal.
Put the infidelity or cheating in perspective.
By talking with a therapist, you may be able to get a clearer view of issues that may have contributed to the infidelity and to process your feelings and help you and your partner addressing underlying issues within the relationship. This may involve discussing mutual problems and bring all the secrets out in the open. This may also show that you are able to commit that you are not engaging outside the relationship again,
Although, you may not be interested in details of the affair, you can only find relief from wondering and final closure on the affair by letting go all the secrets. The secrets may make you angry, you can deal with the anger in therapy as part of the healing process.
Benefits of Mung Beans and recipe
Our mental wellbeing is described as mental state - This is, how we are feeling and how well we can cope with day to day life. Our mental health is dynamic, it changes from moment to moment, day to day, or week to week and so on and so forth. Whilst our mental health is needed to be dealt by a trained professional, there are many things you can DO to promote your mental wellbeing. We often fail to remember that food has a major role in the development of our mental wellbeing.
According to some sources there is a link between Diet and Mental Health. As well as its impact on short and long-term, evidence also indicate that food plays a crucial contribution role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems, such as depression, schizophrenia, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and Alzheimer's disease.
Some studies suggest that good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental wellbeing conditions may well be influenced by dietary factors. Of course Mental wellbeing affects our physical health too.
A healthy diet can help recovery, and it should also sit alongside other treatments recommended by your doctor.
What effect does food have on our mental health?
Food not only affects how we feel and how we behave it affects mental health directly through the nutrients that controls our hormones, and indirectly through the emotional impact of having a physical condition caused by an unhealthy diet.
Toxic Relationship And Mental Health
Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, yet we often forget how crucial our connections with other people are for our physical, mental health and wellbeing. Now, our society is more conscious about health than ever before, and we are paying increased attention to nutrition labels, fitness and wellbeing, organic alternatives, toxin-free environments and lots more. And yet, many health-conscious people don't realise that the quality of their relationship can be just as toxic to their health as fast food or a toxic environment. In fact, unhealthy relationship can turn into a toxic internal environment that can lead to stress, depression, anxiety and even medical problems.
We long for connection, and often this longing can lead us to settle for less than healthy relationships. Even worse, we may be so hungry to belong, or desperate to connect that we continue in toxic relationships when they are actually ruining our lives and happiness. It's not the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship, but it's the quality of your close relationship that matters.
Can a relationship be toxic? And how would you know?
Toxic means poisonous, damaging or deadly. A toxic relationship is often characterised by ongoing, mutually destructive modes of relating between partners. Such behaviors can involve jealousy, possessiveness, dominance, manipulation, desperation, selfishness or rejection.
The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
Article written by Patrick Bailey - Freelancer Writer.
Awareness of the connection of substance abuse and mental health illness is currently increasing as more and more people are seeking help from these disorders. It is a general knowledge that substance abuse is a life-wrecking issue that has destroyed the lives of many people and has caused the economy a hefty amount of money. As a result of the destructive nature of substance abuse, many health advocates discovered that substance abuse also triggers mental illnesses like depression. Several drugs found to be psychoactive have revealed a direct link to mental diseases like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Substance abuse and mental diseases are prevalent issues that our society is currently facing. These two constantly intersect from various angles. These destructive issues work together to create a miserable and most often inescapable suffering cycle.
A person experiencing both substance abuse and mental illness is known to be under the category of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Addiction and mental disorder are dangerous, and it could be lethal if both disorders are active and working together. It is crucial that a person with dual diagnosis should be treated for both issues in order to achieve successful recovery.
In reality, drug abuse, addiction and mental disorder are serious problems and would definitely require professional help. For some, it takes long years of personal battle and entails unwavering effort. Having to deal with both issues at the same time will decrease each of its effects but also present new challenges that could be extremely difficult to overcome alone because of the compounding nature of the condition.
