One of the biggest influences in the kind of doctor I wanted to be wasn’t my parents but a TV show. I know it sounds cliche but everything I learnt about being there for your patients I learnt from MASH.
Suicide in the UK has become the biggest killer of young men aged 30 to 44. Every day 3 young men take their own lives (on average) and a lot of the reasons for their deaths is the recession and economic downturn. In 2011 4500 men took their lives out of 6050 total. To point out how high this number in the 30-44 age bracket is? Suicide caused the deaths of more people than road accidents, murder and HIV/AIDS combined.
The economic climate and social insecurity has lead to increased insecurity over work, family, housing, social isolation and substance abuse, and this mainly affects the age group of 30 to 44 where job losses are felt harder.
We listen, we really do. I used to volunteer during Christmas at a Samaritans Call Center (one of the worst times of the year for suicides due to the pain of loneliness) because I was a Hindu/Atheist and Christmas was just a day for cheesy telly and Dr. Who specials. There is a “cultural barrier” when it comes to asking for help.
Yes. I witnessed it during my own travails. When I lost my laptop and camera to age (7 year old laptop come April) and weather (Water got into the camera body due to ham-fisted people handling it) I was worried about asking for help. When I did ask for help I had people stating that you can donate to “better” causes because a laptop is less important than housing. I even got told to “get a Job” without any sense of irony of what I do.
The culture treats asking for help as a man as weak. It isn’t. No man is an island. And humans are stronger as a group. There is no shame in asking for help, there is however shame in denigrating those who need help. You aren’t weak, you are human and humans need help from each other. It’s what makes us strong. That rather than leave our vulnerable feed the tiger we would stand and fight to save them. The tiger here is depression and futility and fear and sadness.
The recession in the UK has increased the rate of suicides by a 1000 more per year. 846 in the men and 155 women (University of Liverpool).
I have lost friends to suicide. PTSD and Depression claimed their lives.
If you want to talk, contact CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90. If you are in the USA 1 (800) 273-TALK.
If you are in India then contact Aasra at 91-22-27546669
Suffering is Painful, but we can help. We can take some of the burden. It’s the human thing to do.