Middle-Age Suicide

Middle age is reportedly the happiest time of life for most Americans. So, why are middle-aged men at such high risk for suicide?

I belong to a group that has an unusually high rate of dying by suicide. No, I don’t belong to a cell of terrorists in training. I’m not a soldier or veteran with multiple deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m not a prison or jail inmate. And I’m not a doctor (physicians have easy access to drugs and understand their lethality). What high-risk group do I belong to? I am a middle-aged white man.

Men have long had higher rates of suicide than women, and whites in the United States are more likely to kill themselves than are African, Hispanic, or Asian Americans. But it’s only in recent years that the middle-aged have overtaken older people as the ones most likely to die by suicide.

In 2007 (the latest year for which statistics are available), people aged forty-five to fifty-four had the highest suicide rate of any age group: 17.7 per 100,000. (The national average was 11.5 per 100,000.) And the rate for fifty-five to sixty-four-year-olds showed the greatest increase from the previous year.

Researchers don’t yet know why midlifers are becoming more vulnerable to suicide, especially since studies have found that middle age is generally the happiest time of life for most Americans. As a forty-five-year-old white guy, I was curious to know what makes my demographic group so self-destructive. After talking with experts, here’s what I learned.

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“Women seek help—men die.” This quote from a 1990 medical journal article is an overgeneralization, of course. There are plenty of women who don’t seek help for their emotional distress. After all, women in the United States are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men. But “men tend to hold their own counsel,” says psychiatrist Yeates Conwell, co-director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester. “They often don’t build supportive networks that allow them to share their concerns with others.”

Men are also more likely to drink heavily when feeling distraught, and to reach for guns in order to kill themselves. Nearly sixty percent of suicides among males occur by firearms, while the most common method among women is overdose/poisoning. Guns tend to be more lethal than pills, and this helps explain why there are four male suicides for every female suicide. (Some ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness or substance use disorder.)

There’s even evidence that men are more likely than women to feel there is a stigma attached to a “failed” suicide attempt. So men may use more lethal methods to avoid being seen as unmanly—even as they’re planning their own death.

Changes in gender roles may also be affecting men, suggests Sally Spencer-Thomas, executive director of the Colorado-based Carson J Spencer Foundation, whose Working Minds program promotes suicide prevention in the workplace. As more women become family breadwinners and attain leadership positions once denied them, Spencer-Thomas says that “more men are asking themselves, ‘Am I a provider or not? Am I a leader or not?’ Their sense of purpose may become unclear.”

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Whites could use a little faith. Whites are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as blacks, although whites in general are better off economically. In fact, the suicide rate for white men aged forty-five to fifty-four (29.3 per 100,000) is 14 times greater than the rate for black women of the same age (2.1 per 100,000). Some researchers suggest that blacks may be less prone to suicide because they are more religious. They tend to outpace whites in the United States on measures such as frequency of church attendance and prayer, closeness to God, and self-ratings of spirituality. Being part of a church community can also be a powerful source of social support, another protective factor.

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Midlife can be a minefield. For many people, the peak earning years of midlife offer a sense of competence and mastery. But for others, the middle years may be times of disillusionment and regret about stalled careers and stale marriages. This time of life can also be filled with anxieties about mounting debt, while putting kids through school and caring for aging parents. Plus, men at midlife discover that their own bodies aren’t what they used to be. As natural medicine expert Andrew Weil, M.D., writes, “The man at fifty or sixty looks at his sagging muscles, thinning hairline, bigger belly, and uncooperative penis and wonders, ‘Whose body is this?’”

But these challenges aren’t new to midlife. What could account for the rising suicide rates? (Remember, the latest statistics are for 2007, before the economic meltdown of 2008 brought widespread job cuts and home foreclosures.) Dr. Conwell says that even before the recession, concerns about the stability of employment could have set the stage for other factors—such as substance misuse, more difficult access to health care, and less-stable social support—that can increase the risk of suicide.

Sally Spencer-Thomas also suspects that fraying social ties may play a role. She notes a 2006 study showing that Americans’ circle of confidants shrank by one-third in the previous two decades. And the number of people who said they have no one with whom to discuss important matters more than doubled in that time, to nearly twenty-five percent.

Thomas Joiner, a psychologist at Florida State University and author of Myths about Suicide (2010), speculates that the mainstreaming of gore may even be having an effect. When the people now in their mid-40s were in their teens (from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s), they were starting to get exposed to gory movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th. He believes that one of the most important factors that contributes to suicide is a “learned fearlessness” about physical pain, physical injury, and death. (Other factors, he says, include the idea that you are a burden on other people, and the feeling that you are hopelessly alienated from them.) As people develop an increasing tolerance to gore, perhaps they are more likely—when in extreme distress—to do themselves harm.

“I hope that I’m wrong about this,” says Joiner. “If it’s true, that’s ominous.” Children and teens today are exposed to far more graphic violence in movies and computer games than were their counterparts of thirty years ago.

Other theories about why midlife suicide rates are on the rise include easier access to guns and prescription drugs, and a potentially higher incidence of depression among baby boomers.

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Lowering risk. When I asked these experts for practical advice on what middle-aged white men can do to reduce their risk of suicide, they stressed that you should see your doctor if you suspect you’re suffering from depression or another mental health problem. While depression often includes feeling sad or losing interest in things that typically give you pleasure, it can also be expressed in other ways: sleep problems, frequent headaches or stomach pain, risk taking (such as reckless driving and casual sex), and anger. If you are suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The experts also advise all men to develop support networks, and to stay engaged with family and friends. “Do everything you can to resist the urge to isolate,” says Phillip Smith, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Rochester. Reaching out can feel uncomfortable, he admits. But sharing your worries can make you feel less alone, and other people may offer valuable perspectives on what you’re going through.

Dr. Conwell also encourages men to take good care of themselves. That means eating right, being physically active, managing your stress levels, getting enough sleep, and not drinking too much alcohol.

And don’t forget to look out for each other, says Spencer-Thomas. Notice if a family member, friend, or co-worker doesn’t seem himself, and ask him how he’s doing. Remind him that depression is a treatable medical condition, not a sign of weakness. If he’s talking about death and suicide, and you suspect that he might harm himself, offer to take him to the emergency room or call 911.

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A personal perspective. I am no stranger to depression, as it has affected me to varying degrees since my teens. It took me a long time to get help—first from psychotherapy, then medication, and now both. The idea of suicide once had a seductive pull on me, but it has lost its power.

Although suicide used to seem like a way out of my struggles, now I can see more options to get through them. I’ve also met several people who have lost loved ones to suicide, and now I firmly believe that any option is better than killing myself.

These survivors of suicide loss have been through a veritable hell of grief and guilt (“What could I have done to prevent this?”). If you ever get to the point that you think you’ll be doing others a favor by doing yourself in, you are wrong.

To me, the essence of suicidal thinking is a kind of tunnel vision in which self-annihilation seems like the only solution to emotional pain. Perhaps this is why I’ve found comfort in environments that provide a sense of spaciousness and openness. Sitting beneath the vaulted ceiling of my church, or walking though the woods and coming upon a sunlit clearing, seems to take me out of my head and my concerns.

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl describes a moment not long after he had been liberated from a Nazi concentration camp. He is walking through the countryside past flowering meadows. Larks rise to the sky and sing joyously. He stops, looks around, and then drops to his knees. Frankl, an Austrian Jew, repeats to himself a line from Psalm 118: “I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and He answered me in the freedom of space.”

I think it’s possible for anyone to experience this freedom of space, regardless of religious affiliation or spiritual beliefs. And I share Frankl’s sense of gratitude. I find myself released from many of the constraints that depression once placed on me and from the lure of suicidal thoughts, and I can see possibilities all around me.

—Dan Fields

Thanks to Elana Premack Sandler at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for help with statistics.

About Dan Fields

Comments

  1. Many people have hit the nail right on the head, so to speak. For those that still don’t get it, maybe my two cents will help.

    At 40 years of age, I have nothing to show for my life except a nagging wife who meanders through University and quits when the classes get too hard. I have two teenage children who care more about clothes and video games than getting out and seeing something of the world. My life is utterly conventional, and I’m trapped in a job (the Army) that I can’t just quit. I’m in a prison and all I want is release. When I look back at my younger years, I realize that this was never where I wanted to be. As my friends moved on with their lives and acomplished things of value, I stayed static… no degree, no real plans in life because plans are for people who care and feel contented in their lives.

    I’ve done all the “right things” in life. I married the nag that is my wife after she had our first child. I didn’t want kids at the time, she did… she got what she wanted, to hell with my hopes and dreams. We had our second child when were so poor we couldn’t afford a phone. Again, I didn’t think was a god idea, but what do I know? She had her plan and I was expected to tag along. I enlisted in the Army and found something I liked to do, but the Army eventually moved me from desk job to desk job. When I told my wife I’d had enough, I got screamed at and was badgered and nagged until I reenlisted. See?? I sacrificed everything I ever wanted by doing the “right thing” and it’s never made me happy. In fact, it’s made me more morose and depressed with each passing year.

    I’ve done wrong things.. had an affair are probably the biggest ones. During those times, life felt exciting and lively. I felt appreciated and desired. The girl listened to my musings and loved my appreciation for art and literature. When I tried to leave my marriage, my job got involved and I gave up the one thing I loved to try to keep my marriage together. See the theme here? Nothing got better and nothing changed. All I ever heard was how bad of person I was, how I was going through a mid life crisis, etc. etc. Anything but admit that I had real feelings and real dreams of better life, but that was all for naught.

    You see, American men aren’t allowed to be happy. I don’t work for me… I work for my car, my landlord, my mobile bill, my credit cards. Is that a good reason to wake up day to day? Leave and I’ll be pillored and harassed for the rest of my life. The Army, my wife and everyone else will make sure I can never be hapy and contented. So I find myself asking, “What’s the point? What is there to look forward to? Another 40 years of mediocrity?”. Death is something I have to look forward to, and as Mr. Eastman said, “Why wait?”. Women have choices and men have responsibilities. We aren’t supposed to have dreams or feelings, and so we meander through life knowing that when we falter the wolves we close in and tear us apart.

    I’m just tired. Everyday I beg to be taken away from the sad tome called my life, and soon, very soon… I will have my wish.

    It’s your lives guys, take it back.

  2. So sad. I am female, but just as confused about life as any of the men here. We are brought up to believe in fairness, truth, a Higher Power. I’m not sure what’s going on in this world. So much feels just plain wrong. I breathe a sigh of relief when something/ someone doesn’t feel that way.
    Let’s stop looking to the sky for an answer and turn to each other. I wish everyone could stop pretending and start talking about what’s real.
    But it won’t be that way because most are propelled by ego and competition.
    I am tired too )-:

  3. Thanks for the honesty shown here! My husband killed himself (gunshot) near the beginning of this year and I’ve been craving honesty on this subject. My husband of 14 years never drank or smoked, worked hard and earned well for myself and our 2 children. He did suffer from depression but I never knew how much. I accept he had to go as I accept that many of us could kill ourselves at varying junctions in life. I just try to trust in God. He knows, he has reasons, everything would be perfect if we could see the whole picture. I choose to live for my kids and for God. Other than that, I’m no stronger than anyone who kills themselves and I don’t hold it against them.

  4. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effot to generate a really good article… butt what can I say… I put things
    off a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

  5. I find this discussion fairly farcical. Men, although thank god women are able have the same opportunities that men do these days (for the most part, although there is significant room for improvement), are highly vulnerable to mid-life layoffs. That, given our deep-felt responsibility as providers for our spouses and families, leads to despair when we cannot do that. And (not to engage in idiotic partisan politics), the fact that government policies (i.e. especially business-hostile decisions like Obama has done) directly lead to layoffs, is a contributor to male suicide.

    But of course we will continue our “puzzlement” at the suicide rates among males, wring our hands in despair, and continue along the same policies that led to this situation in the first place….

  6. Jackson says:

    I’m 52 years old. I’m a white man with a high school education. In 2009 my 401k worth plummeted (I lost more than $10,000). I panicked and closed the account before it went to ZERO. Of course, by doing so I lost 1/3 of what was left to taxes and fees. Anyway, my body is beginning to fail (bad back, high blood pressure, etc.). I’m a driver and only make $17.00 per hour which is peanuts in today’s inflated economy. My wife doesn’t work due to medical reasons so I barely make it from check to check. Under our current political and economic circumstances and with the looming threat of Obamacare I only see things getting worse … not better. Therefore, I totally empathize with men who see suicide as the only way “out.” I must admit that the thought has crossed my mind a few times since 2009. That’s when I lost hope and most of my change.

    I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to improve my economic situation. I try to come up with new inventions or figure out how I could get into business for myself but it takes money to make money so I always end up staring off into space surrounded by this sense of impending doom. I end up praying that God will inspire me in some way but He’s chosen to keep His distance. So much for the power of prayer.

