Though plenty of people could easily spend the first paragraph of a story on shortness delivering one ill-advised pun after another, let’s not do that here. The truth is, without question, that living in a world that’s mostly tailor-made for taller people certainly presents a series of complications for anyone below the average American male height of "just over" 5’9”. In fact, according to a comprehensive exploration of various studies on the impact of height on one’s susceptibility to depression (specifically for males) by VICE’s Justin Caffier, being short actually presents a very real problem for many people all across the country.
A recent study at Camp Pendleton revealed an increased risk for depression in military men standing 5’8” or below, a fact likely spurred by the "physical demands" of a military career. "When people find themselves outliers for reasons beyond their control, like physical attributes, they face a challenge in addition to all of the challenges average people face," Valery Krupnik, clinician at the center of the study, told LiveScience in 2014.
The impact of height on non-military individuals reveals the same pattern of emotional difficulty, with those falling below the aforementioned average height of 5’9” facing a wide range of potential setbacks including "career prospects" and "dating partners," with Oxford University clinical psychologist Daniel Freeman going as far as saying that "greater height" is associated with a "slightly lower" risk of suicide. According to a Swedish study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, this risk of suicide actually goes down nine percent for every two-inch increase in height.
"Across the board in scientific study, height has an association with various markers of success and happiness," reaffirms Freeman, adding that the association, though noticeable, might actually be considered somewhat small in the grand scheme of existence. "It is obvious that you can have great success whatever your height. It's just that greater height confers a bit of an advantage."