Family Ties Keep Some Men from Suicide

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 18 (UPI) — The male desire to be strong and protect family could be key to combating depression and preventing suicides in men, Canadian researchers suggest.

Researchers John Oliffe and John Ogrodniczuk, both of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, analyzed qualitative data from interviews with 38 men ages 24-50 in Vancouver and Prince George who identified themselves or were formally diagnosed as depressed.

The study, scheduled to be published in Social Science and Medicine, finds men counter suicidal thoughts by connecting with others — namely intimate partners and family — to regain stability. Most study participants expressed a strong commitment to their families and turned away from suicide for the hurt and trauma it would cause loved ones.

“Men’s strong sense of masculine roles and responsibility as a provider and protector enables men to hold on while seeking support to regain some self-control,” Oliffe says in a statement.

However, Ogrodniczuk cautions that the “stoic warrior” ideal may also present a downside in which some study participants chose to mute their feelings or disconnect from others, and often overused alcohol and other drugs.

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