  7. d'artagnan says:

    Life is a funny little random kick in the genitals is it not.
    They cut my salary so much I had to pretty much accept the layoff.
    The money is almost gone.
    And I do not give a darn.
    The messed up thing is all of a sudden a lady friend of mine of 17 years confesses her love for me and my nieces and nephews sort of want to connect more with me now because my brother died and I was around most of the tykes while they were growing up.

    If I were a cold hearted schmuck I could just go on and blow my brains out with no regrets.
    Instead I’m here sleepless with my heart fighting my head for supremacy.

    I’m thinking my head is going to win and death will be claiming me soon.
    No income, losing home and car, what is the point?
    Too late to find a job and death is better than being homeless.

  8. I have considered suicide a few times and even at this moment I don’t know if I will die of natural causes or by suicide. The reason why is just one thing and nothing hard to understand. I am a caring and giving guy who has always loved women and hoped they were capable of the same—I have never met a woman capable of love. I have learned that 100% of them only “love” large bank accounts, superficial things like that or how well you can impress celebrities, the size of your package, …. but woman don’t have human feelings any more than rattlesnakes do and rattlesnakes are more likely to be considerate. I spent 62 years lying to myself about this but may as well tell the truth about women now that I am about at the end of my life.

    • ScreamPhoenix says:

      I’m curious to know where you live.. I’m asking because I live in south Florida, a VERY party/money-hungry/looks-driven type of place. I am a beautiful 30-year-old woman with a lot of intelligence and drive, but also super compassionate, and I’ve NEVER dated a guy for “money, celebrities, sex” etc (which it seems most people down here do). Friends have even told me I am “dating down”- I don’t care what they say, I care about the man’s heart and personality, nothing more..So kind women do exist. It just depends where you are looking, and honestly, what it is about you that is attracted to asshole women. Examine your patterns and attractions, get in counseling, and go from there. You can do it.

  9. Men are under attack.. and for good reason. We are not needed. Science will quickly discover means of igniting the egg-fertilization process, and men will no longer be necessary.

    Women have proven the ability to be as ruthless and self-protective as necessary. There is no inherent difference in the pysche that can’t be overcome by evolutionary processes in the human brain. Men aren’t needed to defend women as they can kill others as effectively as men can.

    I am a middle-aged man who has been coming to terms with his redundancy for many years. The only thing that has prevented my self-reaping is my daughter’s dependence; I do believe she’ll be traumatized by my departure. But it’s her generic fear of death, rather than her dependence on me, that keeps me from self-harm… for the moment.

    Life is for those who have been genetically selected, and raised, to be happy. There is a random element of genetic disposition that has resulted in those who don’t find joy in life. For various reasons – duty, religion, promises – we continue. But the minute those promises are fulfilled, we are ready to depart. I myself will depart when my family can bear it.

    I really don’t understand those who take others down as they go. This is my problem, and mine alone. I don’t have the authority, hatred, or anything else to inflict pain on others. But I want control over my own destiny, and I will take it when I can.

  10. My beloved brother commited suicide July 25, 2012. Not a sign that I could see, until of course, I looked back in the most sorrowful, broken time of my life and saw a couple of things I missed. Might not seem like much to some, but i knew him well soooo… He called me the night before and we talked about soem things that were going on and before we hung up, he told me he loved me, he had also told me that about a week prior on the phone. Way out of character. I KNEW he loved me. I told him I loved him, but he just wasnt one to say it. He didnt do the “typical” suicide rituals so many do. Sudden Death. He was a functional alcoholic, but had some health problems and I know this contributed to his suicide. My brothers work (he was a maste carpenter) defined him. It was who HE was. I have never, ever known more pain in my 52 years, including losing my mom and dad. It almost destroyed me. I can just now begin to think I may live. Shalom.

  11. pills are NOT the answer for one people in poverty CANNOT AFFORD THEM and the warning labels on the pills SAY THE PILLS WILL CAUSE YOU TO COMMIT SUICIDE , no who the hell is going to risk taking those damned pills if they are going to prompt you to do the very thing you are trying to avoid

    • You’re absolutely right that some pills can in a lot of causes make depression worse. In addition these pills can also cause severe weight gain, increase your chances of having diabetes later in live, and many other side effects. Unfortunately, medical professionals will prescribe these pills and discount your concerns until you tell them you gained 50 lbs of weight or have even more severe depression. Given the possible side effects (I’ve had one that caused a 50 lb weight gain and another that caused dizziness) it simply isn’t worth the risk of taking these pills for a depression unless it is a serious depression. Taking these “happy pills” just because of being sad over being lonely probably won’t help you and you most likely will even have one of the undesirable side effects from these pills.

  12. consider those who have NEVER had anything their entire life, no friends no girl no kids no love no hope nothing, i put up with being treated like garbage four looooong years of high school constantly being told how much of a worthless failure i am every day for eternity, their is NO HOPE when the only people you ever loved are in heaven, my parents loved and understood me, but who is there now to talk to, there is NO HELP for those who live in poverty , who can talk to a expert when they have no insurance and NO ONE will give you the time of day, no one cars about helping another human being god forbid, todays stinking world is so obsessed with money, no one cares anymore, is it any wonder other people choose to end their horrible lives on this godforsaken planet

    • Amen brother.
      People do not understand that for some of us, our entire lives have been one loss after another.
      And even through our best efforts we still achieve little or nothing because of how things work.
      And being a man you are not allowed to talk about your dissatisfaction as much as women do.
      So why is it when you decide enough is enough then people want to come in and try to convince you not to?

      Especially when they are not going to help you find a better job, help you get an education without drowning in loans, help you if you have a home forclosure because your job lays you off for no reason, help you with medical bills because of cancer or something that you have no control over.

      Or even if you are homeless and ask for a sandwich you cannot even get that.

  13. Unfortunately not all men have had a great life. Thanks to a Aspergers I have had troubles making friends my entire life and am considered different. For a lot of men, turning 40 is a great time in life but for us single men who never got married it is pure hell! We constantly wish there was someone who loved us, we wish we could have been a dad, we wish for a lot of things that other men take for granted. You finally realize that you wasted your time looking for love and you will be lonely for the rest of your life! I never thought I would be alone for the rest of my life and now know my life is pretty much over and when I thought of killing myself in high school and decided “things can only get better”, I was fooling myself. Nothing got better and now I realize that way back in high school I should have ended my life as I had found the solution to my problems way back then! Unfortunately not all men are loved by women and for us that have the misfortune of not being loved by women, we prefer death over living the rest of our lives alone! Basically I am dead as I see it! I can’t have an enjoyable life or enjoy my time with someone special in my life. If I look at it, my life never was worth living and after reaching 40 and still single, I think suicide is the only solution to my hellhole life. In my 20s and 30s there was still hope that I can find love in my life something that is very important to me but at 40 it is time to realize that I was stupid to even think a woman would be interested in me and how I wasted all my time looking for a women that doesn’t exist. As I mentioned, most men have had a great life and 40 is a positive milestone. Some of us had horrible lives and tried to make our lives worth living only to fail and new we realize suicide is the only solution that will put a final end to our pain!

  14. ncnative says:

    Life is short….eternity is long. I too have felt like many of you, but in the end I would rather let God decide when it is my time to go. True, a meaningless life is not worth living, but life is only meaningless outside of a relationship with God.

    Why not surrender your own way?

    ‘ The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came befoe Him and into His ears,,,,,

    He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters…..’

    Psalm 18 4-6, 16

    • d'artagnan says:

      If your god and philosophies work for you then so be it.
      As an atheist and a rational I know that life has no intrinsic meaning.
      Which means there is no real reason for me to hold on to it ipast a certain point.
      I just wish they had legal suicide clinics here so we could just go, sign some papers and go to sleep instead of having to jump off a bridge or shoot ourselves.

      • ncnative says:

        ‘The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God’

        You cannot know that God isn’t, but you can know that He is. Look at Jesus.

        • d'artagnan says:

          There is no solid proof either way.
          And I’ve never met or seen Jesus so for all I know him and other historical figures could be either totally nonexistent or changed from who they really were to make people think a certain way.

          Sorry if I cannot let some being who cannot even give measurable proof they exist control over my life. Especially when that supposed being lets people go through suffering for its own sadistic purposes.

  15. ncnative says:
  16. Sometimes one is just tired of going through the daily motions.
    If I wanted marriage and kids I could have had that. Would not have satisfied me.
    No issues with being lonely or any other emotional situations. Sort have always been immune to those.

    Just that getting up every day is not fun anymore. The drudgery of a crap job and being older means you are less likely to get hired elsewhere even if you get loans for additional education.

    I am thankful for my job but I was not thankful having to take a damned thirty percent pay cut. Better than being unemployed but hell of a change in lifestyle. And i work 12 hours a day so working elsewhere would be a real challenge.

    I have 20 more years of this crap to look forward too and old age. Why not take my own life? It is not like I am in University again with the nice mixture of people, my youth, my hustles, and all the spice of life.

    Just the same people atr the same job doing ghte same thing daily. And honestly, there is really no job i’d like to do that I have to do the same thing daily. Not lazy or anything but it just dulls the crap out of my brain.

    Add in the cancer returning and I’m seeking death rather than let them kill my body to try to treat me. Wasting all that time and money on therapy for nothing.

    This shit just is not worth it anymore. I am not sure it ever was but I listened to other people and hung around.

    • unknwnusr says:

      I get where your at..! The daily routine of life can become very redundant & some mornings we wake up & say “fucking shit another day of the same crap”…

      In my 30 years of life I have lost over a dozen friends many very close to me; at one point I had a job that I actually loved… Fixing classic & exotic cars for a small dealership… The pay was decent for me & the hours were normal & the work enviroment was very carefree & enjoyable; the bosses were so cool that if I had gone out on a Sunday night & got trashed or got some ass they understood & it was cool not that I made a habbit of calling out but this is how comfortable this job was for me…

      This is when my buddy shot himself when the cops came to get him in my previous posting; I took a couple days off from work & attended the service a couple nights before the service me & one of my best friends went on a day cruise, which was good for me in a way; he helped me put my suit in the trunk for my friend who shot himselfs service, I told my friend I hope you never see me wear this suit again because it will mean one of us is gone, and I told him I loved him…

      Little did I know that would be tje last time I would see him & tell him those words; 3 Weeks later on work in the Bahamas with another friend of mine they got in a car accident and my friend passed away my other friend survived they are best friends since the age of 10 so it was hard loosing one friend than 2; but his passing devistated me & again I had to ask time off from work twice in a month to go to funerals; my boss said dam your too young to be loosing so many close friends, he told me take as much time as I needed because I expressed to him how devistated I was, he even gave me tickets to a car show which I went to alone because I felt I went with my friend in spirt… But the conformation of daily routine ate at me, it drove me nuts same shit wake up go to work go home Friday comes bar hop till Sunday afternoon & back to work; I began to feel disconnected from my world of friends which at the time seemed to be all dying off… I quit my job & kept my friends mom company for several Weeks; we all used to live together I used to rent a room from her in the past plus we needed eachother in a way too at the time… April 13 I got a phone call my best friend called & I thought for sure he was going to tell me his mom passed away or something; but he didnt he told me my best friend of 22 years fell off of i95 & passed; at first I thought he jumped but where he fell several people had fallen from & died prior to him one even being a cop… None the less I was devistated even further…

      I dont think since that time I have been normal; its been over 4 years & since then I have lost many friends… But it changed my work ethic & desires in life forever… I left the journey of my life in gods hands almost up until now; during this time I remained unemployed & had a lawsuit pending pro se where I lived was being shut down & taken over by developers but I fought a good fight & won a nice size settlement & struggles to get a mortgage right when the bubble busted so getting a home loan was impossible but I kept faith & kept on I finally got a home cash purchase; so that long road of struggles is what gave me will & desire to keep on, during this period I met a girl we began dating for sometime well over a year we were together; it came a point when she started telling me I need a job so I could “do more with myself & her & in life” & I felt I have plenty so why need more..? But to make her happy so I thought & to get her to shutup about not working I got a job at home depot its the lowest ranking & paying job I have ever had in my life; I was always in a salry IT posistion or a Auto mechanic job both feilds very well compensated in; but both those industries took heavy cut backs when the recession hit, so home cheapo it was… This girl thought that by me having a job would make our relationship better & more financially expendable to do things with her; no mind you it was her desire for me to work & not my own, but I did it for her… So now I got this “normal job” which I stayed at for a year & only once did I get a weekend off of work by that time/weekend her & I had already broken up because now the reasoning was “you work so much we dont get time or weekends together anymore” she worked during the week & had weekends off where home cheapo was bleeeding me working 38 hours a week as a part time employee & the lowest pay of my life & the job created a massive dent in my relationship… But I reminded her its all part of cause & effect you want me to work now that I do it still wasnt enough…

      If you really & truely can have a woman to love, marry, & make a family with im betting you will find life is a better place to be than dead…

      Ill admit my line between sane & insane is thin these days as I previously posted… But hope & faith keep me wanting to know more… I think if we simply reach out to eachother as this forum allows for people to do is a start…

