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No Matter Your Race or Gender, You May Still be in Danger

There is no doubt that racial differences correlate with the quality of one’s life and health. Weber and Fore provide data to enhance the concept of how social hierarchies lead to a difference in health among racial groups. In relation to past class readings, this article discusses how the biomedical paradigm helps the privileged few, while harming the oppressed. Even though minorities tend to have a lower lifespan because they are prone a number of life threatening illnesses, it was noted that White individuals have higher mortality rates in several illnesses. Statistics have shown that “White men, for example, are more likely to commit suicide than White women or racial/ethnic people, but these deaths have been associated with the shame and stress associated with downward social mobility” (Weber and Fore, 3). I find it troubling that White men are placed at the top of the social ladder, yet they kill themselves because they have the choice to, and not because their genetics and environment forces them to.

As I was researching about why White men are particularly vulnerable to committing suicide, I came across a blog in which many other online users found a particular interest on the topic. It mentions that the trend of resorting to suicide appears to increase through time because of the White man’s changing role in society. There are many reasons that account for why suicide may be viewed “as a white thing” and although it is preventable, clinicians tend to avoid early signs of the problem. Early signs of depression must be noted and having the sufferer talk about their internal thoughts would lower the number of individuals that unfortunately pass away due to suicide. Suggestions on suicide prevention efforts and the importance of detecting depression early can be read here.

All in all, more emphasis and research must be placed on the race-disease relationship in order to thwart the increasing rate of mortality among all racial groups and causes of death.

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One response to “No Matter Your Race or Gender, You May Still be in Danger

  1. The stigma of mental illness is definitely a problem that has disastrous consequences for people struggling with depression and other mental illnesses. While African Americans and other minority groups experience substandard health care due to various social circumstances, the social context in which White men experience depression also affects their rate of suicide. The economic hardships that middle-class men face that threaten their way of life are demoralizing and can lead to depression. This lowering of socioeconomic level is a factor for depression and suicide that has been more visible recently in this harsh economic climate. And the stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses prevent these men from reaching out for help, and they may instead turn to suicide.

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