More than half of American men get
sick one to three times a year, think about the unhealthy
food they eat and indulge anyway, eat fast food one to three
times a week, and don't have a primary physician. These
500,000 men are committing unintentional suicide, along with
another 500,000 who will die next year, and another 500,000
the year after that, and so on down the road unless
something diverts their path. It's so necessary.
some things that I might do to reduce my risk of
There are other simple things that make a big difference. Cholesterol assessments, blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings, prostate cancer blood tests and exams, colon cancer screens and cardiovascular screens all make a difference and can result in earlier detection of disease, which in turn can raise survival rates. Treatments also tend to be less invasive, less expensive and less troublesome when illness is found early.
There are many other avenues you might take to reduce your risk of unintentional suicide. Don't just focus on one, but try a variety of different ways and techniques.
My suggestion is to listen to everyone
of the people that you can during this Summit. Explore a
road you haven't gone down yet - yoga, meditation, personal
work, spiritual work Join a men's group, do therapy. There
are literally thousands of paths you could walk. Try several
new things. Each one may offer you the opportunity to shift.
After all, your mind and your body don't want you to change
one iota. They like you just the way you are. They know how
to react to situations in your life - or, atleast they think
If you drive recklessly or more than 5 miles over the speed limit - tape the photo near your speedometer or on your dash
Second, write your obituary. Review your life, what you think might be your cause of death, accomplishments you're proud of, how you want to be remembered, if you asked 20 people what they remember about you most, what are three of the most common themes you think they will mention? Include everything about your life that you can think of up to today.
Then, write a second obituary. What have you always wanted to do or learn or see or experience that you haven't.
Learn to play the clarinet, paint with water colors? Learn suduko or how to fly a place? Expand the kinds of music you listen to? Do what's necessary to take better care of your body, mind and soul? Go back to school? Get more involved in your community, charitable organizations, your spiritual preference? There are thousands of things out there to do that you haven't tried yet. What are some of them? Diane Ackerman said, "Don't just live the length of your life, life the width of it as well."
There's no time like the present to
start on that journey before the accident that's waiting to
happen, happens. Remember that the rapid pace of life is
nothing to worry about - the abrupt stop at the end is.
For men under 65 it's heart disease or
stroke, cancer, pulmonary disease, pneumonia and
"How are you
Suicide: 80% of suicide attempts are
done by women. 80% of successful suicides are done by men
because they have a hard time asking for help. Bill Winter's
song, Lean on me, was one of my favorites until I realized
that it was basically asking us to wait until another man
asks for help. That waiting period is when men committed
intentional suicide. I recently heard a new song by Matt
Kennon that I wish every one who is in a men's group would
buy and play it at the start of every meeting. The song is
titled The Call, but it really should be called, Glad you
called. You know a man going through a tough time? Out
of work, getting a divorce, having trouble with addictive
substances, whatever. Give him a call and simply invite him
to a barbecue or to do something together. It might just be
the opening he needs to change the dark thoughts that were
on his mind.
Your mind and body
don't want you to change.
* It is believed that some fraction of
fatal poisonings coded as unintentional or undetermined are
actually suicides. Under-reporting of suicide has been
attributed to factors such as pressure from families and
subjectivity among coroners and medical examiners. As
compared with firearms and suffocation, suicide by poisoning
is considered to be particularly susceptible to
underreporting. The rapid rise in unintentional poisonings
in recent years has led some to wonder whether part of this
increase represents misdiagnosed suicides.
To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. - Erich Fromm