You Men. And Suicide.

by Lori Dwyer on February 7, 2011 · 91 comments

in Uncategorized

What is it with you men?

I know, I know. We chicks don’t understand you, and you don’t understand us. That’s life. Hell, it’s more than life. That’s what makes the world go round.

But… this. What I’ve experienced, what I’ve lived through, over the last few weeks. No one should have to go through this.

We need to speak. Men, and women.

We need to talk about this. About suicide.

In Australia, it’s a huge problem- men and mental health, men and suicide. I’m going to assume that a lot of the rest of the world is the same. Men, especially older men, say, between thirty and fifty years old, taking their own lives.

And you men, you do it so… violently.

That’s the main difference, right there, between men and women, when it comes to attempting suicide. We both attempt suicide in equal proportions.

It’s just that you men are so much more violent than women. Men hang, shoot, gas. Women swallow, cut, drink.

Men, their options for suicide are so final. There are no second chances. There is no time for someone to find you, someone to save you.

You can’t pump the stomach of someone who’s shot themselves in the head.

So. And then. With all that considered, we have this other problem.

I know men, enough, I think, to be able to say that amongst them, amongst the men I know who are tradies, truck drivers and big, tough blokes; there is that constant litany that suicide is a ‘dog’s way out’. A coward’s option. That you just wouldn’t do that to the people you love.

But, if you did do it, make it look like an accident… where someone you know won’t find you.

Hold on- what the fuck?

I got a comment on my blog, from a very articulate man who’s name, I believe, was William. (Edit– Erm… not William, but Hamlet. Hey, it’s all Shakespeare to me. His blog is here. And it’s good. Have a read.) If you are reading, William, or whatever your name is, please leave me a link so I can include it.

William wrote a post, talking, honestly about men and suicide.

Someone he knew had done it, taken their own life. And William’s wife asked him “Do you understand, how he could that?”.

And William said “No, of course not.”

But what he meant was “Sure, every guy does.”

And that’s stuck with me. As I’ve talked, as I’ve processed, as I remember more.

Be honest with me here, guys, all you men- is there some kind of honour in it?

There’s an undertone, I think. That suicide is wrong, and a dickhead way to go.



Perhaps, if you feel you’re the problem, if removing yourself from the equation, you feel, will take a lot of the problem with you? If you know you’ll leave your family with money in the bank, to provide for them a little…?

And violently. Not like a hysterical women, popping pills and crying and asking people to find her, to help her.

But like a man.



Taking your mess with you. And not messing things up, as you go.

Am I right? I think I am, just a little bit. Just a glimmer.

It chills me to the very core.

There is no honour in this. Read this, all you men. Read what I’ve written over the last few weeks.

It’s not a fix to the problem. It creates a whole fathom of new problems, that start with your death and tendril out into the rest of the lives of those left behind.

There’s no honour in that.

Talk to us.

Women, we’re so different from you. No better, no worse, just different. Perhaps we do get hysterical, sometimes.

But women, picking up the pieces, it’s what we do.

We stitch loose threads. We tidy things. We know what to do with things that don’t seem to have any other place where they fit.

We nurture. We talk. We listen.

We can be the balm to the hard pain of providing, of the pressure of taking care of a family.

It can’t be easy, to be a man sometimes. To have all that pressure. I know Tony felt it. The pressure to provide, to be perfect, to take care of his family.

What he didn’t seem to get, what I want the rest of you to know- we can take some of the pressure. That, as women, is almost what we are designed to do.

Like I said, we stitch up the threads of little things.

You men- that’s what other people, the women in your lives, are there for. Have them read this post, and they’ll testify that you you. That’s why people live in couples. It’s so, sometimes, there is someone to share the load with.

So, you men- share the load. Use the people around you to take some of your burden. I promise you, your wife will think no less of you if you tell her that you’ve had a hard day, or you’re worried about money, or you just feel a bit down.

That’s what wives are there for. Don’t hesitate to share the load. There might not be too much another person can do for you- make you a cup of coffee, talk to you for a bit, put their arms around you and tell you they love you.

