I read this article about a young man who shot himself after using a drug (Kratom) for an extended period of time. When things like this happen it is typically only a matter of time before people start calling for the banning of the drug, or the gun which he used to end his own life, but focusing on drugs and guns ignores the bigger problem.
The article mentions that the man struggled with anxiety, and it was this anxiety which let him to start using the drug:
In the months leading up to that day, she says, her son had come to her and asked for help with what he called an addiction to the substance, which he had initially turned to for his anxiety.
Both suicide and drug use are escape strategies. If there are more suicides and higher drug use now then there have been in the past, then we need to look at what has changed in society. It’s worth noting that men commit most of the suicides. Why is that?
The left often says that men kill themselves more because they are not able to talk about their true feelings. They claim that there are cultural mores in place which attach shame to men talking about their feelings or what is bothering them. This presupposes that men are essentially the same as women. Typically when women are upset about something they will talk about it, and they often prefer for the other person to listen, and at most give an emotion laden complimentary speech of sorts. Men are more interested in solutions than feel-good kumbaya speeches, which amount to empty rhetoric.
My grandmother lived through the Great Depression. She told me that back then it was very common for men to shoot themselves and jump off of tall buildings.
Men draw their self-esteem from their accomplishments, not from the amount of friends that they have or whether or not people like them. This is why when men meet for the first time in social settings they often begin the conversation by saying something along the lines of “what do you do?” That is a reference to their occupation. One of the most basic requisites for male confidence and mental well-being is the man’s ability to provide for himself.
A man who cannot support himself is almost never going to have a positive self-image. It makes little difference whether a man is unemployed or underemployed due to a poor economy or institutional discrimination, because in the end he was still unable to overcome the situation and help himself. There is no escaping the personal inadequacy, or the fact that there is no niche for him to fill. He is a surplus male. As things continue, the situation will continue to grate on him, until he either finally finds a way to overcome it or to cope with it. Coping strategies revolve around finding a way to escape on some level or another.
A kumbaya speech is not going to fix the problem, as the problem was not caused by the lack of a kumbaya speech. A kumbaya speech is not even going to function as a coping strategy or an escape, as it’s based on nothing and offers nothing.
It used to be that when men graduated from high school or college they would be able to get a job. If they graduated from college they largely had their pick of the jobs. A man would marry a woman who had probably never had sex with anyone, he would support the woman and whatever children resulted through his job, he would usually remain married to that woman his entire life, and he would retire and continue to live well. Things are not like that anymore.
A high school degree is worth next to nothing, and the same is now true of many college degrees. All that awaits a man after college is uncertainty. The situation is worse for white men, who are less likely to be considered for a job if a black man, Mexican, or a woman applies for the same job. Marriage is also not what it used to be, as women in the west are no longer what they used to be. Most marriages end in divorce, and the legal system is heavily skewed in favor of the women.
Many men are acutely aware of the situation, and perhaps an even larger number are aware of it subconsciously. This is why men are turning in droves to a number of escape and coping strategies, including alcohol, drugs, pornography, excessive video-gaming, and even killing themselves in some cases. The drugs and alcohol make a man feel happy, even though he’s not, and at the very least impair his ability to think to the point where his mind no longer has to dwell on the situation. Pornography takes the place of navigating the pitfalls of a real relationship in order to achieve some feeling of sexual satisfaction. A man might immerse himself in the artificial world of a videogame, where he can accomplish and overcome things. Even though it’s only the illusion of accomplishment, it’s still more than he has in real life. Suicide is the ultimate opting out.
I do not endorse any of these behaviors, but the root cause of their increase is the diminishing ability of men to be men.
I blame both the PC movement and the economy for this. In order for men to be fulfilled, they must be free to be men. They must be free to express themselves, even if other people consider what they are saying to be racist, sexist, or some other kind of ‘ist,’ and they should be free to do this without fear of losing their job and never being able to get another. An economic recovery is absolutely essential. A man with no niche is a man without a place, and no amount of kumbaya speeches is going to create a place for him.