Men are four times as likely to commit suicide

Let that title sink in whilst you recall events of the last week when Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain each took their own lives at the ages of 55 and 61.

Men though are four times more likely to kill themselves than women and with 84 men in Britain alone killing themselves each week, it’s an epidemic.

The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.

is a direct quote from an article on the Samaritans’ website which highlights some facts and myths – you can see the piece here.

Anthony Bourdain was suffering from depression and had openly revealed his battles with addiction and decided he could no longer live the life he had when he ended it in Strasbourg last week.

He obviously hated his life as I did for three years and more.

It would seem that, as someone who has thought repeatedly about suicide and been gripped by depression from 2013 to 2016, I could be classed as high risk:

Myth: Once a person has made a serious suicide attempt, that person is unlikely to make another.

Fact: People who have tried to end their lives before are significantly more likely to eventually die by suicide than the rest of the population.

Now whether unscrewing tablets for an overdose or leaning off the 9th floor of John Lewis when I was at my lowest (and highest physically ) is a “serious suicide attempt” is debatable but the fact is I thought about it repeatedly and started to take actions with it twice, with my wife being so worried about my mental health in December 2014 that she was reluctant to go on a school trip to Lille with students and leave me alone.

I didn’t do it; I know I won’t ever either because I have now come out of the tunnel of depression and heeded advice of loved ones and professionals.

I left a job that I’d grown to hate – teaching – after my identity was stolen and a student, and a malevolent leader’s passivity in protecting me, destroyed me. I climbed back on the teaching saddle and was brutally ejected from it.

That door being slammed on my fingers by Norfolk and Suffolk colluders made me better though. The job was destroying me. And with hindsight, ejection and rejection was what I needed to recover.

Likewise, addiction.

I make no secret of the fact that I developed an unhealthy dependence on alcohol, in fact, I was alcoholic, in that I couldn’t stop drinking once I’d had some.  I took advice – against my will of course because I didn’t see daily consumption of alcohol to excess as a problem – and was told to stop drinking for good.

The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have.

That was certainly true of me – teaching and drinking heavily was a life I did not want.

I have a life now I like – it’s one of sobriety, outside the poison of education, doing a job I love (writing, web design and social media marketing), with a loving wife and brilliant children, with a rescue dog at my feet for walking in the woods daily.

It’s hard when you’re gripped by depression and addiction to think there’s any way out, but there is, with time, professional support and more healthy lifestyle choices.

I managed to recover from a life I hated by making a life that was better – so you can too.

Men and women need to talk about how they feel, to others and on this safe non-judgemental platform as a guest post or on our new forum. 

 

By |2018-06-14T16:24:44+00:00June 14th, 2018|Main Feature, Real Stories|0 Comments

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