But you’ll feel better for it.

Talk, all of you. You men. Go, talk, now, if you need to. To someone you love, someone you trust.

Don’t try and do this it all by yourself.

It’s not that you can’t. You could, if you wanted to. But you don’t have to.

And it’s easier not to.

There is no honour in this.


Edit-Too many women, commenting about men committing suicide“. Damn straight. Ain’t that the sad truth of it…?

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hello, Lori.

I have periodically passed by your jelly bean world for a couple of years. I wanted you to know that you saved a life today. I have taken steps to help someone else that I know needed aid urgently. You taught me to see the signs and to have the courage to act. The supports are now in place, action has been taken and I can now breathe again.

I thought I had made the hardest decision of my life almost 10 years ago. This was every bit as hard, but at least I was maintaining life. I have been to the same abyss once myself, when my spirit was exhausted beyond belief. And that is something you must comprehend – sometimes, it isn't about thinking others will be better off without you. It's about being spiritually exhausted, unable to carry your own sould any longer, having lost every ounce of hope. I somehow managed to back away, very gradually, from the abyss. I had a companion at the time. I'm not far from the abyss now again, but I feel a little solace in knowing that I acted and can at least a little sunshine beyond the clouds, something I did not see before because of the horror I saw unfolding before me.

I am wrecked, in every sense, on every level. But know you did good, Very, very good.

Thankyou, more than I can ever say, thankyou.

I wish I could stop crying.

Be well, Sweet Angel of Hope. (That should be your title -and I mean it.)


bruce001 December 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

Lori, Just read this. Its the first time in months I've had time to think. For me, I tried twice, it was because If I was gone everything was suddenly OK for everyone else. I thought it was going to be like pulling a bad tooth. No more headaches, no more pain for everyone else.
Ending it isn't about what makes sense, or what is "really" going to happen for those left behind. It is just about a fixation with our own place in the scheme of things.
I'm still here, and dont want to jump anymore, I convinced myself it was worth being here, for others, and for myself.


Anonymous February 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Every once in awhile I stumble across a web site that isn't really my usual reading. But I enjoy trying to understand masculinity and why so many men are distraught nowadays. So understanding what women think of men and masculinity is intriguing. I am a young man that has been at the point of suicide and returned. I'm much better for the experience. I haven't read all the comments but I figured I would throw in a more firsthand masculine account. My experience has shown men commit suicide because they aren't mentally free. Men compromise on most of their decisions. We wanted to be fire-fighters, explorers, soldiers and superheroes, not a cubicle, not a cog in the machine. (Reference Fight club- Watch it without him and actually think about the psychology. If you can't understand it you'll never get him. Hell watch any of the movies guys like and think about them deeper. We do.) We wanted to be adventurous not wimps. Boys want to leave home to get control and danger. We need our moms when we're young to apply bandaids, but as we grow up those bandaids are signs of weakness. When we get married to you, you are not replacing our mother. (I know you think you're not acting like our mother. We are reckless, especially when we're young. accept it or not, we want to be wild.) Acting like our mother emasculates us and slowly makes us hate you, or feel like a miserable failure to you. Both lead to suicide if they last long enough. Most men don't want a women that will let them talk out their stress, that's what friends and beers are for. They want a women that thinks they are a man. If they never act like a man they have been broken in and the process of saving him is going to be difficult. I wanted to commit suicide because I acted like the perfect boyfriend and studied the chick flicks, did what I was supposed to. I was a great son. But My relationship angered my mother and my girlfriend. Neither were mature enough to see how stressful it was, and I wasn't mature enough to cope. Every time I tried to make some one happy, someone else was angry. It just wears on a man to be emasculated every day every time because of the choices he has made. Your man has compromised so many times, in his career, in arguments, he doesn't have a chance to be himself. Don't talk to him about his feelings, appreciate his masculinity and help him know hes a man. Suicide is a cowards way out. So a violent method with no chance failure means men won't be confronted. Suicide offers us a last chance at controlling the outcome of our situation. A decisive coward is better than an impotent man. By no means is my opinion representative of all men.

also if you want to understand men better especially as it pertains to suicides, watching masculine movies is really helpful (I bet you never thought Rambo had any depth. Rambo, Braveheart, Gladiator, Fight club, and anything he likes) Also websites like can be very insightful and a helpful start.

