Review: Today the NZ Herald published a syndicated article by Natalie Rahhal of the Daily Mail on the role of male masculinity and loneliness in the high rates of male suicide – which, in New Zealand, is three times higher than female suicide. According to University of North Carolina psychologist, Dr Jonathan Gerkin, men typically are unable to be reflective and accepting of their own emotions, which can lead to profound loneliness.
He says, “Loneliness is such an attention-grabbing feeling, and if men can’t reflect and respond to that, they can get caught up in trying to eliminate those feelings by minimizing, acting macho, or acting out in dangerous ways.” These dangerous acts can, if self-directed, sometimes lead to suicide. To avoid this outcome, mental health issues should not be hidden by men. An analogy is provided of a car which, when a warning light goes off, the car needs to be checked.
Feature photo: Mental health issues often go unaddressed for men who are taught to hide their emotions. Getty Images.