      Ive changed my routine to make it through each day one day at a time now I say try because I still deal with loneliness & unfufilled desires, & I acknowledge my depression…

      Im not anyone to tell anyone else what to choose to do in their lives but all I can sugget to you Dr m. Is that try & throw a monkey wretch into your lifecycle… Be it a walk to work or maybe get up extra early & take the bus or train to work instead of the normal “daily drive to work” maybe ride a bicycle there or hit up the gym at sometime through the day… Call out sick for a day or two & go for a walk in the park absorb some sunlight because that indoor lighting used to drive me crazy in the IT feild because often we were put in server rooms which are like freezing dungeons…

      Im just a normal guy too who feels just like everyone else whom continplates suicide… If cancer is causing your pain & depression I understand a good friend of mine passed away at 28 a few months ago of liver failure cancer, she didnt want to die but it was far too late for her to get a new liver plus she was a bartender & began heavier drinking after younger brother passed from the same liver cancer… I suggest seeking alyernative means to revitalizing yourself & surpressing or eliminating cancer all together…

      In many cases its mind over matter many people live decades without knowing they have cancer or dieses that should have long killed them it only when they find out their mind reacts to it or they like you said get sucked into a treatment system that pretty much microwaves their body so I get that in your case Dr m. I have a couple friends whom swear by getting “adjustments” of the atlas bone in their necks; research shows many people with various health issues especially cancer & HIV patients have pinched nerves or out of aligned atlases… My one friend who swears by it; her father is gay & has HIV hes older & scabes which nearly killed him the hospital & doctors gave him meds which made him worse & he was on his death bed in agony she went down made her father stop taking the meds gave him adjustments & made him smoke marijuana to gain an appetite that the meds surpressed… Today he is very mudj alive & active & his t-cell count is on a normal scale & HIV is so minimal in his sytem now that doctors cant believe it wouldnt know unless it wasnt in his medical record that hes an HIV carrier…

      With that said I highly recommend that if your state has medical marijuana to get a script for it to help with your cancer treatment opposed to pills & to try the adjustments; after all we are to a point where we feel theres nothing left but hopefully I have given someone out there a reason to try something new as I too try to hold on as well…

      Thanks for sharing Dr m.

      • unknwnusr ,
        I understand.
        Having lost most of my friends to death or incarceration it really takes a toll on one’s life. And those long term deep trust friendships are hard to come by.

        I was married once so I know the ropes of the lady wanting better finances and being upset that you work too much. Course she cheated with multiple gys as I found out and I had to fight in court for years just to spend a little time with my son. He died in a car accident last year along with my cousin and one of my best friends. And it just built up.

        Thanks for suggesting the alternatives. I have a nice little investment saved up so if I can find someting I enjoy that will keep food and shelter, that is all I need.

        Current plan is to end things by the end of this year. And I may try alternative therapy but the doc gives me about a year from now if I do not do chemo. Who knows.

        But every day I just want to sleep and not wake up anymore.
        Thank you for sharing your story my friend.

        • unknwnusr says:

          Dr. M
          Im happy to see you share more… The depth of loss of loved ones is beyond for many to understand & I will admit the loss of a child is the utmost painful feeling I am sure…
          I do not have kids, so it is hard for me to relate exactly; but as you know ive lost many of friends great & best ones & as you say the good ones are hard to find & trust in this lifetime… I have many of friends too whom have been incarcerated as well…
          Hence why my one friend shot himself he was on parole & didnt want to go back for 30 years…

          But none the less God has us here for some reason; even my own exsistance since before my birth was “against all odds” being a child of a rape victim is confusing & painful; so many people believe that cases like mine are OK to abort… But my mother choose otherwise…

          I am truely sorry for your losses of your family; I once died myself as a teenager in a car accident & had an out of body experience… Even after my survival & “seeing the light” my life as a wild teen running the streets did change much… But yet I am still here not dead nor in jail, again against all odds of our society of the 90s era…

          If we keep faith in God & I have to admit there is something beyond what we believe or consider reality with God in the afterlife; we just have to get there by gods time scale & not by our own hand…

          There is 2 men whom you may or may not have heard of; one is Deepak Chopra he has several YouTube videos one in particular I found wonderful; no mind you deepak is a scientist but yet acknowledges that not even science can explain our inner soul, our soul is the actual energy that drives this machine we call a body… In this video -I will ppst the link next- he speacks of the transformation of energy… One example he uses is the burning of wood… Here we have wood, it is now dead & dry it used to be once very much alive but is it not still alive..? So we burn it, now it is the catalyst of fire..! But fire is nothing unless it has a fuel or energy to burn being the wood so now again this wood is very much alive again it has created an even bigger energy now… But I know you say -as I did too- oh but now that the wood has burnt its life as wood is done; NOT SO..! Depak firther explains the science cycle of burning wood; burning wood creates smoke again another form of therpines/fuel/energy this smoke then rises into the sky & helps to for the cycle of cumulus clouds which again is a massive form of energy these could then create rain whidj again is a fuel or energy that then shower upon us & nature giving life once again to us in the form of water & to its borthers & sisters of nature to continue to live… The bottm line of Deepaks message is; “ENERGY NEVER DIES”… This I do believe… And being that no human can explain our soul its my best guess in all of gods greatness & wisdom & the biomechanic intricacies that we too never die; at least not our soul…

          if one believes in angels; as I do being near death in so many instances… I believe your son, your cousin, & your best friend are all part of gods team of angels if not for you or me or someone else in this forum who needs an angel right now for me they are..! As tragic as so many things in this world are there is beauty here too… And they are all part of it…

          Sometimes we fail to “stop and smell the roeses” listen to the bees buzz & bird chirp… Modern day society has mentally disconnected us from what gods reality really should be… Sure we need work, & fund, & a roof over our heads; but time we can not buy… Take your shoes off walk in the soft grass at the park clear your mind, cry, dont ask God anything confess to him; something will come of it even if the sign is a bird crapping on your head…

          Ive gone slightly astray here but the second man I would like everyone to watch his name is Leanord Jacobs; the video is 2 parts on YouTube & it is calle “true awakening”… He speaks of the “now”… I cant really explain it as well as he does but every time I watch the video it gives me that sense of being alive again right NOW..! it will help you remove your mind from the crap doctors & the world my tell you will happen in a year from now because the truth is none of the past or future is even real anymore or yet; only RIGHT NOW is REAL everything else is a facade…

          I believe you & I have much to learn & much to show the world even our response here among eachother may help someone else & that there is purpose; hence why I have bookmarked this page & come back regularly to post my progress…

          Yesterday a girl I know from middle school called me; when we were kids her brother commited suicide… She is still bothered by it… Her baby father has basically internationally kidnapped her 3 boys & her filing for divorce is almost impossible as he is in Panama w/ the kids; I never knew this but she told me she was raped as a young girl by a relative & in bad drunken nights as a teen… I stayed slinet on the topic till later that night because I wanted to let her vent… But I finally told her that I could relate to her rape situation as I am a by product of such act & that dealing with that too as an adult is part of my depression today… not that she completely understands the extent of the mental scaring knowing this has on a child as it has for me I think she found a place to relate too…

          All in all we are not even totally alone… Im not a sports fan but its nice to high five a stranger when the home team scores a point… Sometimes I wish everyone in the world owned & wore a t-shirt that says “free hugs here” this world might be a better loving place…

          And dr m. Please do seek alternative solutions for your cancer; I hate doctors & hospitals & all that its just a drug companies dealer business if you ask me… Yoga is another great means of relaxation & self reflection… I almost forgot the dalai lama XIV has a website with video talks on them I highly recommend going there too… And always remember “God is my Judge” so whatever you find in the alternative medicine arena to work for you is great be it medcinal marijuana, acupuncture, meditation, herbs, etc. God still loves us all & even if we pass away against all of our own efforts to survive & against all odds of the doctors bullshit diagnosis “energy never dies”… Try camping for a weekend w/ a few good books… Being active keeps the other micro organisms that oir body is made up of alive too…

    • d'artagnan says:

      DR.M

      I agree with you.
      No type of emotional involvement is going to do anything for me.
      I do not want to get older and I have not figured out how to get extremely wealthy.
      This daily grind just to be old and broke is pointless.
      I am choosing death as well and will be dead by the end of this week.
      Wishing you a quick and peaceful end DR.M

      • unknwnusr says:

        Ok I get it you dont believe in God & im cool with that… But what is the real reason for you not to want to live anymore..?
        I admit to mine, Dr. M has shared his… But whats your reason..?
        If what you believe in is “only reality” and “logic” cool im with you…
        Im a human being a grand composure of intricate biomechanical micro organisms as are you..! These are all logically real..! And very much alive..!
        I had a point in life too & sometimes still do where we devalue or question or exsistance or place in the universe… The universe is much a real place too is it not..?
        And here you are..!
        We all have an “ego”… How often do you turn that voice/ego off..?
        Maybe its time to tell your ego to shut up & absorb some of the beauty of this reality only, you so logically believe in…
        No one here reading this know whom you really are in this virtual world that man has created but yet you are willing to overlook what other men & women are saying..? These are NOT words from any God; these are words & realities of other human beings just like you…
        Whats common amoung us all here is our dealings with “living on” for another day…
        As I previously said in my reply to Dr. M “the past & future are a facade” so why give up on the “NOW”..?
        I am almost certain if you set you ego aside & reveal your true story someone human whom is not God & just as much real as you are can & will relate..!

        • unknwnusr says:

          This is the link to the Deepak Chopra video I spoke of; its called the mystries of conciseness…

          http://m.youtube.com/index?client=ms-android-google&tab=w1&gl=US&rdm=m5zadq6w7#/watch?v=FEF7T-Yy3kQ

          And this is the link for the Lenord Jacobs Video True awakening… Its 2 parts this is part 1 link…

          http://m.youtube.com/index?client=ms-android-google&tab=w1&gl=US&rdm=m5zadq6w7#/watch?v=Ce0sISw_qBY

        • D’artagnan will not be able to reply.
          Thing is he sounded like this guy I worked with who quit a few weeks ago.
          So the first message he sent I rung the guy up on the phone and it was him. He explained it all to me. Since he was the only one outside of family who knows about my cancer returning…
          We were not best friends but I am open minded so he was willing to talk to me about himself.
          Funny thing is he’s not the type of guy one would expect to make that choice.

          Charming, attractive, good with the ladies, financially stable. brainy but in a relaxed sort of way. Always smiling and trying to cheer people up. Always involved in charity and similar things. Always lending a hand.

          He told me that he just did not enjoy adulthood. He said it was too mundane and repetitive for his tastes. He said that if he could have invented something and become wealthy enough to just travel he would visit a different country every month.

          He said that his means did not provide him with enough variety that he preferred and he saw no point in continuing. That he was comfortable choosing his demise.

          He said if anyone responded to his answer that I was to say what I just said.

          His last day was today as far as he told me. I know many are going to nay say me for not calling the authorities but I was in a mental hospital after one of my previous attempts years ago and I would not do that to anyone.

          We went out for lunch and a movie with a group from work and then he shook my hand, hugged me and told me that all was done.

          Last I saw he was walking towards his car whistling a tune.

          His strength has inspired me. I’ll probably move up my date as well.

          R. I know you will not see this but you were an exceptional human.

          • unknwnusr says:

            Dr. M. Hes is not like you & you are not like him…

            All too often we become absorbed by the facade of what society has deemed “real”… It seems to me d’art became self absorbed in setting an unrealistic “expectation” on wealth by a certain point in time…

            Please please please watch the previously post lenord Jacobs videos I posted…
            Lenord speaks of exactly these types of “expectations” in life & how it can & will drive you insane when they never come…

            From what you know of him & as you said you wouldnt think he would be or feel this way; but his ego & expectations over ruled his logic of “simply living in the now” & enjoying these present moments…

            Dr. M you have an entirely seperate reasoning; which I can understand you have a physical pain & what doctors are saying is cancer… There is a commercial ive seen here in my state for the center of cancer & the woman in there said she went to one doctor & they told her she had some much time to live & then she went to this center for cancer & the doctor told her “I do not see an experation label on you” this is a wonderful analogy..!

            And I am going to reutter it directly to you Dr. M.

