In most Western countries, men commit more suicide than women.
While the suicide rate of Americans has been increasing for years, a long report of the magazine Rolling Stones on the West of the country advances an explanation: the "cowboy syndrome", defined as "the macho fantasy of a man who only needs himself. "
The total suicide rate in the United States has increased 31 percent from 10.7 to 14 per 100,000 over the past two decades. It is almost four times higher for men (22.4 per 100,000 in 2017) than for women (6.1 per 100,000 in 2017). 70% of those who take action are middle-aged white men, between 40 and 65 years old. Montana, Alaska and Wyoming are the states most affected by this scourge, with one thing in common: the presence of cowboys and their guns, which have shaped the culture of these regions for centuries.
Inability to seek help
"There was hope that as the economy recovers, the suicide rate would decrease," says suicide expert Dr. Jane Pearson. But that's not what happened, and "we wonder: What is going on ?The explanatory factors cited by the reporter are numerous: loneliness, access to firearms, alcoholism, drugs, fear of prejudice, lack of access to mental health care, etc. Above all, the l inability to seek help, a phenomenon found in the majority of Western men.
In Europe, three out of four suicides are committed by men, which leads to a disappearance every minute. "Men speak less than women when they experience health problems," says Alienor Descours de Guernon, head of the Movember Foundation France. "They also consult much less quickly when something is wrong, that's one of Movember's top priorities: to encourage people to communicate better, to open up," she continues.
Focus on family outings
In a recent open letter published in The Lancet, a group of scientists also advises suicidal people to abandon social networks to focus on outings with family, friends, or enrollment in a sports club for example. "Rather than resorting solely to medication or individual psychological treatment, clinicians should also turn to real social connections," they note in order to draw attention to this public health problem.