"A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all (Camille Paglia)."


KLDR February 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

It's very simple: boys are raised to pursue the ideal of manhood. The older they get, the more rules and expectations get added on to an already impossible idea. At the core of manhood, is the idea that it's worth dying for. So, when a man gets old enough for the impossibility of upholding the ideal to sink in, the despair can be overwhelming, and the only option offered is death. After all, death is preferable to betrayal of the ideal.

It is not honor or fear, it is dedication to an impossible ideal. Nothing more, nothing less.


Ashley February 13, 2011 at 5:37 am


I found your blog via Momma Chaos. I'm part of a lesbian couple, but I am the "wife", the mender of things. And I will make sure she knows.

And I'm sorry that you know, too


Anonymous February 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

if men do what you SAY you want thme to do in htis blog .. then they will not be respected in society by both men and women.

sad fact .. but that is the way it is.

So all that I see is that again men aren't good enough, they don't suicide as well as women.


from a man, who does know.


Michael February 11, 2011 at 3:33 am


My father died at 64- not a suicide, but really, after decades of fatty food and no doctors and no exercise, wasn't it?

Yes, I understand how men can do it. I've thought of it. I think every man has, in the deep dark night of the soul where it is always 3:00 in the morning.

Why go on?

Why keep fighting?

I read a book months ago called the "Noonday Demon" where the author, a depressive, said that depressives commit suicide because they are TIRED. The act of getting up and moving through another day is just too much damn work to contemplate.

Men commit suicide because they don't feel they measure up. Because they're tired. Because they don't feel valued. Because the odds are stacked against them. Because they feel like there's no way out.

I have often thought about this, as a thought experiment: if I could somehow ensure my life insurance would pay out, would I do it?

Some days, the answer is unequivocally yes.


Helena February 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm

HERE HERE!! well said! I've wondered about my father commiting suicide, as a 50+ farmer in remote Australia, there's no bloody way i'd know before hand. One day he'd just dissapear like so many men do. Not a word of farewll or a hint of sadness.
What a world we live in, any one of these men could walk into a hospital and get treatment. Yet society is so harsh on men not having feelings, just muscles, that they feel that suicide is easier than facing the social pressures of walking into a hospital or calling the ambos! It makes me very angry and i'm so proud of you for speaking up! Well done Lori!


Anonymous February 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I don't think its about honour – its about pain. When the pain gets so bad that you'll do anything to make it stop. And when you think that you're the cause of other people's pain and wanting to stop that.

The typical view often expressed that suicide is selfish also discourages people from seeking help. Who wants to be seen as being selfish? I never spoke to my wife about how I felt because of how she and her family has spoken about people who have killed themselves.

I had pretty firm plans to kill myself and hadn't told any of my family or friends about it. But I was lucky enough to have a very understanding GP who got me help as well as on medication that works.


Pamela February 9, 2011 at 3:12 am

I'm a woman who has been having thoughts of suicide. I'm a postpartum depression fighter and with that comes extreme anxiety and intrusive thoughts. Thoughts that come into my head and set up living quarters without an end in sight. Last week I ended up at my psychiatrist's office in a weeping mess. I have a husband and three sons. What the fuck am I thinking? I wouldn't follow through, would I? And the answer is I'm not so sure. My thoughts often return to you and what you're going through. It fucking sucks what you're living with. What you are surviving as a result of Tony giving in to the thoughts. So I'm here. I'm here another day. And I have opened up to my husband about these thoughts because I can't fight them on my own.


Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Since reading your blog I have made time to really listen and encourage both my husband and son to let me into their thoughts. He had said so often that all is ok, yet when I really tought about it he was saying so much more.
Through your honesty and courage you've opened my eyes to so much more and I hope now I can be a more supportive partner.


