Suicide has become prevalent in the United States, with men dying nearly twice as often as women. One of the greatest causes of suicide among men is society’s damage to their self-esteem.

This article will focus on enhancing the self-esteem of men to prevent them from dying by suicide.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is a phrase that has become popular. Many use it interchangeably with self-love or as a catchphrase describing their personality. While these definitions are not exact, they are close.

Self-esteem describes how we perceive and value ourselves based on our beliefs and opinions of who we are as people. Self-esteem is like self-respect, as the term describes your confidence in your attributes and abilities.

It is critical to have healthy self-esteem, to have mental well-being, and a better quality of life. Problems arise when people have too high or too low self-esteem. It is vital to find a balance that makes you feel mentally healthy.

Some essential elements of self-esteem include:

  • Feeling secure
  • Self-confidence
  • Identity
  • Feeling competent
  • Having a sense of belonging

Low self-esteem usually occurs because of an unhappy childhood, poor relationships with significant people, ongoing stress, or anxiety or depression. To be clear, many causes for low self-esteem are not mentioned here.

Why are So Many Men Dying by Suicide in the United States?

By now, you can see that men are under tremendous pressure that either harms or destroys their self-esteem.

While one cannot name all the reasons men die by suicide, four potential causes are given below.

Number one is how men’s role in society molds who they are and how they behave. Society tremendously pressures men to be the breadwinner, to be strong, and never, ever to weep. It is detrimental for men to admit they aren’t feeling tough or to cry in front of anyone. Often, men are not encouraged to speak up or act emotionally for fear of being seen as weak.

The number two reason men die by suicide is the abuse of substances. One cannot speak of alcohol without mentioning it is a depressant. However, most people who drink alcohol don’t realize this and will use it to medicate their emotional pain. Unfortunately, although alcohol will cause men to relax it only lasts a short time, and they are left with depressive symptoms that they are afraid to talk about. Over time, the symptoms and abuse of alcohol will worsen, and the man will either die from liver failure or by suicide.

The number three cause of male suicide on our list is the lack of communication men have with others about their mental health. Men would rather internalize their emotions, causing a seething cauldron of pain and sorrow to simmer. Once their cauldron of emotion comes to a boil, some men will try to die by suicide, and many will succeed.

The last cause on our list (remember the list is much longer than this) is financial problems. The pressure on men for finances is tremendous, especially for men. Men are taught from a young age that they are the man of the house and responsible for the lives of those he cares for there. When financial problems occur, some men panic, but since they may not express their emotions, some men decide that their loved ones would be better off with them. During an economic downturn in the nation, such as a recession, men may lose their jobs or worry about it happening, leading to increased suicide rates among men.

How Men Can Build Their Self-Esteem

Men can help themselves by working on their self-esteem. This means that men will feel confident in all they do and feel they are worthy and whole, despite what their environment tells them.

It is critical to note that there are many ways a man can work on himself to improve his self-image and self-esteem.

  1. The primary key for men to build self-esteem is to believe in their decision-making abilities. While this skill isn’t taught by society, it is critical to avoid suicidal ideations and actions. Believing in their abilities will take practice, and embracing their failures is vital. A man needs to understand deep down where it counts that they are successful even when things do not go as planned.

 

  1. It is critical to building self-esteem by tuning out negativity and dialing in positivity. Men can listen carefully to their self-talk and hear any negativity in their speech. Men can then practice replacing negative self-talk with positive thought patterns. This is a job only the man can do for himself.
  2. Men need to focus on their assets instead of living life coveting things or people. A confident man knows that his most important focus should not be on their intelligence, physical ability, or personal assets. Instead, a confident man focuses on who they are as a person and how they treat others.
  3. Confident men practice gratitude in all they do. One way to build a man’s self-esteem is to make a gratitude list. This exercise will help men turn from negatively thinking about their lives, replacing it with thoughts of gratitude. Being grateful is a powerful tool in the fight to end male suicide.
  4. Accepting change is vital for a man to handle the day-to-day challenges he faces in his life. Nothing stays the same and men must understand this and be flexible enough to roll with it. No matter what happens in a man’s life, he needs to grow in confidence that he can handle it. By accepting change, a man’s self-esteem will grow.
  5. Men believing that they are worthy of happiness is critical. A man’s worthiness does not depend on his race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Instead, it depends on how you see yourself. If the man sees himself as unworthy of all life offers him, he needs to realize that there is a difference between feeling you deserve happiness and being worthy of it. Being worthy means men’s self-esteem can absorb happiness into themselves and find it in the simple things.
  6. Remaining in the present and not dwelling on the past, men can keep their eyes on how they feel and what others are saying. If others are speaking negatively, it is time to consider either pointing this out or ending the relationship. This encourages self-care and self-esteem.

Ending Our Time Together

The discussion about suicide and its causes must begin and continue if we are to save our men’s lives. We must work together to make the statistics go away that say that so many thousands of men die each year by suicide.

I hope this series on male suicide has helped someone to understand how valuable they are and that there are ways to change things. Men are one-half of the world’s population and must be protected and preserved.

If we do not carry on this conversation, we are guilty of allowing our men to wither and die.

Men are beautiful and have deep emotions just as women do. They deserve our respect and for us to help build them up whenever possible. Society needs to back off and instead of poisoning male children with the hoopla that we force them to swallow tell them how wonderful they are just because they are alive.

It is time to act.

“The difference between a confident man and an unconfident one is not that they don’t experience self-doubt and fear, but rather they choose a time to push beyond it and take decisive action.” – Jesse Jimz

References

Veteran Suicide Data and Reporting. (2022) U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/data.asp

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