Year: 2018 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2018). 22(2): 327-343. SIEC No: 20180327

Young men constitute one of the highest risk groups for suicide in most countries. This gives reason to explore how meanings attached to masculinity can be evoked and handled when a young man takes his life. In-depth interviews with 5 to 8 informants for each of 10 suicides, as well as suicide notes, were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The suicides appeared as signature acts of compensatory masculinity with the following themes: When hope is gone, no one must know; weakness was never allowed; and suicide conducted in a way to present oneself as heroic. The handling of masculinity in triggering suicidal plans and in carrying out suicide is intrinsically connected to avoidance of help-seeking behavior.