Study: Despair, Depression & Addiction Rising in U.S. Men

Depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse, is rising in American men in their late 30s, according to new research led by Lauren Gaydosh, assistant professor of Medicine, Health and Society and Public Policy Studies at Vanderbilt University.

The study, The Depths of Despair Among U.S. Adults Entering Midlife, appears in the American Journal of Public Health.

Founder of Recovering Man Richard Joy lays out his story of the depths of addiction, despair and trauma, followed by his recovery and finding himself as a man below:


In 2016, U.S. life expectancy began to decline for the first time in nearly a quarter-century, and researchers theorized that this was driven by a marked increase in deaths due to drug overdose, alcoholic cirrhosis and suicide among middle-aged whites with low education or in rural areas.

At the time, this was explained by a unique triple-punch of worsening employment prospects accompanied by a declining perception of socioeconomic status and an erosion of social supports for this group.

But studies to better understand those mortality trends did not definitively show that low-income rural whites were actually experiencing more despair than other groups.

The ongoing suicide epidemic marks what Recovering Man terms a “crisis of meaning in life” and the website exists to re-install the heart of man in contemporary times.

Read more: From Addiction & Victimhood to Awakening

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