            Dr. M, I DO NOT SEE AN EXPERATION LABEL ON YOU..!

            we can help eachother here… I believe you have much will power & in the least an open mind to trying new things… I know you say you have a date set; but opposed to moving the date up sooner because your Co-worker has -mimd you it seems he was caught in the facade of keeping up with the jones- how about you push the date back further into the futute at least until you have tried some of the natural remedies I previously suggested… If atlas adjustments & smoking pot can take an HIV patient from his deathbed back to living a normal & almost nonHIV status; I believe God can & will do the same for you…

            And I understand there is more underlying in your reasons here… But as of NOW cancer is your main cause & main loss of will… If we can help you in moving forward towards getting better in the cancer arena then later we will figure out the rest…

            Again please please please watch the Jacobs videos they are about 20 minutes total & I promise you; it will change your mindset somewhat on life…

  17. unknwnusr says:

    Im a 30 year old single male never married, no children, I own several cars & motorcycles, I own my home outright, in general I know I am successful in my life & amongst my peers/friends… I have no brothers or sisters, never had a father & my conception was due to rape, my mother is now 72 & all of my mothers side of the “family” lives elsewhere in the nation of which I know very little about any of them…

    Recently I started seeing a woman but for the most part she just wants me sexually & nothing more… She has a 3 year-old little girl & has many siblings & family/friends around…

    After reading several sites on suicide & why it affects men more unknowingly to others is based for/to me for several reasons many of which are NOT even mentioned…

    The Main reason I believe suicide affects men my age & slightly older males -or younger for that matter- is the lack of LOVE… Even just saying it to a friend can help take away the deepest & darkest thoughts of loneliness of/in my depression states…

    I say “states” because sadness/depression are in fact emotions that yes are self induced by the mind…

    Secondly I found that when I do feel like hanging my-self or slitting my wrists in the tub if I still had my gun I may not even be writing this; I TRY to console with God, I say try because when we “hear the inner voice” or spirt of the lord science calls us crazy; which by all means is a common trait for all humans its a very thin line between sane & insane…

    None the less you find yourself alone wanting to die because we feel “whats this life worth living alone or no one to live for…” I would have hung myself recently but I dont want to burden my mother with finding her only child hanging dead for the remainder of her life…

    but this is about why men do commit suicide even with success…

    I believe most all humans feel a state of unworthiness at some point in life; but because we are all individuals reasons vary case to case…

    For me its todays modern woman helping to drive men deeper into depression with such a rise in single mothers & reversed roles… Women today have no real or true need for a man other than to bear a child with & even then she has alternatives to conceive; where as men we do not… Sure men could adopt a child but men being men want their own off-spring with a woman they love…

    Many modern women my age group for the most part have children & dont want anymore or have been divorced & are not seeking to be “tied down” again…

    Which brings me to the current situation… Many men whom become successful on their own dont seek a woman who is not at least on the same page of desires in life to be together…

    But for me its simply the lack of “being loved by someone” both emotionally & physically and the lack of loved ones taking notice of the situation & being there for that person… For the most part even when a man is screaming out that he wants to die no ome takes him seriously & the normal response from most is tuffin up & face your problems like a man which only leads to him feeling more like pulling the trigger…

    Men can NOT make anyone love them I try to “love in abundance” but that is something we find is always rejected or not reciprocal… So we find ourselves alone in our mind reaching out in tears for something as small as a hug & an I love you phrase; even a return phone call would be nice… At times when I was in my early 20s sitting home on a Friday night alone I would randomly call/text everyone in my phone & most times no ome picked, responded, or called back; however I am the complete opposite… I have lost many best friends to fatalities 3 were suicides… My one buddy violated probation after doing 2&1/2 years in prison took his own life when the police came to get him; he knew he was facing 30 years this time his daughter was about 5 at the time, in retrospect I understood why he did it, he loved his daughter & wanted to be with her so much but the mother moved on foumd a new guy & was making it hard for him to see her plus 30 years is a long time to deal without the one he loves most one could say they are better off dead than alive… The second followed years after my friends father hung himself shortly after the recession hit; his daughters were in college his realty business took a huge hit & bills were piling up & his wife of 30 years began doing party drugs & dating in another state at their home set for retirement; he had a life insurance policy & I guess he felt that he had to do what need to be done to take care of his daughters & a wife who no longer seemed to desire him; so he did the deed daughters got education paid & home paid off & the wife was forced into being single now; this devistated me because he & I were close … My 3rd friend was from middle school & I didnt find out about his suicide until years after it happened… He attained a schoolarship went to college found a girl he loved & during a school breal she left him, I assume depression hit & the feeling of having no ome there he mustered up the balls to run towards an on coming train…

    Now I can relate… Its very simple cause & effect; Jerry springer once said “love is a selfish emotion” im not sure why its stuck with me but it wages true for the most part… We all want love because it coincides with happiness; without it we lack so much, companionship, will, desire, need, kin, as men we want to feel loved & needed too but with todays society & men for the most part holdimg onto the idea of to be a man is not to cry or care but to muscle up & take it like a man…

    Where I stand now is that ive taken interest in me more working oit daily bicycle or jogging yard work etc but that is just a momentary escape from my current reality…

    Im with a woman who doesnt love me, when her daughter says I love you to me I cry inside because shes not mine d I cant love her back unconditionally because its the mothers choice to be with me when she deems fit… Which is where I feel many of men especially self-sucessful men because we may desire more particular traits in a woman making the search for love & companionship harder… Im to a point now where id settle for a baby momma just so I have a reason to continue to live & love; its when we men loose knowing this that we slip away into depression & even with warning few even care drives us more to do it…

    For me the only exit I have is to be crazy & talk to myself with hope God doesnt let me down…
    they say there is someone for everyone; but when we feel there isnt these are the thoughts of a sane man sunk in loneliness…

    • I am so with you, man. Please contact me if you’d like to talk. I think we should talk.

      • unknwnusr says:

        Tom thank you for reaching out to me & being able to relate…
        Whatever you & want to speak of I would like to & choose to keep it here in the comments/forum…
        Because these issues affect tons upon tons of people worldwide; and my goal for myself is to remove the selfishness of my own thoughts & share openly as it helps me to somewhat vent & relate with others…

        Tom please feel free to share anything you feel relivent or your own story/experinces…

    • Great post and a lot of truth in there. Love is certainly the key but belief in yourself and in your own self worth is perhaps more important. Sometimes it is better to work on being the best that you can be, even if in a shitty place and often with the contentment obtained, love will follow. We don’t all deserve or indeed get love. We don’t even know sometimes that we are loved. The trick is to LIVE and life will give its own reward and maybe even true love. Keep on movin my friend….

  18. Trish S says:

    Five years ago my husband [age 58] of 30 years took his own life. I didn’t see it coming; he was the laughing giant that everyone loved. I was more fortunate [?] than most suicide family/survivors; I had answers.
    It’s been a long journey through a very dark place. On that Sunday morning John stole from me; stole my marriage, stole away my best friend, stole our retirement life, stole my having someone by my side during the last quarter of my life.
    Now just as I am in a good place and very content with my life, my 55 yr. old nephew has committed suicide. He was a highly successful producer/editor of trailers in LA. He was handsome and charming.
    It has hit me harder than I would have expected. And it is so true! Women get help. Men die.
    Such a permanent solution of what was probably a temporary situation.

    • Your husband “stole” nothing from you..he denied you of YOUR expectation of, as you put it, “The last quarter of your life..”
      I notice there is not a word of WHY he committed suicide; only that he was always happy. This suggest to me the communication beween the two of you was not what you thought it was. He seemed happy, and you loved him, yet the direct opposite was true; he was so depressed he killed himself. This is common in cases of middle aged suicide when the victim(your husband , not you) is married; one party is in what they consider a great life, the other is in a hell that only death can relieve.
      The most important thing in preventing this sort of thing is communication, pure and simple.
      Very easy for me to talk about achieving, but very difficult in practice

  19. joe sciarretta says:

    Wow… I just stumbled across this after googling, “why is a successful man so depressed and isolated.”

    Yes, that’s me. I isolate myself because I like to be alone… I am a huge introvert, but most people wouldn’t know it. They probably look at me and wish they had my life.

    But here I am… alone… isolated… and wanting to die.

    What is wrong with me?

    I think through in minute detail how I could kill myself so no one would ever find me.

    • my name is sharon i will be 51 in oct. i myself like to be alone .maybe we need some one we can connect with .

    • I hope you found a way out of this dark state of mind. I have struggled for over 35 years now with anxiety and depression. Just a few years from 50, I really, very much wish I just did it decades ago – my mom would have had all this time to repair her broken heart.

      Now, I could not do that to her. So I have to wait until she passes to finally get out of this ridiculous life.

      I am probably not helping joe sciaretta, but just know this, joe: you are not alone. I wish you well, honestly, because I know the ugly, dark feelings that you are experiencing.

  20. In short: I am convinced by the monetary naysayers concerning the marketplace. Has anyone found a glimmer of hope in this “downturn”?

  21. The article at the top doesn’t contribute anything new, but these comments are so full of truth and honest, unlike the platitudinous crud which characterizes all the official discussions of suicide. The phrase “get help” or “accept help” or “seek help” occurs over and over and over again here, but THERE IS NO HELP TO GET. I am a middle aged man who has sought and received all kinds of “help” over the last 20 years – all the so-called antidepressant medications (read “The Emperor’s New Drugs” to get the truth on those), cognitive-behavioral “therapy” (sheesh, how long is it going to be before that crock gets exposed for what it is?), psychodynamic “therapy”, buddhist meditation, you name it… ALL USELESS. There is a conspiracy of silence. We are suicidal because it’s that bad.

  22. Good Luck to all of you

  23. Again-I say this from knowing first hand how I felt alone all my life-I still struggle with that-and being so low that suicide seemed like the only logical choice.
    I do know how it feels, it is worth a shot, don’t you think?

  24. maybe being a man has its own dark sides, but here is a gainfully employed tall slim girl and I have set my date nonetheless. And no, I have no history of substance abuse. I am just completely alone, and have been so forever, and there is no way for me to imagine that now that I am 40 things would magically turn different. I have enjoyed the outside world and now I am looking forward to end this daily torture of nonbelonging.

  25. I could list all the specific problems and negatives like other guys here have but there is no point.
    And like the article said I’m not getting my youth back and I’m going to die one day anyway.
    Even if my only reason for dying was just to avoid getting old to me it is still enough of a reason.
    My life has no point. And endless string of ups and downs until you die.

    But nobody tells you that as a kid. They lie to you and say that honesty, hard work, kindness, excellence, blah blah blah will let you achieve blah blah blah. And that treating people nice will get you blah blah blah. And there is the first time it falls apart. But still brainwashed by the delusion you keep trying and things keep crumbling. And yes I know others deal with these things. But a change in perception does not change reality.

    I wish my attempt when I was younger would have succeeded. But I am smarter now. And am using multiple methods so that there is pretty much a sure chance at dying.

    As far as getting help… I’ve talked to mental health professionals and it is the same bull about just accepting things. Screw that.
    Rationally speaking there really is no point to life anyway. Except for the meaning people invent. We are not even part of the natural food chain anymore.

    Just a little more time and I will be free of this mortal prison.

  26. I’m 58 -unemployed for a year now -depressed- broke- all I think about is just ending it all. I do not see any other way out

    • Please consider that the depression is changing the way you think, it changes the chemicals in your brain to make you believe there is no other way. Seek help for your depression. Then address what you need to do to make a living. It can be done, but you must first chose to be treated.

  27. Oh and one other thing….those people who have hurt you or are hurting you? They are the ones with the shallow souls, I feel bad for them. You can change what is wrong with you, they can’t change. I do speak of these things from personal pain and being at the brink of wanting to end it all. I am ecstatic that I didn’t, actually because of it, I have come back stronger and even clearer about what is really important, who I really am and I know now I am here to be of assist to others, to look for ways to make others happy. With this comes great contentment and a sense of it all being as it should. You will see.

  28. I’m 59 – lost everything – suicide is the road to travel

    • Im living on disability and im not happy every min. of the day . You have to get out there and ask for help. there is a phone number you can call for different resorces 211 they will direct you to get the help you need.sharon

  29. Some days I think the only thing that keeps me on this planet is spite — namely, not giving my ex, the divorce system, and this twisted culture the satisfaction of me taking my own life.

  30. Unemployed WASP says:

    This country cares nothing for the average middle-aged male who lost their job, savings, and developed medical problems (in order). Deforming fingers without medical care from arthritis, heart problems, both the modern liberals and the neo-conservatives want the white middle-aged male gone imo.

    • It is the conservatives who don’t care about the white middle-aged male when they don”t need them anymore.

  31. I’m 29, mexican/white, and a loser. you wouldn’t have thought it back in the day: I was 18, graduating at top of my class. 3rd best grades out of 18 in an academic oriented all boys catholic boarding school.

    I keep asking myself why I’m here? Not here on earth but here on a suicide forum. I forget a lot of things. Sometimes I think brain damage, others I suspect I repress. But some things I can’t forget. I can’t forget being 17, playing video games, when family members burst into my room for help because my grandfather was choking. I can’t forget I skipped taking a CPR class just 2 months before because I thought it was too expensive. I can’t forget how that afternoon dragged out into an evening – and grandfather, he was a dad to me, died.

    I can’t forget being 18 a year later, and letting myself be convinced that a job in video games wasn’t the right thing to do. I should go to this particular catholic philosophy college, and develop my mind. Learn to think and become wise, learn to make a real life, a good one.

    I can’t forget wasting two years at a college I failed out of, for a degree that wouldn’t have gotten me a job anyway. Going back home, working a pathetic job in a grocery store I got as a ‘favor’ from my grandmother’s friend while taking care of two disabled women (mom and grandma) and going to another college for a degree.