That is why it is important that to seek professional help when symptoms of any of the issues are seen or manifested. Select the best dual diagnosis treatment center that will greatly help you or your loved one solve the troubling problem.
What is Dual Diagnosis?Dual Diagnosis materialized as a concept more than a couple of decades ago. Unfortunately, most medical establishments could still not understand its concept well, even if it is just very simple. There is still very limited number of best dual diagnostics treatment centers. The term dual diagnosis is used to refer to a person who has a mental illness such as bipolar or mood disorder and a problem with drugs or alcohol.
It also refers to a practice that treats people who experience both a psychiatric disorder and substance abuse and addiction. For instance, you can be addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, or gambling. And you can have a psychiatric disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, or schizophrenia to name a few.
It is also very possible that an alcoholic can also suffer from a manic disorder or a drug addict from schizophrenia or clinical depression. The sad reality is that these are examples of the dual nature of the disease that the great majority of addicts are currently experiencing that are still massively undiagnosed and untreated. This is also one of the key reasons why there is a high incidence of relapse.
Why I Can't Sleep At Night ...
Having trouble sleeping is not uncommon.
According to the NHS , one in every three people in the UK have problem sleeping.
Difficulty of getting to sleep or staying asleep for a long enough to feel fresh the next morning is called insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems that affects many adults and children worldwide. There are many possible causes of insomnia ranging from lifestyle to mental health issues.
People who go without their normal amount of sleep, lack of concentration or affect their mood that may lead to relationship problems with family, friends and colleagues.
Normal sleep consists of two types; the first is known as non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep or it is also called slow wave sleep, because there is reduced electrical activity in the brain during this period, our muscles becomes relaxed during this phase. The second part is known as REM sleep, because of the rapid eye movements that take place during your eyelids closed.
Dreaming or certainly the most memorable and vivid dream also take places during this phase, and there is a period of the normal wakefulness for a few second (micro awakenings) and we normally do not remember this, then the body enters the phase of non-REM. It may take the length of sleep cycle (1,5 - 2 hours) to get back to sleep. We are likely to wake from REM sleep than non-REM sleep. Dreaming is a necessary part of normal sleep, and is probably necessary for the wellbeing of the mind.
Fighting your fear of flying
Back in 2014, my brother and his wife were planning to attend our wedding here in the UK. They bought their flight tickets from Jakarta-Heathrow, arranged UK visa and was approved. My brother was excited and so was I.
On the day of departure, they were all set to the airport, suitcases were packed, and ready to board. Then my sister-in-law, started to get a panic attack, then the panic attack worsened as the time for boarding was nearer. The airline was calling their names to be boarded , but my sister in law was crying hard, held tight to her chair, and struggled to breathe. My brother had to get help from the paramedic, at this point. Then the plane flew without them. They lost the chance of holiday and not able to attend my wedding, moreover - non-refundable tickets!
Aerophobia (some called it - aviophobia), is the fear of flying - it is not a new phobia. It is one of the most common phobias in this modern world. Apparently, it is estimated to affect one to 10 people in the UK, that means around 5,6 millions of us. Wow.. I know at least 5 of my friends have aerophobia.
The themes from fear of flying can be varied - from engine failure, crashing, terrorism or lighting strikes. However, flying itself normally isn't the issue, for most - it is the anxiety that you will experience on the plane with no idea how to manage it, feeling trapped that 'you are too far up there' and feeling out of control. The symptoms can include sweating, dizziness, nausea, panic attack, heart palpitation and hyperventilating.
Amazing countryside and ancient history
So often, when people asked me where I am from, (apart from Indonesia), I answered "I'm from Exeter", and instantly I got this puzzled face. I then said again, slowly in case they misunderstood my pronunciation "Exeter". Still puzzled.
Then I said "It's in Devon, South West of England, near Cornwall" (and of course it is nowhere near Conrwall!), then some of them would say "ahhh" still sounded unsure where it is, or some of them would say " oh ya, I know - it's near Plymouth right" - wrong! but it's closer than Cornwall. Only few of them know where Exeter is, mostly people had been studied at its famous University, University of Exeter.
