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6 Common Issues That Lead Men to Commit Suicide, According to Suicidal Men

  • More than 700,000 people die due to suicide every year.
  • For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds.
  • 77% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.


Specifically, an investigation into the statistics for male suicide revealed horrifying numbers. There is something desperately wrong with men in the modern world.

Here are the six most significant problems facing men according to experts who had volunteered at the suicide helpline. I can relate to them all, and I am sure you will find many that resonate in your own life.

1. Men Lacked Self-Belief

Many men told revealed that they no longer believed in themselves. While this may seem like a problem that only affects the sufferer, nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, men who lack self-belief turn violent, leading to a knock-on effect that can destroy whole generations.

The core feeling behind this is that they aren’t “good enough.” If you feel incompetent, you might become overly controlling to compensate, or alternatively throw in the towel at the first opportunity.

Some men turn to substance abuse as a short-term solution, but this is disastrous as it leads to a vicious circle of shame, regret, and a further lowering of their self-esteem.

As men, some of us suffered from this lack of self-belief throughout our early adult life. Some were bullied in adolescence, which still affects them to this day.

For others, the desire to act “tough” in response led them to the wrong career which became the catalyst for their future mental health problems that dogged their lives. It took a significant number of men a longer time to discover all the things that actually create self-worth — living an ethical, disciplined life while trying to help others through small acts of kindness.

2. Men Suffered from Toxic Masculinity

Leon Macfayden, a volunteer for an organization preventing and helping suicide victims revealed that the men he spoke to felt that they could no longer demonstrate traditionally masculine traits. In a twitter poll he conducted, he asked if traditional masculinity should be considered toxic. The overwhelming response was NO. Men value these traits but feel that society generally does not.

Toxic masculinity has even become a political issue, and many men feel that they no longer know their place in the world.

Leon said as a man he also noticed a paradox in his own life. On the face of it, society and even religion preach to “turn the other cheek.” Real strength, they say, is in walking away from conflict.

This sounds all well and good, but we also hero-worship tough guys as a society, from Rocky Balboa to James Bond.

‘My dad was a physically strong man. He had worked high manual labor jobs throughout his life, such as bricklaying and cleaning cookers. He could pull a large oven up a flight of stairs in a tower block by himself.’

We have not made peace with this concept, and our message is entirely contradictory.

In the dating arena, the conflict has never been more stark. If you look at one of the archetypal tough guys — the nightclub bouncer — he would often have women hanging off his arm, while a non-traditional, or even “effeminate,” male might struggle to even get a look in.

How are men supposed to know what is expected of them when even society has no idea?

3. Older Men Felt Weak and Feeble

Older men said that society saw them as feeble as they aged, being considered less desirable and necessary in society. They felt society only valued young, muscular men.

As might be expected, the majority of cases feature the elderly. When the well-meaning paramedics encounter an older person, they begin cooing over them as if they were a child.

Imagine the following being said in a high pitched, patronizing voice:

“‘Ello George, I hear you’ve been in the wars today. Ohhh dear that’s no good, is it darling? We will soon get you sorted out, my sweet.”

It doesn’t matter if “George” is a war veteran or the paramedic is a 20-year-old. George is old, so he is considered sweet, cuddly and childlike.

My dad was a physically strong man. He had worked high manual labour jobs throughout his life, such as bricklaying and cleaning cookers. He could pull a large oven up a flight of stairs in a tower block by himself.

Nevertheless, my dad had heart disease in the last year of his life. He lost a lot of weight to the point of looking like a bag of bones, and my mighty dad lost almost all his strength. He had become feeble almost overnight, and he was acutely aware of it. He was horribly depressed by this; he knew there was nothing he could do about it. This physical infirmity would chip away at his independence, which he valued greatly.

When I turned 40, I was very conscious of becoming weak and feeble. I work out regularly to stave off the ravages of time, and I am by no means old. I dread to think how I will feel at 50 or, worse yet, 60.

4. Younger Men Felt They Were Not Yet Financially Successful

Older men felt they weren’t valued due to their lack of physical strength. But for younger men, the reverse is the case as they revealed that because they were not successful, this ruined their confidence, and they felt overlooked by the world.

In just two points, we have written off most men. Too old and weak, or too young, poor and naive.

The world feels like a young man’s playground. At the same time, I am reasonably financially secure, so I do not remember the perspective of being young and broke.

Indeed, the education system is to blame for some of this. Great emphasis is placed on funneling people into Universities to saddle them with a life of debt and a substandard qualification.

I left University, and at the age of 21, I knew absolutely nothing about finances. I didn’t understand budgeting, savings accounts or taxation. Most importantly, I knew nothing about investing.

I believe that investing is the route for anyone to become rich. The younger you start, the better due to the magic of compound interest.

I am bitter to this day that I knew more about the angles of a triangle after leaving school than I did about investing.

Luckily for me, by the time investing became a passion, it was not too late. However, the education system needs a radical overhaul.

5. Men Were Unlikely or Unable to Ask for Help

One of the most significant differences between the sexes was men’s difficulty opening up and asking for help. They felt judged by societal expectations of toughness and felt the best way to be a “real man” was to keep their problems to themselves and soldier on.

This one resonated with me more than any other on the list. When I was trying to prove myself, my job involved dealing with horrendous incidents of death and destruction. The incident which led to my lifelong battle with PTSD could have been somewhat alleviated.

I could have spoken up, said I needed a break and removed myself from the scene. Others did, and today they have no lasting adverse effects.

But I wanted to be a “real man”. I knew what society expected from me, and I stuck it out to the bitter end (I’d rather not go into detail).

I did this time and time again until one day I broke. Eighteen years later and I have reconstructed much of my life, and I stand as a living testament to the danger of silence — of not asking for help.

6. Men Are Lonely

The final problem to make the list and one of the most deadly is loneliness.

Loneliness is a plague in the modern world. As men go through their life, they become more and more distanced from their friends, and increasingly engaged in a routine of work (remember, society values wealthy and successful men, especially as we age).

Almost before you know it, your friends are gone. Your life becomes a routine of work and television until you hopefully realize something is wrong.

A common theme throughout this piece is men not asking for help, and sadly this problem will be repeated here. Men felt that loneliness was for losers, so they would not open up and talk about it.

I have felt lonely at different stages in my life. In my favour, I am an introvert by nature, and a lot of social interaction drains me. So long as I have a couple of people that I can trust and confide in, this is all I need.

However, various factors worry me in the future. I am an only child. I come from a divided family where most of us don’t talk to each other. Due to my many mental health battles, I have let my friendships fade. It is quite conceivable that one day I will be alone.

Don’t get me wrong — I can do things about it, both now and in the future. I use this to explain how loneliness can creep up on you.

But it is okay if you are different and need more friends. Loneliness isn’t inevitable.


There are common themes that plague a significant portion of men. Men do not know what is expected of them, so they are left to guess and act in potentially harmful ways to them and those around them.

Men won’t often talk about this, or anything related to emotions, because they believe society favours the strong, silent type. This leaves them susceptible to loneliness, depression, and ultimately suicide.

The solution may be simple to write but immensely difficult to attain. It has to be finding inner peace. If you are at peace with yourself, you no longer need to act a certain way.

You no longer need to hang on to superficial measurements of “manliness”.

You no longer need to hang on to toxic people in your life because you fear being by yourself.

You no longer need to bottle everything up to appear stoic and brave.

You can just be. Perhaps that is the most attractive trait of all.






Articles Sources: World Health Organization

Leon Macfayden, Suicide Prevention Hotline Worker


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