    I can’t forget thinking massage therapy would be a great career. I was so good at it. I can’t forget 3 years getting an associates degree instead of settling for a 250 hour certificate. I can’t forget 3 years of every place I ever applied for a job to saying ‘yes, they had only one or two men on the team’ and never getting called back. I can’t forget the look in every interviewer or potential client’s eyes when they told me they thought Zaid was a girl’s name. I took a good internship; 3 client shifts and I never had an opening or cancellation over 3 months. It was the joy of my life to see men and women, middle aged and elderly, walk better, breathe more easily, or simply be in less pain over the months I got to work with them.

    Then I was a graduate, off to long days of taking long bus rides to interviews and dropping off applications, and even longer evenings of riding back home feeling like a degenerate asking to be allowed to work and get paid by proper decent people. Actual people. Something I apparently wasn’t.

    My old employer allowed me to go back to my old job at the grocery store. Packing groceries, sometimes produce. 3 hour days, 5 hour commutes. I lasted 2 weeks when i was transferred to another branch, still 3 hour days, now a 7 hour commute, and the manager muttering under her breath that I was deaf and stupid. Four months later I just never returned.

    I’ve been begging for the end for years. One year ago shaving in the shower I got desperate and though it would work raw. it didn’t. So there I am naked in a shower breaking a plastic razor with my teeth so that I could pry the blade out and make it cut my wrists. it felt like five minutes. And by the end of it I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t fear, and it wasn’t mechanical clumsiness. I made sure of it. I carved a square around a 1.5 inch diameter mole on my chest and peeled it off using a nail clipper.
    The blood didn’t stop me, I felt no pain, my dad had been dead for 10 years, my grandmother 3.

    But my mother was still there in her room, and she needs me to get her meds every monday and groceries twice a week. Alone, depressed, broken, poor and pointless: suffering from every form of souldeath.

    And still my sense of duty outweighed my animal instinct to let my misery end.

    The death of the soul isn’t a numbness, it’s a poison. Necrotic, it eats away at every living part of us until only our core remains. For now I’m running on a sense of obligation and mysanthropic pride: the hubris that somehow all this I’m going through makes me better than the people who aren’t.

    Mom might die soon, or not. Afterwards my suicide will likely be passive. Give myself the pleasure of a brawl with someone who’ll definitely use a weapon; see how far I can swim out in the Pacific before I get caught in an undercurrent, attract a shark, or simply get too tired; break a window and try to stab a cop with a shiv of broken glass, they shoot to kill in Mexico; or let myself get arrested, find out how long a man who embraces death can survive inside. I amuse myself with thoughts of murdering someone truly vile that still influences the free world.

    I find it ironic that so many here have written sentiments so similar; for a group of the most ‘selfish men in the world’ we seem to be willing to go to great extremes to not be a burden to, or even have our deaths be a benefit to, our society. I suppose that’s logical in it’s own way- predators don’t think of alleviating their problems and those of their own, they think of ways to pass them on to anyone they can.

    We’re not heartless bastards. We’re not kids. This isn’t all about us, we’re not trying to get attention, and we don’t want everyone to know about it. We’re just a generation of men who ‘aren’t needed’, and because of that aren’t paid. Some of us are in holes nobody could dig out of in twenty years of hard-working labor, some of us have a lifetime of memories haunting us, dreams and promise we never managed to live up to it doesn’t matter if we didn’t due to failure or nobility, and some of us are just medically sick. None of us wants pity, it adds insult to it all, but I do feel most for the ones who are sick. A surgery, a treatment or a pill and suddenly they’re gone from this. They’re free. And they won’t be because nobody will foot the bill for it.

    Life is free. Living is what costs you.

    I’m down to five thousand a year in personal living expenses. I don’t think I can cut it down more. I could delude myself into thinking things might turn better, but after 5 years of living this way, I’ve no reason to think I’ll go five more with a difference. It’s math. 2 people living with X supplies, 1 person would live twice as long. I could choose mom or me. Or I could live it out until the money ran out and then choose me, and live out the rest of my life in a similar prison.

    I can, I could. But I chose not to. Like many of you here, I suspect I’m still a good man.
    And we all know the cliche’s: the good die young, and nice guys finish last.
    It’s our only last real choice: we can live on as monsters, or we can die like men.

    -Z

    • We are made in God’s image. Be humble and admit our sins in Confession. Grace will then super-abound within us. Meaning in our lives will become apparent. God has a mission for you and for me. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. God bless you. CHRIS

    • dont live in the past. everyone has made decisions that havnt worked, the trick is to learn from them and move on.

  32. I am a 56 year old white dude, university educated and licensed building professional. My profession has been decimated by the economy and for the last 3 years I have been doing physical construction work, supplemented by what’s left of my 401K. I wholeheartedly agree with many of the commenters on the treatment/value of men in American society. I was another one who always played by the rules, focused on my family and career, didn’t drink, gamble or womanize, but it just seemed to evaporate over the last 10 years. I was laid off after a moderately successful career, then lost almost everything I had in my divorce (except my tools, camping equipment and firearms), when my ex-wife left our 18-year marriage for her millionaire. She doesn’t want to marry him so that she can continue to receive support. The few personal relationships I have had since my marriage go nowhere. Middle aged white dude construction workers with no money are not in high demand with Orange County, California women. I have about 3 months of 401K money left and am convinced that a rational suicide is the only way I can see to leave this life with a scrap of courage and a smudge of dignity. Having my children witness me continuing to degrade, and eventually having to live off public assistance, etc., is not an option. My big problem is how do I strategize the next few months. I get somewhat emotional and overwhelmed when I try to think this all through and am looking for resources to help me plan the exit, i.e., “checklist for a good death.” I’m looking to minimize the impact on my adult kids, to convert my last few possessions to cash and then transfer the cash to my children, while avoiding taxation. I don’t want to leave a mess, possessions to sift through, unpaid bills, unresolved issues, etc. Should I leave any type of video or written statement in explanation? I want to make this as clean, simple and painless as possible. I don’t want the body discovery to be anywhere near my family. What am I missing; what else do I need to focus on?

    I’m looking for input.

    Thank you for the Good Men Project. I pray that your work will protect my son from having to deal with similar issues.

    • Forgetaboutit says:

      I’ve watched women kick their men out the homes the men had almost paid off and then get the younger boy toy and shower them with gifts from the alimony money while the kids called the boy toy dad and the now ex-wife did her best to turn them against the real dad and deny him the two weekends a month he got while the boy-toy rolled around in the nice car the ex-husband made payments on blasting the new stereo the wife had showered him with. Now if that doesn’t make one want to kill themself, what would?

      Fortunately, these guys kept their heads and somehow worked through it and yes it took years and they were lucky enough to have jobs.

  33. I was happy to discover this particular web-site.I want to thank you for your effort for this amazing learn!! I surely taking advantage of every little this and I’ve got you book marked to look at latest thing you article.

  34. worked very hard. Overcame a tough family life and poverty… went to grad school… perfect grades…no debt – no drugs – go to church – help others when I can – I don’t abuse women — But guess what? We’re the most derided and hated demographic in the office, in our families, on TV, in the media… the guys kiilling themselves aren’t the debt ridden – dead-beat dad types… they’re the regular guy who played by the rules. Women and our society hate us because and consider us guilty — marry a foreigner — anyone not corrupted by our culture… home school your kids… try like heck to just build a normal life — This is too much — middle age is the point where you realize that it doesn’t matter what you do in america – you are hated. I think about suicide on a daily basses – when women in the office are rewarded for their lack of integrity (lie, steel, cheat, backstab, undermine, gossip), divorced moms get custody and c.support for life, single old guys are avoided like the plague, when our immediate families deride us – refer to us as losers. Life here is pointless. A complete waste. Impossible to build a life a family

  35. Why do we see suicide by presumably mentally competent adults as problematic? Is it so terrifying to admit that some people take a long look at their lives, see no value in continued existence, and ultimately choose to act on it? Suicide is far preferable to withering away in a life that long ago lost its luster. Why discourage people from seeking the only real release from the ennui of existence? Why stigmatize the ultimate act of self-help?

  36. Perry Connell says:

    In this article, the fourth paragraph under Lowering Risks states that people should notice a family member, co-worker or friend that doesn’t seem himself and ask him how he’s doing. I agree, assuming there is anyone left in this society that cares. I’ve been waiting for several years for someone to notice (or care about) my downward spiral and ….. well, still waiting. There doesn’t seem to be anyone who cares, even in my own church. I feel like I’m lifting my hand out of the water hoping someone will grab it and save me from drowning but all I see is faces that say, “not interested”. What else is there to do but let myself drown”?

  37. I am black 36 and male and I plan to kill myself in the near future. I have many skills and have worked very hard in my life but i have nothing. I am just hated. I live ina community that treats me with disrespect often and their is much racism where I live. No matter what I do my efforts are ignored. I am not talking about rejection. There is no rejection, I simply do not exist. Non-existence. That is how I am treated. I have no one and nothing. No hope for the future. No wife, no gf, no money, nothing. And no way to get anyhting. You just can’t get lower than this. The problem in this country is that men are hated. Men are degraded and men are disenfranchsed. No matter if you are white or black. It doesnt matter. If a man has no money he is perceived a failure. Women are the ones who degrade men the most. men dont even have the right to cry. I can not tell you the numbers of times I have been put down for shedding just one tear. I lost 2 men I knew to suicide in just this year alone. They were a lot like me. Forgotten and unloved. And again, they were extremely talented. But who cares? It seems the smarter a man is the more he is hated and has no place in this society. The more creative and original he is the more likely he will be alone. That is how this place works. I hate America and everything about it. I hate women for what they do to men and the world. I will be dead soon. But I wanted to write this to let you know that not all men die as a result of pity. There are real reasons for why we hurt. We are people too. Just unloved and unwanted by this world. Being born male is a crime. All it brings is a life of suffering. Especially if you are one who dared to embrace knowledge. We have no place and no one. i want to die to be free of this daily torture. It is like a wound that never heals. I am the ‘nigger’, the monster that everyone hates and blames for all of the worlds wrongs. I am the thing neither beast nor man. Unwarranted in his existence.
    Hated by everyone. What greater joy does it give white america and everyone else, especially women to know that I am one less Nigger to worry about. No One will or can know the hurt or having your whole existence be vile.

    • Henry P. Belanger says:

      Hey man, glad you decided to speak up. You might be surprised to know how many guys out there that know how you feel —

      Know that you’re not alone in these feelings, and that there are people who care and want to help you figure shit out, so you can see a way forward. Talking about this stuff is really important — can tell us a little more about what’s going on?

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Many of the things that you speak of are the very things we hope to bring to light through this project.

      Your pain is real, and it sucks that you think you have nowhere to turn. I agree that there are “real reasons why you hurt.” I do care — about you as a person. Like Henry says, it’s important to talk about.

      The two friends you speak of — could you tell us their stories? Write about what happened, so that people know what it’s like?

      take care and write whenever you can.

      • Perry Connell says:

        No offense but how can you care about me as a person? You don’t know me. I don’t know you. I’m not being sarcastic, it’s just that i’ve never understood how someone can care, really care, about someone else thats unknown.

        • Perry Connell says:

          Well, I just reviewed this site for the first time since march and the lack of responses either thumbs up or thumbs down proves my point and confirms to me that no one really does care after all. Which doesn’t even matter because no one will read this response either. Seems that I’ve been talking to myself, as usual.

          • please get help for your depression-that is why so many men are dying-they refuse to accept help.Please dont be one of them

          • I did’t know about this site.people can care about people they don’t know. there are a lot of good people.If you were my friend you would see that if you needed help I would help you .sharon

    • The end: Thanks, man, for being so honest and open. As Henry said, you’re not alone at all. I just want to stress that this is a place where you can talk about anything you need to, and you’ll be among men who share your pain and who hear every word you’re saying.

    • Ryan O'Hanlon says:

      I’m glad you spoke up. I know a lot of what you’re hearing or what we’re telling you sounds like a load of bullshit, but things will get better.

      You sound like a real talented, intelligent dude. There’s a place for you, and there are people who will and do love you. I’m sure that’s tough as all hell to see right now, but there are. Keep on trucking and things will get better, I promise you that. You’re a good person. Everything else will take care of itself.

      There’s always hope—even if you can’t see it. I know it seems like any and everything might be against you right now, but it’s not. There are people that want to help you, look at all the responses already.

      We’re all here for you brotha.

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Hey my friend just want to say that I have been to that spot myself, where nothing seemed to matter and death would be preferable to life. All I can say is that I choose life in the end. I can’t force you to do anything. But by giving myself a tiny little chance 15 years ago now, things got better. Slowly at first. Very slowly. And then, eventually, the darkness did past most of the time. It took courage not to end it. But in my case that was the right choice. I encourage you to think about it, talk to someone, anyone, you can trust. By writing here clearly you are able to communicate. And you should. Before its too late.

    • Pleas get help for your depression and r, the reason so many are dying of suicide is that men simply refuse to get help. Please don’t be a statistic-be tom

    • tell it like it is brother. you ain’t no nig either.

