The suicide upsurge in Europe due to the grave economic crisis, together with the eye-popping rate of military suicides in America, are causes for serious alarm. In each situation, the victim is much more likely to be male.
It is often a mesmerizing surprise to family, friends and acquaintances to learn that a particular male has committed suicide, because the signs were not very obvious--until a hindsight light bulb goes off. A man may express anger without a tone of frustration, so it seems that he is in emotional control of the crisis. But the anger may be just the acceptable public face for deeper underlying feelings with which he is is wrestling,
The male tendency is to deal with the profound feelings in lonely silence. He may discuss the issues--financial difficulties, joblessness, family matters, etcetera--but he may hardly share how the issue is affecting him. "I am mad like hell" is man talk, but does not trigger a warning sign, or communicate a need for help.
It becomes even more challenging for the male psyche when the issue is one by which he thinks his manhood is judged: "A man is no man if he cannot provide for his family." " A man is a failure if his wife leaves him for another man." "A man is no man if he is living in constant fear."
The challenge for the male ego is further intensified if he has previously considered himself a success. Business owners and other executives are very susceptible here. In an economic downturn, it is not the struggling worker who is most at risk. He has lived his life scraping to pay the rent or maintain the mortgage. Survival is his norm. On the other hand, for a financially independent man to fall into survival mode creates a misery that demands serious coping intervention. This is not an anger management issue, even if the victim blames his frustration on his debtors, employees, or some other target.
As said before, men are not normally at home sharing their more delicate inner thoughts and feelings. However, it is risky to simply brood your way through a deep crisis, all alone. A false sense of manhood is one of our major social pitfalls, and the basis for too many male suicides.
It is legitimate for a man to experience fear, depression, uncertainty, anguish, or anxiety. It is equally manly to share those feelings with a family member, friend, or counselor. While it may be true that neither relative nor wellwisher could change your situation, just knowing that someone understands, or that you have been able to at least tell one person, may be more therapeutic than you can see from the other side of the issue.
--Richard P. Campbell, Author--"The Strength of Male Tears."