Why is suicide more common in men than in women?

Even though women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, men are 4-6 times more likely than women to commit suicide. 

In general, men tend to experience stigma brought on by a social culture which celebrates self-reliance, toughness and repressing emotions. This prevents men from seeking professional help, or makes them wait longer before doing so. 

A Canadian research study by Dr Mackenzie and colleagues found that depressed men reported significantly more self-stigma related to help-seeking than women.

Another reason why men are less frequently diagnosed with depression is that depression presents itself a bit differently in men than in women. In addition to the common symptoms of depression, men are more likely to experience the following signs:

  • Chronic irritability. 
  • Exaggerated anger and aggressive behaviour. 
  • Drinking too much or abusing other substances.
  • Risk-taking or impulsiveness.
  • A tendency to overwork (as a way to cope with depression). 
  • Arrogance (as a way to mask insecurity).

Read more about depression in men: The hidden signs of depression in men – how do men deal with depression?

Related questions

How common is depression?

Around 5-8 % of people are currently suffering from depression worldwide. It’s most common in people aged 18-29.  Depression is twice as common

What causes depression?

We have a lot more to learn about the root causes of depression, but it’s clear that depression has a genetic component. Relatives

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