If you haven't been to Exeter, or if you are still wondering where you would spend a nice and cosy weekend, with the flavour of country side yet still within a city vibe, I recommend you come and visit Exeter.
You start exploring Exeter with its ancient history which is dated to 50AD. Pretty amazing innit! At the heart of Exeter city stands the magnificent Exeter Cathedral, more than 900 years old, this beautiful building is one of the great cathedrals of England. Its Gothic architecture seemingly portrays the whole structure of the building. For those who thrill with height, there are special Roof and Tower tours available, giving you panoramic views of Exeter and beyond. For those fancy walking underground, there is history below ground too. Beneath the buzzing High Street, lies Exeter's Underground Passages. This passage was built to bring spring water in the city, and was constructed in medieval times. Guides tours operated daily and you can discover the fascinating heritage of Exeter.
If you still have time to spare - Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum is free to visit. It's located in city centre and it will take you on a voyage of discovery from prehistory to the present day. Often, they have exhibitions from our local artists.
Alternately you can pick up a trail map and take self-guided walks around Exeter. A popular choice is the City Wall Trail which tells the story of Exeter's 2000 year-old Roman city wall that is still about 70% remaining and a medieval guildhall still in use today. Beyond the city walls, there are further heritage actuations to discover, such as - Fursdon (the oldest family homes in Devon, Powderham Castle home of the Earl of Devon, which is about 20 minutes drive from Exeter.
Tips to keep your skin naturally glowing, young and acne-free!
Stress and how we look go hand in hand. Most of us are all very aware of how connected the mind is to the body and vice versa. The body is the head of our mind.
Well, this is an example - if you say something foolish or silly in front of someone and your thinking is that you feel embarrassed because of this, your face is blushing or flushing. This is a simple cognition of 'I did/say something silly'; - that can cause basically every blood vessels in the skin to instantaneously open up, causing a blush or flush. This is the evidence that emotion has the impact on body's largest organ - skin. It is pretty amazing fact that the mind and body are linked.
I wanted to know how it works? Well, I searched and did my homework - according to the article on Psychology Today that a stressful event; such as losing you job can trigger a cascade of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, that surged through your body, speeding heartbeat and the circulation of blood, mobilising fat and sugar for fast energy, focusing attention, preparing muscles for action, and more. It generally takes sometime for the body to calm down after the stress response has been triggered. Furthermore, a constant state of anxiety caused levels of adrenaline and cortisol to stay high in the body which considerably harm our facial skin cells because it can interfere with our blood flow patterns. Due to this interference, it can weaken our skin blood vessels, especially our facial. This process leads to ageing. If someone already has problem like acne, proriasis or eczema, stress can make these conditions worse.
The Effects of Redundancy
There are lots of vague expressions for firing people - downsizing, outsourcing, organisation change, company review, restructuring and redundancy. Irrespective of which labels organisation use, people's emotional reactions tend to be the same. Apart from financial implication, job loss can mean a significant loss of identity and an individual's self-esteem may be effected too. Additionally, an individual may feel isolated from the society or social network. Of course, there are always individuals for whom a redundancy may be welcome. For instance, if an individual receives a decent redundancy package or was unhappy in their workplace. For such individuals a redundancy offer an opportunity with financial security to do other things. However, most people do not fall into this category.
Yes, losing a job may be an increasingly common career 'event', something some of us will experience at some stage. But the familiarity doesn't lessen the psychological pain that often accompanies the redundancy. Finding a job in a recession is tough enough, but struggling with the self-critic voices, doubts and fears in your head can be an even tougher effort. The sudden loss of routine, such getting ready for work, or contact with professionals or colleagues and simply not having a workplace to go to can leave people feeling isolated, depressed and lost.
Misma Hemming - Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Life Coaching, Mentor
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