  38. To M, Larry, Jaym, Trent, Loner and the many others:
    I pray you are still with us. I know what it is to have to change, forced to keep going and what it is to lose. But, I have also learned that I have value. As you too, have value. We need you, and without you we would be the lesser for it. There are so many that are lonely, orphaned, depressed, just hurting. Can’t you see that there is no one like you, that can bring to the table what you can. Yes, you’re tired – gain strength in the sharing; there are people who would dearly love for someone, ANYONE to just talk to them. Yes, you’re lonely- gain from the giving of yourself. Please don’t give up on us.

    • Perry Connell says:

      It’s almost too late, just waiting for one last disappoinpment or failed dream. If someone cared, they would have noticed by now. They haven’t. Thanks anyway.

      • you are going to get better, remember, the problems are temporary, what you are suggesting as a way to solve them is permament-please read my general post and get help for depression. That’s why mor men are committing suicide-they refuse to get help.

  39. There is a lot more here then what this article covers. If you are in Ohio, and your wife decides she wants a richer man, gets a divorce, then you are soon, homeless, paying 40% of your take home pay as child support, and are lucky you get to see your kids. If you get 3 months behind in child support, heaven forbid, you have 30 days in jails. I know, you lost your job, but when you get out, you still owe for the time you are in jail. And the jail cycle continues. And let me tell you, child support hires mostly MEN HATERS.

    Now, I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in Ohio, men with money are WORSHIPED. All I hear about is WHO HAS MORE MONEY. All the factories have closed down, so you are making as much as your dates are making at the low end of the job scale. But the expectation is still that a guy is the provider, even if he makes a lot less then he used too, and then has to pay child support.

    There is no way out of this. Jobs are scare, and more education does not promise a better paying job. Education usually means more debt. Many go with drugs, and I have no ill will toward that.

    One day, you wake up, and realize, you are just TIRED. You go home, every night, and pray that GOD takes you home. You find that you are not afraid of dying, but even worse, you are happy to die. You realize, you would be happy if you did not see the light of day, tomorrow.

    When it comes to support groups, you really don’t want to hear a bunch of whining from guys in the same boat. They have no way out, either. So why bother.

    • I agree with Trent. The pressure on men these days is much more than before. I have prayed several times also for God to take me away from this world. I’ve given up on this life and I’m in more trouble now than ever before. Get tired of struggling to survive and want to escape the pain.

      I don’t know why everyone is so focused on suicide prevention and don’t seem to truly care about the person and their pain. Everyone wants to say suicide is selfish because you hurt all the people you’ve left ehind that careed……Really…? Well, if THOSE people “truly” cared for you and were such an essential part of your life, would you feel so alone, isolated, helpless, hurt, and felt dying is your only escape? I don’t think so.

      • please get help for your depression, that is why men are dying-they refuse to seek help.Please don;t be one of them.

        • did you not read the post. there is no hope. treatment for depression is expensive and the only thing that will help is a better job market.

          my view is that it is better to end it quickly and painlessly. Americans have been sold out and the powers that be do not care if you live or die. they will outsource jobs and globalize and they don’t give a dagon about the citizens miserable worthless little lives. obama et al is partying it up and gloating with glee as we the people die.

          i wish the govt would make barbituates available to those of us who want to check out of this american hell. I would just drop a good dose into a long island ice tea cocktail, drink it down, and, check out.

          i am sick and tired of this dagon american nightmare there is no hope i am waiting for the savings to expire and if i haven’t found a job, take the plunge. i wouldn’t live long on the streets, it would be a miserable doggie death, And i just want out now.

    • Robert Allen Schledwitz says:

      Dear Trent:

      Talk about a graphic description of hitting Rock Bottom. My gut instinct is to question what your former wife and mother of your children didn’t understand about swearing before man and God that she took you “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death do us part.” Stop blaming yourself. It’s her dark Karma she will carry through the rest of her slimy life.

      May the new richer husband divorce her in a decade for a younger, prettier woman and have his expensive lawyer see she gets nothing because of a prior-to-marriage signed agreement she forgot about while having so much fun with his money over the years.

      Stay Strong my friend!

      Robert Allen Schledwitz
      Newburyport, MA

    • please get help for your depression-see my general posting things will look different when your illness is under control.
      you know why so many men are committing suicid? because they refuse to get the help they need and it;s killing them. I am on here because my friend committed suicide last month. I think of him all the time.

    • Wow! I am “on the fence” and have read the above reviews; found them very helpful. However your post is “honest” and is exactly how I feel…Mine is only spousal support. After only 16 months of being married she is going to get money and half my retirement; both for ONLY 9 months, but it is still hell…
      But, at 56, I am alone and scared. I lost my first wife, daughter, mom all within 3 months and now my dad is finally at his end…I have two old dogs and that’s it; I’ll be ready….I pray every day that God takes me and I’m to CS to kill myself! I am a vet too and saw action! Thank you for your post.
      good luck

  40. DeQuincy Lezine says:

    Hi Dan-

    Nice job with this article – I like the blend of information, narrative, and advice.

    Best Wishes,
    Dr. Lezine

  41. Hi, I am 38 (soon to be 39). My wife of 15 years died last year, which was completely unexpected. I got depressed. She died in September. In December, the doctor took me off of work. In January, I hatched a terrific plan to arrange for my dogs to be cared for and receive life insurance proceeds and complete a will. Then I would be ready to join my wife.
    My plan was completely selfish – just to ease my own pain. I did try to reach out for help from family and friends and I was brushed off as not serious. At that point, I was sure that I was making the right decision. Surely if people who said to call if I needed anything didn’t have time to talk, I must really be too much trouble.
    By the end of January, I was no longer showering, washing clothes, eating or sleeping. I had returned to work for a couple weeks before the doctor took me off again. He strongly urged me to go to the mental hospital for evaluation for the partial hospital program, where I would come and go each day.
    I was in the hospital from January to April.

    I feel better now. I still miss my wife and I don’t want to kill myself. I grieve her every day and probably always will. I also am aware that if I don’t take care of me, no one esle will. Supposedly many people were concerned about me and worried I might do something. Not one of them called me, suggested taking me to the hospital, nor called 911 on my behalf.

    Living is something you have to do for yourself. I learned how to care for myself, really be nice to myself, while in the hospital. I would recommend going to your nearest psychiatric facility if you want to die. They will help you as they did me. I’m glad I did. I’ve made good friends who understand me and are there to listen. None of that made my wife come back, but it helped me learn to live despite that ugly truth.

  42. Larry, I urge you to call the helpline # noted in the article: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Suicide is never anyone’s destiny. You are in a tough spot, but with help from a caring listener, you can get through it. Please let me know that you are getting help.

  43. Dan Abshear says:
  44. I have struggled with depression my entire life. It’s hell on earth understood only by those who must deal with it. Depression has destroyed my life. In April, I lost my job of 22 years. My wife of 33 years left me when I was terminated. Without insurance now, all my medications used to treat my depression are no more. Trying to get assistance has been a quagmire of paperwork & dead ends. My cars have been repossessed, my electricity was shut off yesterday. I’m getting evicted. The cleanest & quickest solution to everything is to commit suicide. It is my destiny. I am so alone. I am scared suicide will hurt. I can see nothing ahead of me but a black void. I’m 53 years old & my life ended like this. I’ve waited for some miracle to rescue me. The Calvary isn’t coming this time. May God have mercy on my soul.

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  46. i have also undergone a lot of mental misery. i got rescued by rajyoga meditation taught by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University having its branches throughout the world and international headquarter at Mount Abu in India. it is absolutely free of cost.

  47. I lost my father and my hero to suicide in October 2006. He was 56 and I was 22. What I feel was a very impulsive decision on my father’s part changed my life dramatically forever. I am plagued by the moments I know we will never share and the questions that I will never have answered. I wish he would have left a note. I wish he would have come to me for help. And more than anything, I wish he would have known that were other options to relieve his severe depression and anxiety.

    World Suicide Prevention Day is this Friday, September 10th. Visit http://www.iasp.info/wspd/ for more info.

    Also, please visit the website to my nonprofit that I have created in my father’s honor: http://www.youspoke.org. We are encouraging others to share their stories and not hold them in. Expression, not silence, heals the soul.

    -Stefanie
    http://www.youspoke.org

  48. Thank you Dan for listening to me. I do appreciate it. As a former “service worker” I was a Nursing Assistant, I know just how passionate you are about helping someone else. You are an Angel.

  49. I just loss my wonderful husband of 25 years.he was an angel in every way!His suicide was due to a leathel dose of combination Dr. prescribed meds.the Dr. changed his meds,he saw the same dr. for years,but he was on vacation and saw the Dr. filling in,he added more meds. he was sleep deprived for a week,There were no signs what so ever about suicide,In fact the day before we had a wonderful day at the beach together.My husband was the strongest Christian I have ever seen,I know he is out of pain and he is with his heavenly father.It is so hard being without him,he was my life. Please,Please,keep your eye’s on your depression medication,it can kill you.
    Bless all of you who have lost a loved one to suicide.God bless,Missy

  50. To Jaym and Susan: Thank you for reaching out. Both of you have been through some very hard times and continue to face many challenges. I encourage you to call the helpline # noted in the article: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The helpline staff are good listeners, and they can also refer you to mental health services (ones that take into account your financial situation). I wish you all the best. Sincerely, Dan

  51. I am a white female age 42. I have struggled with depression for what seems like my whole life. I watched my Mother go through the ups and downs of “Manic depression” which would now be diagnosed as Bi-polar. And now notice symptoms of Autism in her and wonder if that is why

    I am consumed with suicidal thoughts every morning, the word vacuum was mentioned, that seems a very appropriate word.

    I have two children, both are on the Autism Spectrum. One Aspergers, one more severe. Their Father and I had no clue what it was about back in the early 90’s. He escaped with more drug use, I worked FT and OT to make sure we kept our home, bills weren’t being paid because of it. Because of working so much, the purpose we had in front of us was not focused on properly. We made sure they got into the educational programs they needed at school and had behavioral support. We didn’t have time or money for much else. We both had good jobs but didn’t use it correctly.

    3 Years ago, facing foreclosure for the 3rd time, I was diagnosed with Cancer/Acute Myeloid Leukemia. During chemotherapy, I was writing a hardship letter and retrieving the last amount out of my retirement to “save our home” . I also found out the my Husband, who wasn’t my Husband until after the 2nd month of chemotherapy, we got married so that I would have Insurance Coverage after the COBRA program ran out, had overdrawn my son’s bank account, which was just opened for him. I was furious, ready to put him out, by the way his Mom lives next door, he wouldn’t have had it too hard. He might have been out of a job, because the vehicle he was using to drive to work was one I had worked OT for to purchase from a co-worker. We had a vehicle already re-possessed because of his drug use. His credit is in ruins. Oh, and the house, we are facing foreclosure one more time, and what is so bad about me not having any more money to help out, is, that my name isn’t even on the house. It took two years for his drug use to come under control. He claims now, he many never stop entirely, which infuriates me to no end, but it has been 20 years since we have been together and I have no voice to get angry with, no energy to fight about it, a $1,000. isn’t being taken out of our pockets every 2 weeks anymore, so financially, we are caught up except for the Mtg. modification, still awaiting word about that. Our children have suffered, and what gets me, is the person they should be angry with is their Father, but because he wasn’t around mentally, I had to play both roles. I should be ecstatic about having another shot at life, be thrilled I am not dead, be convinced that I could be the best Mom to my children, and yet I contemplate suicide. I have no “fight” left in me, physically I can conquer anything, mentally I stumble like I have no clue, I have a very bad memory due to the chemo, long-term memory is okay, which is haunting. Wish I could forget and move on. I’m stuck. I feel I stopped growing when my children were diagnosed, it really is like mourning the loss of a child and all dreams you had for them. I knew we couldn’t do all the biomedical treatments that I am just finding out about, we didn’t have the money. We only got a computer two years ago.

    I feel like such a failure. I helped to save a life/ a home/ but my children don’t have the social circles they need to succeed in life. Especially with this disorder, I should have been more active in that community. I, really suffer from depression now and anxiety, when a community knows you have an Autistic child, they expect more from you, they want you to be a HERO every day. I have never been a socialite, and even more so now, I suffer the anxiety that inhibits me from interacting with people. With the memory problems and feeling dumb for being too concerned with saving a house and a person with a drug problem, the ending isn’t the way I perceived it to be. Every person will do whatever they can to keep getting ahead, even forgetting what someone else has done for them. I feel “screwed”, sorry for the harshness of the word. So now I am made to feel like the burden to someone else, because I, although am “fine” physically, I haven’t worked since the diagnoses. I collect Soc. Sec. disability, and am depressed and anxious everyday, which doesn’t promote a good outlook for my kids. I often wonder if they all would be better off without me, I feel useless now.

  52. I can understand a lot more than I used to why someone would reach suicide as the only out in our current society, which has people more upset about their tax follars being spent to provide health care to fellow citizens than ever.

    I think some don’t understand how bad life can be for some- outside of your control and with no options due to societal constructs and lack of humanity by others.