Kelly February 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Hello Lovely,

Been wanting to tell you about my BIL who went the same way Tony did the week before Christmas.

Alongside you, my husband is grieving. Reluctantly, but grieving. He is talking and I am listening. All the while working and looking after his family. I am proud of him and let him know at every opportunity.

I would like to add that as the ones living with family who have mental illness, or those suddenly left behind, we need to speak out. We need to constantly communicate and advocate for their souls, hearts and minds.

I know this is your mission. You are inspiring me and others with each minute, each hurdle you overcome and every word you share.

Your courage is without boundaries. Keep your souls light shining, black, blue, yellow or red. It all comes from love.


P.S I have to sign as anon but it's Kelly Wilson (anklebites)


Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

Thank you for talking! For speaking IT outloud. When I was 8 my Mom (strong and ahead of her time) cut her wrists, a cry for help? A Female method of getting desperately wanted attention? … When I was 30 my favorite uncle (he was magical, did he know that?) used a shotgun as his exit wound. I am 55 and still think about these excruciating days, what could I have done or said or been to Save them? I understand needing to stop the pain, but suicide? We think about it at our darkest hour but if we talk about it, its our darkest "Hour", time will let us let it go. Suicide passes the pain on to those that love us most, where it finds a dark place to live as a deed that cannot be undone, leaving us the questions that can never be answered. Selfish act? All love to you Lori! Be well! Time is on My (our) Side as the Stones once told us!


Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

My daughter came to visit this weekend and I watched as she read your blog. A piece of her heart went out to you as she wrote her message and we talked a bit between sentences. I told her one thing I learned from a time when I was in a very sad place and was desperately trying to get to the other end of it – to see it behind me. I noticed that the people who I saw every day, those who were the closest to me when it started, hurt for me soooo very much that they had to sometimes break away from me for awhile. I felt very much like a pariah in my social circle, at work and, it seemed, every where I went. People could see the angst in my expressions, the pain through the windows of my own eyes and they could not bear to be face to face with me. I thought I eventually understood it – I believe it was that I represented everything they did not want to happen to them or their own children – that I represented some of the awfulness of what could be done to a woman and her child. I held that belief, whether real or imagined by me, because I had to forgive them when I did come out to the other side of it all. I thought I had great insight to them and their thoughts at the time. I came out arrogantly thinking I could live through anything to come my way for the rest of my life. I was invinceable, except to one thing that I knew I couldn't get through and thank goodness I've never had to experience that. But now there are two things I know I am not invinceable to.

When I look back as I near my 60th birthday, I know that I would not have chosen the experiences I've had but that I am who I am because of and in spite of them and I'm good with who I am today.

I have no advice to offer you today – no healing words of wisdom from a stranger. I too have joined the long list of those who hold up hope for you until you can hold it up for yourself and your once again. Hope Floats


Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 9:55 am

So, you helped another person today Lori: my husband NEVER reads the posts I send him, because he's so damn busy working two jobs to support me & the babies. You know, he read this one. I've been talking to him about you & damn me, he read this one.

He swears that suicide is never an option for him & I believe that he believes that. But the amount of stress he – we – are under is the highest it's ever been. I worry because he says he's not stressed. This us a man working a full time job that often runs late, running his own web design business with 60+ clients, who has a 2.5th old & a 6mnth old, married to a woman on anti-depressants with an eating disorder, all living in a 500sqft flat with a sofa bed in the office as a bedroom. And he's not stressed. Yeah, right – bollocks.

But he read this one. And now, once a week, every week, he has promised that we will sit down (at the same time! Together! Alone! Miracle) & He Will Talk.

I've commented on each post to offer support, but this time, I must sat thank you. Thank you from me, from my babies, from the hundreds and thousands of people you are helping Right Now, more powerfully than I knew was possible. Thank you.

