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Report: Suicide Rates Climb for Middle-Aged Men

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri's suicide rate ranks 20th in the nation, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report finds that, contrary to past trends, suicide rates are rising for men and women between the ages of 45 and 54, and rates are highest for men in that age group.

Psychologist Dr. Mark Ciocca attributes the rise to many factors, including job losses, higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse, and subsequent relationship stress, all of which can contribute to feelings of isolation and depression.

Dr. Ciocca says that men are also far less likely to seek help than women.

"The culture of male socialization discourages men from help seeking; that's particularly help in the form of psychotherapy, but also in terms of medical help in general."

Dr. Ciocca says it's important for men to reach out when they are feeling depressed, and to recognize the benefits of talk therapy, as well as properly prescribed medications.

"Be real with yourself, admit that you're not feeling yourself. And seek help for it, and talk to other men you trust, and get recommendations from them as to who they have sought help from, because I think you'll be surprised that more of the men you know have been in treatment than you believe."

Dr. Ciocca believes that more high-profile people coming forward with issues such as depression and mental illness will help in terms of erasing old attitudes. He says even marketing would help, as many ads regarding depression are geared toward women in our society.

Statistics are at
www.suicidology.org
or at at www.cdc.gov




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