    I got out of a major university, had a prestigious job as an award-winning virtual reality developer. I have a Mensa level IQ, at one point I was making amazing pay. Life was going great for me.

    Then reality set in. I lost my 20’s to working year round, 7 days a week, 10-24 hours a day. This means I had no time to develop friends prrelatiobships- I didn’t get to meet a wife and have kids as ALL 300+ other members of my high scoop graduating class have managed to do. One company didn’t pay my wages, ruining my credit to this day- 10 years layer.

    In 1991 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and have been on meds to allow me to leave the house. On my 20’s, I could work- I could travel, deal with non-stop hours, etc.

    After losing my last job in 2002 to being laid off after my project was sabotaged by hostile employees who merged with our company from another division, I have been unable to find work I can do. I can not travel, even locally to strange locations. I can not sell, do customer service, work phones, or otherwise deal with people often. I can not do physical labor. My only skills are in my former career, which was niche and now 8 years ago. Due to my age, I’m ignored as a candidate compared to the thousands coming out of college. I do not have the skills to make and sell something if my own online from home. I literally have no work options. I can not return to school, I’m ineligibke for a grant and can’t do a loan.

    Yet, I’ve been denied disability (took 7 years.) I’ve been denied food stamps, Medicaid, etc. (just applied for two weeks ago- proving I haven’t been just seeking handouts.) I tried going to several employment places like Rehabilitation Services, but they expect you to volunteer or go work at various places, interview strangers regarding their jobs: The very things I can’t do.

    I can’t get mental health therapy- community mental health requires you to be a threat to yourself or others. There are no pro-Bono options. Sliding scale options insist on using the wages of the relative I live with- who is supporting us both on social security.

    Due to working through my 20’s, and unemployment through my 30’s, I’ve had 2 relationships, one in college, my last in 1997. I’ve had no contact with a woman since then. I also have no friends due to the anxiety disorder and all the work I did. Being utterly alone is soul-damaging. I can only vent online to people who often cone up with their own perceptions based on having better life experiences and not understanding (or believing in) anxiety disorder as a crippling disease.

    I’m not suicidal, but I have every right to be. I have no money. I can’t live life. I have no one. I can’t get help. Some mock me or insinuate I’m faking. Since I’m pushing 40, odds are I’ll never get to have a wife and kids- since I’m attracted to younger women. Having kids to pass on my DNA has always been MY personal way to judge a successful life.

    Now I face a future with no help, no career, always alone, and ultimately to fail in life- upon my death it will be as if I never existed, and I will not have impacted the world in any way. I want to live now- but in another 8 years? 10? Why will I bother at that point? Why not reset and life my next life, or if there’s nothing after death… Nothing matters anyway.

    Don’t be too quick to judge why people are pushed to this limit. Some of us have been through- and are going through- living hell.

  53. steven free says:

    The truth to the matter is we as humans all need to seek more help and guidence from god if everyone did more praying and believing that the lord will help them they would be a lot better off instead some of us let the devil control our thoughts and beliefs that there is no help available and that no one cares but the lord does and to me thats enough this world is fast beginning to fade away so why bother with what people say only rely on the lord and he will truely set you free if you truely believe that is!!

  54. Dan Fields says:

    To M: I am sorry that you are struggling with a negative self-image and a sense of meaninglessness. I am also sorry that you are contemplating suicide. I encourage you to call the Lifeline # mentioned in the article: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline is staffed by trained counselors, and they have information about mental health services in your area that can help you. Wishing you all best, Dan

  55. As I read all this information, I have yet to see anyone mention the recovery process and the programs that are available to anyone that needs Help
    I am only suggesting that if you do have Depression or a Drinking problem ( they seem to go together ) then its time to use the phonebook and call someone , I personally gave up the “male macho image” years ago and came to believe that I was much better off going to some meetings with other individuals with the same goal, to live life on life’s terms NOT mine , once the obsession of trying to run my own life was put aside , the I was able to see what the real issues were. I am here to say after close to 30 years ( I am 48 ) of being involved with groups that discuss problems with living .. the greatest thing I have heard from many recovering people is not “Why me” it is “Why not me” and did something about it

  56. I’ve read your article and the comments and feel you’ve missed the point (or I’ve missed the references). My suicide will be due to a negative self image. I’m 47 and have neither family nor lover – both look increasingly unlikely. I have some debts, but these don’t concern me. I have a good job and several friends (numbers become important when you’re into single figures). I’m constantly depressed and increasingly feel if this is good as it get, then what’s the f**king point. If (when) I decide to kill myself it will look like an accident, thus avoiding guilt on anyone’s part and ensure the life (death) insurance is still paid out. The solution, develop a realistic self-image and set some personal goals, like this will happen. Who cares if I don’t. We’re all going to die so why put it off if your life achieves nothing meaningful.

  57. Jaric, I’m a middle aged man who has lived the life you described. You are spot on. If I had it to do over again, I would have never married or had children. Instead, I’ve been divorced, turned into a pauper, and I’m playing out the end game.

  58. Jaric Fontaine says:

    Another useless piece of pop psychology. It doesn’t get to the root of the issue, that men are not valued in our society and are treated only as wallets,slaves, and sperm donors by society at large. When you’re young you have all these dreams and aspirations, but eventually you settle down have a wife and family. The man works his butt off to pay the bills and spends his best and healthiest years slaving for a corporation and his family. If he’s lucky his wife won’t divorce him and turn him into a pauper, and eventually he’ll just have a nagging wife that always wants more and mouthy kids that are in never ending need. The corporate work environment is so hostile that women are more likely to be promoted over them and they can’t say anything because the rampant misandry makes it so anything a guy says can be used against him. Is it any wonder middle aged guys put a bullet to their mouth to be free of all this crap? Don’t get married and don’t have kids and work at a job that leaves you lots of free time and enjoy a happy fulfilling life. This is the advice I have heard from countless middle aged men and my friends and I have taken it and run with it. 🙂

    • You nailed it on the head.

      Most men should NEVER get married— especially in their 20’s. The only time a man should get married and have kids is if he has reached the age of approximately 30 and decided that that is his dream in life– to be married and have kids.

      When a woman marries, it is the fulfillment her dreams; white dress, chubby-cheeked, babbling babies, white picked fence, that special “best friend,” has been captured, security, etc. VICTORY! When a man marries, whether he realizes it or not, it truly is the death of his dreams. No more life adventure, no more romance, no more independence and no more free-will. When children arrive, the man looses the rest of any remaining self-identity. Before I was a husband and father I was a person.

      I have seen two approaches. 1) the man, despite being married, pushes forward with his true dreams and priorities and these guys usually end up divorced. 2) The husband and father continues to “honor” his obligations and struggles to do the “right” thing over the years. These guys usually die a little every day and ultimately burn out. It is a toss up as to whether they will ultimately end up divorced, and it is a toss up whether or not their children won’t resent them anyway.

      My advice to young men is to never get married unless they desire a very “domesticated” life. If that is their desire, then fine. Otherwise you run the risk of waking up in your forties and wondering what happened to your youth and the life you truly and innately desired.

      Good luck to all.

  59. Thank you for this article highlighting suicide risk in middle-age men. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) co-sponsors World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th every year with the World Health Organization (WHO). The purpose of this event of this event is to bring awareness to suicide and suicide prevention across the world. A wide range of activities have been planned in many countries, from commemorative gatherings, to seminars and conferences, concerts to book launches and more.

    Your readers are invited to visit the World Suicide Prevention Day Web site at: http://www.iasp.info/wspd/ and if they are Facebook users, we invite them to become Facebook Fans of the IASP. Please see:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Association-for-Suicide-Prevention/115204064521

    Kind regards,

    Kenneth Hemmerick
    Webmaster IASP

  60. As a volunteer on the non-profit Samaritans of Boston suicide prevention hotline, I’ve learned that suicide outnumbers homicide by a factor of 3x to 4x — and those are just the deaths that are reported as suicides. Far more are committed indirectly through drug and alcohol abuse or other harmful lifestyle choices.

    Suicide is also the 3rd leading cause of death among teens and young adults — and the incidence in this group has been rising at an alarming rate.

    Make no mistake: Suicide is among our most significant public health issues, but it’s hidden under the radar given its stigma and society’s reluctance to confront the issue.

    FYI: Visit http://www.samaritansofboston.org for more information, or call the hotline if you know anyone in peril of suicide: 877-870-4673

  61. I didn’t read anything here about believing God has a plan and a reason things happen. If you commit suicide you have let Satan win. I have considered it multiple times in the past until I came to this realization and am too big of a hard head to let him win. Life is full of heart ache and challenges and the main thing is to rise to the occasion. It’s a hard thing to do, but it pays off in the end.
    I was married for 32 years, my only child died from an undiagnosed illness at the age of 15, my husband got hurt at work in 1982 and I put him through college to become a nurse and when my child died in 1995, he had a nervous breakdown and couldn’t work in that field again. I have been working for the last 16 years, have no money, no insurance, no home that I own(we had to sell that to pay medical bills), and I STILL BELIEVE THERE IS A PLAN! I will keep putting one foot in from of the other until God decides differently.

  62. ed gibbons says:

    Vacume. That’s what I call it. My life was torn away on September 18, 1990 by a telephone conference call that took away my children. This many years later they all hate my guts as if I were the devil himself. Tell me, what is life for? As one other commenter stated above, “I don’t know what keeps me going from week to week.” I can relate. I have grandchildren I have never seen. I don’t know their names. I know what it is to be reduced to nothing but a sperm bank and a paycheck, only to be cast aside like a worn out old shoe. I know what slavery is: to be reduced to nothing but a physical/economic entity with no inherent value/soul. I’m 55. So what? When does life start? How many time can I start over. I keep going by faith that God has heard my prayers and will answer me someday. I sing. I do things. I go to my men’s group. I do my best to take care of the wife God gave me in my middle age. I just worked out and took a walk to clear my head. I have a 1/2 bathroom to install. It’s like I throw an anchor in front of myself and then I pull myself toward it. But nothing takes away the vacume forever, the hole in my soul that remains after all of these years. I have some pictures I will send to my sons. Perhaps they will get curious about Dad. Who knows?
    Yes, I also have a scar on my left wrist, at the right spot. circa 1991 when I came home from the Gulf war and my children weren’t there to greet me. And I also almost successfully used a firearm in 1999. Some good people saved my life on that aweful day.
    ‘Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home’
    I struggle with my faith. My struggle has been rewarded with life. However, much pain remains. To be totally honest, the pain and the vacume are overwhelming at times.
    I raise my Ebenezer: thus far the LORD has helped me.

    Sincerely,
    Ed

  63. I believe that the foundation of this problem is the fact that we have an antiquated paradigm of masculinity. Our challenge as men is to recognize how we are socially conditioned to disconnect from our emotions at a very early age which I believe sets the stage for a lot of our pain and suffering. The key is to gain the courage to seek out support and realize that we are not alone and there are support systems out there that can support and nurture us to wholeness. The challenge is to gain the courage to get help.

    I too struggled with depression and know very well the pain and devastation it causes. Fortunately for me I gained the courage to seek help which helped me heal my heart and become whole again.

    It takes articles like this to help men recognize that we are not alone and we can become genuinely happy with our lives but we must be willing to take the first step.

    I would like to suggest a resource for anyone who may be struggling with depression or simply struggling with the challenges of being a man. It’s called A New Conversation With Men and it is my latest book that has been empowering men around the globe to redefine masculinity and embrace new ways of being men in today’s ever changing world.

    My website is also filled with free resources to assist men in discovering who they really are.

    http://www.coachmichaeltaylor.com

    The time has come for a new male revolution and we must support and empower each other to reach our fullest potential.

  64. wendy barnes says:

    My 1st husband killed himself when he was 44 years old. He was disconnected from family, even me and our kids, always found a way to tell himself he didn’t have anything in common with any men in our church, circle of friends, etc. His career had totally stalled b/c he let it, not b/c he was fired or laid -off. After his death, his friends from HS and college told me that he had always flirted with the idea of suicide when he was younger. He had the same symptoms as the men mentioned in the article, but I believe he was depressed first and then the life situations followed. What of the theory I read about several years ago that said there might be a physical or chemical difference in the brain structures of those who complete suicide and those who try several times but never succeed? He drove to an isolated area and ran a hose from the tailpipe into the car and died of CO2 poisoning. Thanks for the article.

  65. Wow, what an insightful article..I am a divorced, white 49 year old..almost empty nester. I too suffer from depression, living alone, feeling isolated, disconnected, of no value…etc. I never thought about it from a mans prespective..having those same issues. This has given me a new prespective on what men go through…seems like they are so much stronger emotionaly than I am. Perhaps I have been totaly wrong, it would appear they have some of the same issues…thanks for the new understanding!

