Men and Stress – Is Your Job Driving You Over the Edge?

We know that depression is on the rise all over the world and men are 4 to 18 times (depending on age) more likely to commit suicide than are women.  People report that job stresses are a major factor that can lead to depression and increased suicide risk.  We know that men and stress can be a lethal mix.  What are the professions that put you at highest risk?  According to a recent report from Business Insider, based on statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health the top ten jobs where you’re most likely to kill yourself are:

#10  Real Estate Sales

Real estate agents are 1.38 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#9  Potters and “hand-molders”

Hand molders are 1.39 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#8  Urban planners

Urban planners are 1.43 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#7  Supervisors of heavy construction equipment

Supervisors of heavy construction equipment are 1.46 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#6  Chiropractors

Chiropractors are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#5  Finance workers

Finance workers are 1.51 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#4  Veterinarians

Veterinarians are 1.54 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#3  Dentists

Dentists are 1.67 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

#2  Physicians

Physicians are 1.87 times more likely to commit suicide average.

#1 Marine Engineers

Marine engineers are 1.89 times more likely to commit suicide than average.

Other high risk professions include:  Pharmacists, Farm Managers, and Lawyers.  What do all these “high suicide” professions have in common?  I’d suggest that most of them involve people who must deal with other people’s problems in situations where they don’t get a lot of positive feedback and appreciation.  When’s the last time you thanked your dentist or gave him a hug after he finished drilling and filling?

Of course, being employed can be stressful, but being unemployed can be even more stressful.  According to an article in The Washington Independent, “The unemployed commit suicide at a rate two or three times the national average, researchers estimate. And in many cases, the longer the spell of unemployment, the higher the likelihood of suicide.”

So, if you’re employed, what are the things that are the most stressful and make you feel depressed?  If you’re unemployed, what makes you feel the worst about yourself?

Maybe by sharing our experiences, we can help each other get through these difficult times.

For more information suicide prevention and men’s health, look for my new book MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools.

Another post that you may find value in is 3 Little Known Stressors that are Killing Men and the Women Who Love Them.

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  1. tom williams says:

    Good article. I really appreciated that you had a list of the occupations. I was very surprised that potters were on the list. I thought it would be a nice peaceful job.

    I’ve always heard that dentists were most likely to kill themselves. Fortunately for me I have a real cool guy as a dentist. He’s like a buddy to me. I have a very good woman physician also. I have given her a hug, but I never did with the dentist.

    Sad to say with the economy being the way it is, and getting worse it seems, there’s more unappreciation that can go with any job you have if you’re lucky to have one now!

  2. You should try IT desktop support these days.

    • Mark is right. IT support. If you don’t have a cheery voice, you get reported. If you fix their problem, nothing… oh, except the phone call the following night because they have other issues.
      Over 2000 computers, not to mention IP phones, copiers, printers, fax machines. And I’m it, on my shift.

  3. I can imagine that IT support would be hairy. I know when I need it, I’m feeling stresses, overwhelmed, and afraid. Usually it takes forever to get someone. When I do, it seems they are in another country and trying to explain my problem is, well, problematic. Sometimes they are able to solve it quickly and I’m so surprised and relieved a want to try their suggestion before I forget it and hang up without saying a simple “thank you.” If they can’t seem to solve, it I become increasingly irritated and angry and wish they were close enough to throttle. Thanks Ben and Mark, I’ll try and be a little more compassionate next time.

  4. Eric Kristof says:

    The vast majority of those who commit suicide are in Helping Professions. How did they become helpers in the first place and what is in their psychological make-up that makes them more likely to kill themselves? My own hypothesis:
    1) The have a higher “need to be needed” and a “need to be loved” than people who do not choose such professions.
    2) They didn’t develop their own “voice” during their youth and in adulthood.

    • Eric, good thoughts. Clearly there are a lot of people in the helping
      professions who commit suicide. Your ideas are important to share.