Always, love. Sophie xxx


Watercolor February 8, 2011 at 6:21 am

You know, I was almost suicidal once. I hated everything. Was alone. (I'm single and was then.) I was standing at the top of a bridge over the train yard and a train was coming full speed and I realized I knew the instant to step off and fall in front of the train and it would all be over. And just as quickly I knew I did not want to die but I could no longer live the way I was. And I went home and made my resume and started making changes. That moment has stuck with me like no other and returns to me when I have those sad deep moments. It startled me, that moment. That the thought of dying could be so crystal clear and so near. And I'm grateful it was followed so closely by the next thought. In light of your post, I wonder is that a girl thing, or just a me thing? I don't know.


Watercolor February 8, 2011 at 6:16 am

Hugs. I posted this link to my twitter and facebook. I know two friends whos sons have killed themselves over the past few years. Crushing.

Hugs to you for your courage. Prayers for your healing.


PBJdreamer February 8, 2011 at 6:12 am

My oldest son has felt suicidal. I want him to read your blog. I want him to see the real things that happen.

Do you think that would help him?

I just don't know


Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 4:15 am

So much truth in this post Lori. Thanks for spelling it out like this. If it just saves one man, it will have been worth it.


Anonymous February 8, 2011 at 2:59 am

Thank you so much. I will use your post to get my husband talking. Sorry is not enough but I think about you and your family daily. Praying for comfort, strenth, peace, and the support you need.


Miss Angela Solo February 8, 2011 at 2:51 am

Lori I thought you might get something, I don't know, out of tonights Australian Story, if you didn't see it.


Glen February 8, 2011 at 2:23 am

That is such a difficult question to answer. I don't think it is possible to answer it unless you are in that position needing to make that choice. From a point of view in a cosy world there is no sense to it at all – no possible reason why I'd consider it.

I do know that we men cannot help but to take on all the responsibility for our families and for whatever the situation is – no matter how stupid that may seem. I can use me as an example…
I'm married to a woman far more educated than I am, who works just as hard as I do and who earns much the same too. She is capable and willing. However I still feel absolutely responsible for the house and our finances, and just general status. Why? I do not know – but I do. I feel the stress of these aspects of life and absorb them for the family. I would feel daft 'talking' about these stresses.

Logically I can see how stupid that is.

not everything is logical.


Anon E Mouse February 8, 2011 at 1:10 am

I think 'Will' got it spot on: it's a sense of failure that is a big motivator for feelings of suicide in men. When it appears that one's wife shares that opinion – which I often have of myself – one is left feeling hopeless & that everything is pointless.

I've also then gone through a similar process to that described by the anonymous male commenter, & I carry on.

But I've stayed rational; obviously that's not always the case.

I also think that partly to blame is the roles that societies are still forcing on men, & women, that creates extra pressure. The man is still expected to be the breadwinner, the rock, the leader. And yet men are now also expected to 'show their feminine side': to be nurturing & caring & empathetic. And if we fail – or are seen to fail, or even feel that we've failed – in either of those we can come in for criticism. That's a lot of pressure.

It seems to me that societies need to sort out what's expected of men. We either revert to being the 1950s style head of the house with a compliant stay-at-home wifey, or we acknowledge that actually men & women are equal & that our roles can be interchangable: wives can be the main breadwinner (as mine is) & men can also be caring. At the moment it seems to me that societies want to have their cake & eat it, to have it both ways with regard to men. When a man is expected to be at once Alpha Male & Mother's Little Helper it's no wonder we often don't know who or where we are, our heads get in a spin & we get stressed & pissed off. I often feel like I don't know whether I'm coming or going.

It just doesn't work, the burden of expectation is too great, it creates too much pressure.

Brilliant that you're bringing this issue out into the open: keep it going.

I like to think that your Tony would be proud x


Michelle February 8, 2011 at 12:58 am

Hi Lori

I have been here, reading , listening, but not commenting. Feel that I have nothing to say that will comfort you the way I wish I could.

But today I want to say that I think you are doing something great here.

Your writing is so open and honest, so real.

Thank you.