  66. I lost a brother to suicide in 2007. He was 37 and facing many of the same issues described here. Alcoholism, depression, unemployed, divorced and living alone. He just couldn’t take it anymore. Having struggled with depression since college, I can relate to the issues as well. I think middle aged men sense that their life is going nowhere, or not where they that it would be, and can’t see the point of going on. I feel sure my late brother felt that way. The survivors are left with the “why” and “what could I have done” issues. I read a book called “Grieving a Suicide” by Albert Y. Hsu that helped with many of the issues.

  67. Dan Fields says:

    Terre, thanks for your question about the role of genetics in suicide. Thomas Joiner discusses this topic in his book Myths about Suicide. I don’t have the book at hand; I think he says that genetics does play a role, but is only one of many factors that may affect suicide risk. Biology is not destiny. Best wishes to you and your family!

  68. Patty Graham says:

    Wow! That was a very powerful article. Thank you for sharing. I passed this along to my husband because we are going through some difficult times right now.

  69. Excellent article –

    My 17 year old son died by suicide 2 years ago, and my husband is 50, and we stay diligent to the grief that comsumes us at times. Overwhelming white males kill themselves more than any other group – to me that is the much larger issue – why.

    I live with the why’s, and the what if’s, and all the rest. As a writer I write extensively about it, and the struggle we face as survivor’s.

    Peace,

    • think outside the box says:

      white males have to perform to a much higher standard to succeed, or get a job in this economy, we have to battle positive affirmation and other employment equity programs for work, it is a very difficult and sour pill to swallow as you watch minorities, many less qualified than you win the job lottery, if we have other problems, such as social problems, low self esteem, poor body image, bullied, gay, no girlfriend, or no friends at all, we are seen as defective or weak and are socially excluded (no money, no honey is true). some people can’t even talk to their parents because their parents may ignore or laugh at the problem. if one does not want the social stigma of being on meds, and get your head out of the sand, there is one, if one has nobody to talk to, and if one is not given a fair chance to advance socially, or career wise, then suicide is a viable option, there are worst things than being dead.

  70. Thanks for this article. I too, am no stranger to depression. It has battered me, and other family members for decades. My younger sister committed suicide nearly 25 yrs ago now, so I KNOW that suicide is NOT an answer when seeking to rid oneself of emotional pain. All suicide does is spread that pain around!

    I have never had psychotherapy, but have been on medication for years. For the past 5 yrs I have been so physically ill, that it has disabled me. The line above “(Other factors, he says, include the idea that you are a burden on other people, and the feeling that you are hopelessly alienated from them.)” really jumped out at me. I struggled with the same ‘lure’ of suicide then too, but God has been with me, and I lean on Him. What role do you think genetics plays in suicide? and BTW, I am a 51y/o white woman, married 20+ yrs, and soon to be an empty nester. Could I have passed this on to my own children? Our daughter seems fine, but I ‘recognize’ behaviors in our son. Thanks~TK

  71. Great article Dan. Victor Frankl’s book is one of the most important I’ve read in helping me come to terms with my own father’s suicide, when he was 60.

    I’m a documentary photographer and working on a project telling the stories of those left behind when somebody they love dies by suicide.
    It can be viewed here: http://www.burnmagazine.org/essays/2010/07/kerry-payne-left-behind/

    I’m privileged to be working in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on this project — http://www.afsp.org — where there are some excellent resources for those at risk and support recommendations for anybody who might also be surviving a loss by suicide.

    Regards,
    Kerry Payne
    Photographer

  72. Dan Fields says:

    Thanks for your feedback, everyone. Since writing the article, I’ll learned of a good article on men and depression at http://www.familyaware.org/when-depressed-husbands-refuse-help.html. Check it out!

  73. rich n. phaemus says:

    I believe newer statistics will show this trend accelerating as the economy decelerates, It is extremely hard to hold one’s head above water even if you do have support because the root causes (economic, mental, disenfranchisement, divorce and emotional distancing, not to mention depression) still exist. If you are divorced and living for the kids, and they start the distancing that is appropriate in their development (especially painful if you can’t provide for them as you had in the past) what do you have left?

  74. This is a very important issue for men and the women who love them. As a therapist who has specialized in treating men, I know how devastating it can be when men lose hope and turn to suicide. As a man who has dealt with depression throughout my life and had a father who tried to commit suicide when I was 5, I know first hand how difficult these problems can be.

    I completed a major research project on the differences between male and female depression. I’ve published it as a book: Male vs Female Depression: Why Men Act Out and Women Act In. I would be glad to share with anyone who is interested. You can contact me at Jed@MenAlive.com and put “depression study” in the subject line.

  75. Terry Johnson says:

    Boy, I can so empathize with those guys. Middle aged? Check. Depressed? Check. Divorced? Check. Kids don’t live with me? Check.

    I don’t really know what keeps me going, one week to the next.

  76. Tom Matlack says:

    D great comment. Of course that is at the root of what we are doing here at The Good Men Project, breaking down the barriers which make us as men, many of whom are struggling for all the reasons you mention, suffer in silence and alone so we can realize that we are all so much more alike than we know.

  77. Great article – thank you. There are support structures available for men through men’s groups in many parts of the country. (contact a local ManKind Project community to learn more). A men’s group can be a place to break the pattern of isolation and shame that goes along with serious depression. It is also a place to learn more effective ways of handling nearly any aspect of your life – without shame, men trying to ‘fix’ one another or the kind of victim mentality that sometimes goes with ‘support’ groups.

    D – I suspect that the answer to the why has to do with two things … inability to take full responsibility for feelings and actions (and their impacts) and inability or unwillingness to tell the truth about what is going on. In my experience in 7 years of facilitating men’s circles, I have seen many many men desperately afraid to tell the truth about what is going on in their lives without sugar-coating, ‘tough it out’ attitudes or half-truths.

    The truth – as ugly as it may seem – will set us free.

  78. I too am at 45, but I would wonder about depression being the only angle out there. I and lotsa guys I know are adrift. In the middle of careers that are ‘meh’ That we may only have to support our families…

    What percentage of these guys are divorced? I can think of nothing greater for alienation than divorce. Alienated from your kids, and chained to the job you have, to continue providing for them, while an ex may not be pulling the weight?

    How about guys for whom their work is not seen by their family as being their ‘life’s work’ rather than a way to pay for family bills. The career that they have may no longer be seen as a value to itself, and that is pretty disheartening when you spend so much of your life doing it.

    As for social structures, men who go through changes in their midlife are often cut off from these, because the groups are kinda exclusive. Most of my friends are still there, but their wive treat me as radioactive becasue I’m divorced. [What if their husband got any ideas?] Sadly I belong to a brotherhood of divorced guys who mostly share negatives in their lives, and commiseration.

    I’d have to wonder about the stats on that. There are a lot of middle aged guys alieneated like that. WHY are they drinking? WHY do the feel friendless? Where is their own family in all this?

    • Billy Budd says:

      I’m outside the age group, at 59, but I feel the legitimacy in D’s questions. I am divorced, with children who do not speak to me, still in the same job that (in my opinion) cut me off from my family, while I had to keep the job to support the family. Drinking? You bet. It makes up the bulk of my evenings as I count down toward a retirement I know I can’t take. I don’t intend this to sound like whining, only to validate what D says about the “brotherhood of divorced guys”.

  79. David Wise says:

    I think one reason blacks are less prone to suicide is due our being more used to financial and other problems in life, so when things turn bad, we’re less likely to go postal or sweat the difficulties.

  80. Tom Matlack says:

    Dan thanks for this important piece.

  81. I just stumbled on this site and WOW! All of you, you are saying you are worth nothing and that is simply not true. The ability to write so well of your pain, that is something. I do believe in
    God and if God made us, he wants us to live to our fullest potential.I think with men they would interpret this to mean a hi paying and successful job that is recession proof.
    You are not what you do for a living. That is only a result of how fully you have been able to live. Depression, by the very nature of the actual changes it makes in chemistry, MAKES YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL IS HOPELESS, THERE IS NO WAY OUT, NO ONE CARES-you are being fooled by your own body.
    Get help for the depression and then address the areas in your life that need it.Be grateful every day even if your family and friends do not come thru-help someone else with their problems-get out and meet others in whatever way you want to, exercise every day.
    I hope you do these things as it will make it better. Is it going to make you George Clooney or rich? No. It will make you proud to be who you are, it will help you really accept how things are for you so you can then move on and make it better. We all have a purpose here, we are all valued and loved. No, not by all the media, or the very wealthy(Who have cheated us) but that is not real. It’s TV. Thos are people that do not know you. The people who come into your life when you reach out for help are REAL. The neighbor you start to give a little wave to and nod, the store clerk you thank for being so efficient. It is when we come out of ourselves that we can build lives that are truly meaningful.
    This is a tried and true method of regaining your sense of self, i hope you give it a try.

  82. So a little change in perspective and a little talking is going to help.
    Bean, I am not saying it does not work for people like you.
    But some of us are calling foul.
    We are tired of dealing with and accepting things.
    We are not teenagers and basically we have tried to do things your way.
    And we keep getting dust kicked in our faces.

    The young lady that just posted that she is completely alone? You think she has not tried to connect? But nobody is there for her truly.

    Some of refuse to follow the delusion any longer. So we can be someone’s financial support, or mistreated employee, or cheated upon spouse, or legally castrated father, or lonely brother, or sister (Female 40).

    We are just tired. And no change is going to change our situations.

  83. It is the disease of depression. Your minds’ chemicals are messing with you. If you tried antidepressants for a good while-say, 3 months and you still feel as you do, of course you have free will.
    I don’t think you will, I hope you are brave enough and not to far gone to give it a try.

  84. I disagree. There are some people who are actually depressed.
    My question to you is why is someone automatically labeled mentally ill because they are tired of living for whatever reason?
    From a rational standpoint life has no meaning except that which people attach to it. And survival instinct is only to preserve the species. Since humanity is in no danger of extinction my birth nor my life is actually necessary.

    So I should replace my supposedly “messed up” brain chemicals with pharmaceutical drugs that are akin to a subtle for of mind control to cling to a life that is essentially pointless in the grand scheme of things.

    Which has always struck me as interesting because if people use drugs or alcohol to stave off certain”depressive” feelings that is frowned upon and illegal(drugs). Regardless of the side effects of many of those antidepressants one of which is actually promoting thoughts of suicide in the person taking them.

    As far as living for other people, that idea does not hold water fully either. In my experience and observation of a few other individuals who always put others first in many cases one gets betrayed or bitten on the hand for extending kindness.

    Bean, I am not trying to change your mind and the minds of others like you on how you view and perceive life.
    But it is totally unfair that the system wants to try everything possible to stop a rational person from ending their life if they are not satisfied. As if a drug addled existence subject to the judgement of psychologists is actually something everyone wants.

    This is supposed to be a free country. And since I am not harming anyone with my suicide, I should be allowed to die in peace. And if one mentions grieving relatives and friends it would be no different than if I died in a plane crash or car accident.

  85. Some of us have tried therapy and every anti-depressent you can think of only to continue to feel pain. In my personal opinion, no anti-depressant is going to make someone who is feeling severe lonliness feel better. Everyone wants to have a social connection and someone to enjoy their life with. If they lack this and cannot change things, there is nothing that can help them “feel happy”. Believe me, I have tried all anti-depressants that exist and have been in therapy for years because of my lonliness and inability to find happiness in my life.

  86. Suicide is man’s way of telling God, ‘You can’t fire me – I quit.’
    Bill Maher
    I once read another similar quote but cannot find it now. It went something like this;
    Suicide is deciding to resign rather than waiting to be fired (sacked or terminated) by God.
    Personally, I’m divorced, alone, lonely, depressed, middle aged, redundant, jobless, homeless and broke to name just a few.

Trackbacks

  1. […] newsletter, recently sent me a link to his piece for a cool new online publication called “The Good Men Project Magazine.” I was especially intrigued by his exploration of midlife suicide and why the rate is highest among […]

  2. […] Visit the Good Men Project for further reading on this study on American men, and here for UK males. The pattern is comparable, and reflects other nations similarly. […]

  3. […] Why are middle-aged suicides on rise? Quick | Video | Detailed Question submitted by Thomas Palin (location unknown). Thanks […]

  4. […] a 2010 article on middle-aged suicide at the Good Men Project, Dan Fields interviewed experts about the causes of this troubling rise in […]

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    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]…

  6. […] newsletter, recently sent me a link to his piece for a cool new online publication called “The Good Men Project Magazine.” I was especially intrigued by his exploration of midlife suicide and why the rate is highest among […]

  7. […] newsletter, recently sent me a link to his piece for a cool new online publication called “The Good Men Project Magazine.” I was especially intrigued by his exploration of midlife suicide and why the rate is highest among […]

  8. […] newsletter, recently sent me a link to his piece for a cool new online publication called “The Good Men Project Magazine.” I was especially intrigued by his exploration of midlife suicide and why the rate is highest among […]

  9. […] You can read the full article here. […]

  10. […] • Suicide in Middle Age:  An essay by Dan Fields, former editor in chief of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self-Healing newsletter. The Good Men Magazine, August 15, 2010 […]

  11. […] The Good Men Project, why are so many middle-aged white men committing […]

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