There is a lot to say about this subject. And I don’t really know where to start. But suicide among men is something that we have to talk about. However, I don’t see many men do this. That’s why I think it’s time to have a good conversation about this topic. I think it’s time that we start looking at ourselves and find out what’s causing this and what we can do about it. In this article I will shed some light on the facts, I will share my thoughts on male suicide in general and will make a humble attempt to put forward some possible solutions.
Because we have to begin somewhere, I’ll start off with some numbers from the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, to see the current situation in the United States:
- Around 45000 Americans die by suicide each year (that’s the population of an average town).
- Males die 3.53 times more often by suicide than females.
- White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle age
- The highest suicide rate was among adults between 45 and 54 years of age
- The second highest rate was among those of 85 years or older
- Half of the suicides were done by the use of firearms
Now if we move on to Europe, I’ll share some numbers from Eurostat (link below) from the year 2017:
- There were almost 60000 suicides in the European Union
- 77% of these suicides were committed by men
- 48% by a person aged between 40 and 65
- Germany reported most deaths, namely 10300.
If we take a look at the most suicides per 100000 inhabitants, Eastern Europe has the highest rates of suicide. Lithuania has the lead, followed by Latvia, Hungary and Slovenia. Greece and Cyprus report the least suicides.
I wonder what feminists think about the fact that men are killing themselves 3.5 times more often than women. 3.5 times! This means that more than 30,000 men kill themselves in the United States alone every year. Half of them shoot themselves in the head, and the rest dies by suffocation, poisoning and other methods. I mean, what gender needs empowerment in current society? Women? Really? Maybe it’s about time that society realizes that it is men that are in a difficult position here, not women. And do you ever see us protesting? Do you ever see us nagging, moaning and demanding rights and privileges? Maybe it’s about time that you stop your silly protests, your disgusting attempts to marginalize men in every damn area of their life – no matter if it’s the corporate world, public spaces, academia, media, politics or the divorce courts – maybe it’s about time that you stop whining about your rights and that you restrain your thirst for privilege. Maybe it’s about time that you stop shaming men and telling them to MAN UP all the time. Maybe it’s about time that you don’t treat men like garbage while they have collectively sacrificed themselves by labor – often dangerous and even with the consequences of death – and by going to war to protect your life and the lives of your children, and by inventing practically all technology that you are using to have a comfortable life. And what do men get in return? Feminism & #METOO.
But, hey. When I’m ranting I realize that I can’t change the world by finger pointing. I realize that whining and complaining isn’t the solution to our problems. Let’s not be like those feminists. Because in the end, blaming others leads nowhere, even if your claims are completely justified. Assuming that the world will not bend to our will, the best option is to look at ourselves. And the problem is that some men are being so goddamn hard on themselves that they rather die than show the world that they are hurting. And in the end, it’s those men, not women, not feminists, not #METOO, that make that final choice that erased their existence from the world. To reduce the suicide rates among men, it’s men that need to take action.
It’s about time that we break the silence. It is imperative that we kick our fear for shaming to the curb, and open up about our suicidal thoughts. Too many men have refused to talk about this, perhaps to save their face, to not being perceived as weak. So they are rather dead than vulnerable. And this says something. If you ask me, this means that being vulnerable is not a safe position to be in. It is perceived as dangerous. I mean: in what kind of world do we live, that men prefer to shoot themselves in the head over opening up? Or could it be that we have never learned to open up properly? That we are always told to MAN UP, to act like a man. “Crying is for pussies,” you know, that kind of stuff. But many men I have had conversations with about this subject and who felt safe enough to open up, admitted that they do let their tears flow now and then. But they do that when no one is around. Women, on the other hand, often show their emotions in public, and no one gives a damn. Moreover: they get rewarded with compassion and people comforting them. But how about men? Men that cry run the risk to get discarded as a wimp or “not a real man”. Maybe not on the spot, but surely behind his back. And that’s why men hurt in solitude. Alone at night in a room, or maybe in bed when the wife is already asleep, or in the car somewhere in a desolated parking lot.
But even if we are perceived as losers, weak men, low status males, whatever: that is still no reason to hate ourselves. And that’s what they want: they want us to hate ourselves, they want us to feel inadequate. It’s a form of control. It’s a way to shame you into submission and getting you back on the plantation to serve. They key is let go of your attachment to what other people think, and to start valuing the opinions of the person that knows best what’s good for you; and that person is you. The great Stoic philosopher and once emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius once wrote in his meditations and I quote:
I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others. – Meditations, 12.4
So f*ck the expectations that society throws at us! This is not our cross to bear. Let them bear it themselves. Women and the men who pander them, listen up: we don’t want your validation, we don’t want your approval, we don’t want your praise. We just want out. It’s our birthright to walk away if we choose to do so, and to free ourselves from the shackles of slavery. If liberating ourselves from the bondage of your ridiculous demands is necessary to survive, then that’s what we will do. Shame us for it. What do not care anymore. If we are the unwanted men of Western civilization, so be it. Don’t let it affect your self-worth; don’t give in to self-loathing. Accept that you are human, and that no human on earth truly knows why we are here. So what do they know about what’s right or wrong, what’s valuable and what’s not. Just look around you man. Life is a miracle. There is so much beauty in the world and you are part of that. You are one of the most sophisticated beings of this solar system! I mean: make something out of that! Don’t give a shit about what other people think; be you. Don’t let others decide who you should be. I say: f*ck em.
So if you are suicidal, what can you do about it? Well, there are different things, different methods. But the most important one is being brutally honest to yourself when you ask the question: can I do this on my own? Even if you are a loner, even if you have gone your own way, you are not meant to be completely disconnected. I started this channel saying that there is a fine line between social isolation and individual empowerment. Many men will cross that line, shutting themselves off from the world, they will self-loath, and they will suffer in silence. I mean: it’s good to harvest the power of solitude, but it isn’t good to hide in shame because of your vulnerability. When you find yourself in such a place, I think it’s time that you get out and find people to share your story with. It’s time that you take responsibility for your life in a healthy way. Put yourself first and let others know what’s going on, and grant yourself the time and space to sort yourself out. Seek therapy, if needed.
I know that therapy these days is very much geared towards women; but I think it’s better than nothing. It will at least give you the opportunity to share your story. Also, it may open new doors for you and give you new insights. I know this by experience, because I have had suicidal thoughts myself many times in the past. What always helped me was reaching out, connecting with other people; no matter how trivial. Group energy, a friendly conversation with another human being, a smile… these simple things can do wonders for depressed people that have been stuck in their heads for such a long time. This I know from personal experience as well. The same goes for exercise, taking a walk outside in the sun, eating well and putting your house in order. A clean and organized environment creates what I’d call spiritual tidiness, because your living space can be seen as an extension to yourself. It’s mostly the things that you dread the most that will make the biggest change. The thing is that when you have suicidal thoughts, your mind simply cannot comprehend the fact that things can and WILL get better. Things will improve. This too shall pass. What you need in these moments of darkness is that leap of faith, and at the same the realization that a journey of a 1000 miles always begins with one step. Even if you make one step into the right direction, things already start to improve. Well, that was it. I hope you’ve found something of value in my words.