Michelle :-)


Carl February 8, 2011 at 12:37 am

Most men who are experiencing desperate feelings that lead to suicide are not well enough to ask for help – I'm not sure how we can expect that of them. Most feel that they are essentially alone and as far as people understanding, that is basically true. When you are a trapped animal and there is no escape and you have the capability to end the suffering, you do. I'm not sure how method is important unless it is merely a cry for help and not a suicide, but I think that may be more rare than we think. I just see all of this feedback from well people expecting sick people to act like well people and I think that may be too high of an expectation.


ren February 8, 2011 at 12:25 am

my god you are amazing lori.
my husband suffers from quite severe depression that is just getting under control thanks to new medication.
it has been a long hard road. i don't feel like i have the right to discuss his personal issues with my friends so it is lonely too.
keep writing lori. we need you to. you are going to help people. you have already helped me, and although he doesn't realise, my husband too.
sending you strength


Car February 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

Amazing post, I will be getting my husband to read this.


Anonymous February 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm

My husband drove to a secluded area, took lots of pills and alcohol, was found 3 weeks later. He never gave us a chance to get there in time to help him


Rebecca February 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm

You are so right. There is absolutely no honour and once a plan is in action it can be very hard to stop it because you need to be aware of the little warning signs.

We need to get rid of the stigma a man does not talk about their feelings………that is only for girls.

We need to get the message out there and this is a fantastic post for it that EVERYONE NEEDS TO TALK AND HONESTLY



Melissa February 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm

How on earth are you able to look past your own grief and write so elequently in order to help a larger community? You are an amazing person. Wow.
Take care of yourself.


Natalia February 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm

You are amazing, what a great post….


drb February 7, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Spendig you a big hug!
You've have lots of inner strength, Lori!
And you write brillantly!
I, too, think that you should publish a book.


Anonymous February 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Too many women commenting about men committing suicide.

I have a terrible fear of heights and have twice had circumstances which led to me being in high places looking down. I've never really talked to anyone, anytime it gets that serious all I feel is alone and futile, not honourable or manly. I CAN'T talk to anyone, that's probably part of what leads me there in the first place.

My train of thought starts out around "maybe they would be better off without me". Generally I remind myself that I don't believe in anything after this, the thought of not being is one that stops me dead in my tracks. I realize that things will get better, technically I'm already past the worst part, next is just resolving everything. Finally I decide that I am strong enough to get through it, and it's gonna take a lot more than whatever has happened to prove otherwise. Then I go home, and nobody ever knows I've been in high places looking down.


Smudgeblurr February 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Amazing Post Lori! Am lost for words so have shared on FB – hope that is ok. Believe like others that this should be read far and wide.


Carol February 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Lori – Maggie who was on Australian Story tonight knows of you, is reading your blog and is there for you. I had her on my show today.



Becky February 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Awesome post. I can't get my husband to read things when I link to them so I am PMing him bits.
You're so amazing.
Love to you Lori xo


freefalling February 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Coincidentally, I have just watched Australian Story on the ABC of a fella who accidentally killed himself after a mind snap and how his wife struggled in the aftermath.
I don't know if it would help you to watch it. Just wanted to let you know, in case you do want to see it.


Carly Findlay February 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Incredible words, Lori.
When you've had some time for you, I think you should give some of your blog entries to Beyond Blue – so people can see the reality of suicide. You are so resilient and articulate.


Daneen February 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Incrediable post….keep them coming, people need to hear this stuff!


Lib February 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Dear Lori, Your story has touched me so deeply. I am a funeral director and every day am involved in the aftermath of suicide. Both through my staff's eyes (who collect the deceased person from the place of death) to the families who are struggling through there why's, hows and what ifs. Its true, men do it much more violently than women, but it all leaves so many unanswered questions. I'd love to help you in your effort to educate people. I honestly believe that those who commit suicide really don't appreciate the finality of it. If only we could educate the masses and find a way to catch them before it gets that hard. Good luck with educating people, if you need help anyway please don't hesitate to contact me. Good luck in learning to live with a loss, that you should never have had to suffer x Lib


Andrea February 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm

phew. hell yeah.
You amaze me.

god, if I could only get my guy to read this. he is of the bottling variety. this is so important.


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