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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

SISARICA: Suffering in silence

It is easy to get lost in the statistics. The ones that say women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, diagnosed with depression and attempting suicide are all true. But the fact of that matter is that men are taking their own lives more than women. Now by no means am I here to undermine women, especially women dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts and even recovering from attempts. But spreading awareness of stigmas around men’s mental health and understanding it, can help prevent suicide.

Take Dylan Buckner, for example. Dylan attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois. There, Dylan seemed to have everything going for him. He had lots of friends, position at starting quarterback, a 4.7 GPA and was projected to play football at MIT. From the outside looking in, Dylan Buckner seemed to be living the dream.

I saw this firsthand. I was there. Dylan was in the same grade that I was in. He was on the path to success, until he took his life Jan. 7, 2021.

I found out after the fact that Dylan had tried committing suicide that previous summer during the pandemic. If you weren’t in Dylan’s inner circle, you would have no idea that anything was wrong. Dylan’s suicide changed a neighborhood. His family started the Dylan Buckner Foundation, promoting mental health through fitness.

Glenbrook North High School students added a mental health section in the curriculum that was mandatory for all students to take. The problem is that this story is all too familiar to the families of about 11,500 men who committed suicide in 2020.

Millions of men are being confined to the roles of their gender. Gender roles are barriers for men and prevent them from potentially seeking help when facing psychological distress. The men adhering to traditional masculine gender roles are more than two times as likely to die by suicide than men who don’t.

These norms contribute to the way men think and feel about themselves. Self-esteem is defined as the beliefs and thoughts about one’s own being. A person’s self-esteem is built around the goals they achieve and the success that they have.

Now, there are other factors that go into suicide that aren’t directly addressed in mental disorders. For example, physical and substance abuse, the loss of a loved one, loneliness, bullying and more.

It is crucial to understand that people commit suicide for multiple reasons, but taking the blame for someone’s suicide is never the right way to cope with it. Author Maya Angelou says, “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Take the information you know and help others.

To prevent suicides, society needs to help men step away from traditional gender norms. Being able to support men in their endeavors and promoting that success can look different than having material things can go a long way. It is also important to help men understand that it is ok to go against stereotypical gender norms.

Watch for signs and offer support to men. Some signs include irritability, social withdrawal and engaging in risky behaviors. If you notice any of these signs, ask what you can do to help and make sure the other person knows you are there to listen.

Being able to communicate with others is essential for men, and men need to be supported when dealing with their problems. Being told to be a man doesn’t allow men to deal with their problems, it only forces men to avoid them. Everyone deserves love and support, men aren’t above that. Do better, before it is too late.

If needed please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

This story was written by Gabriel Sisarica. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Gabriel Sisarica, Sports Multimedia Journalist
Gabriel Sisarica is a junior from Northbrook, Illinois studying journalism and psychology and is a second year Sports Multimedia Journalist for the Marquette Wire. Outside of the Wire he enjoys playing volleyball, participating in fantasy football and spending time with close friends and family. He is excited to spread his passion for Marquette and Marquette athletics across campus and beyond.

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