Social perfectionism, suicide and men

The numbers are there, the facts are there, men are more likely to commit suicide than women. In fact, an article by Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman published on The Guardian revealed that of the 5,981 deaths by suicide in the UK in 2012, more than three quarters (4,590) were males. In the US, of the 38,000 people who took their own lives in 2010 79% were men.

At first, way before I went deep into this topic, I used to closely link suicide with women, and that’s because I felt like they were the weaker ones – a belief based on all the emotional distress they often show.

Until one day, a friend of mine committed suicide. I never got to know why he did it, I mean we weren’t that close but it really got to me for a long time, even now.

Suddenly, it all makes sense. It makes sense why men are more likely to actually commit suicide.

One thing I got to learn about men is that they don’t talk, because they believe that talking or venting about their issues and the challenges they may have faced will make them look weak. They personally believe that things like depression are to be kept inside. This may be influenced by many aspects as they grow up, from religion, to cultural beliefs, the society and so forth – because a man is the head of the house.

Julie Campbell, executive director of the Canadian Association of suicide and presentation is quoted saying:

Men will talk about not being able to sleep, about back pain, but they won’t say they’re feeling sad or incomplete.

One great factor to this behaviour may be social perfectionism – it’s simply what you think people expect of you.

Because men are seen as these muscular beings, head of the house, they may tend to perceive that people expect them to be in a certain way and act in a certain manner. When they don’t reach those imagined expectations, they may feel like they have failed people. Hence, they may never cry or vent, especially in front of woman.

This type of perfectionism, may lead to men ending up holding in some things, things that may eventually build up to something abominable. Anger may build up in them, the urge of substance use may grow, and this is why some men may beat up women for no reason – this is not to justify or support abuse, it’s just an observation.

In the process of researching and writing this blog post, it hit me: before they become men, they are human beings first. They also experience what women experience.

About Mduduzi Mbiza 110 Articles
Mduduzi Mbiza is a creator. Author of the book, ‘Human Education: The Voyage of Discovery’.