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  • Writer's pictureDamon Rich

The Blood of Men

Originally written February 11, 2017

Updated on: 5/23/2024

He walked into the Emergency Room, his shirt darkening with what looked like blood. Clutching his side, he approached the check-in desk and said, "I need help. I need help quick. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on."

The nurse behind the desk saw the fear and uncertainty in his eyes. She picked up the phone and urgently requested immediate assistance.

Within minutes, he was wheeled into an examination room. A female doctor entered, asked a few questions, but couldn’t find the source of the bleeding. She left, and soon after, a male doctor came in.

Standing across the room, the doctor asked him the same questions. His answers didn’t change. The doctor moved closer and examined his wound. Then he asked, "What words define your current state?"

Without hesitation, the man replied, "Alone, inadequate, frustrated, and dangerously vulnerable!"

The doctor pulled up a computer, accessed the man’s record, and typed: "Bleeding Man Syndrome.” The prognosis: “Hopeful.” The recommended treatment: “Rest, respect, admiration, the consistent company of strong brothers for accountability, and the support of a woman who loves him.”


Men are bleeding. It’s a crisis we can’t ignore. The scary part is many are bleeding out, and few notice until it’s too late. Our patient had four words, but his list could have been longer or different. For now, let’s explore his four words.

Alone: Loneliness is a silent killer among men, especially married men. They feel trapped in their bodies, with no one to talk to—or at least, that’s their perception. Who can they confide in? Tedashii’s lyric in "Catch Me If You Can" comes to mind: "Please, excuse my escape. Who can I run to when everybody's fake? I ain’t usually impatient, but I just couldn't wait. Really wasn’t sure how much more I could take.” Where do bleeding men go?

Inadequate: Many things make a man feel inadequate—job performance, financial status, living conditions, or social status. But nothing hits harder than feeling he’s failed the woman he loves, in provision and physical intimacy. It eats at him, haunting him in the middle of the night. Believe it or not, men struggle with body image and attractiveness too.

Frustrated: Loneliness and inadequacy fuel frustration. He’s frustrated about his status, his condition, his relationships, and his sexual abilities. He’s unfocused at work and frustrated there too. As the Apostle Paul says, "Pressed on every side…" but he can’t embrace the rest of that scripture. He feels dangerously close to being destroyed.

Dangerously Vulnerable: These conditions leave him in a dangerous place—vulnerable. He’s open to anyone offering healing or something like it. He’s open to drinking, adultery, abuse, or abandonment. The options are many and they are all on the table. He is OPEN! Proverbs 25:28 comes to mind: “He that hath no rule over his spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”


In 2017, a local, prominent pastor committed adultery with a congregant. I won’t focus on the specifics, but rather on a book he released around the same time. For some reason, God had me reach out to him, though I never heard back. To understand him better, I read his book. And there it was—plain to see and painful to endure. His blood was on every page, every letter.

If he saw the doctor in our story and was completely honest, he’d likely use the same words as our patient. He was bleeding for all to see, but those closest to him either missed it, didn't care or gave up trying to help him see his own blood.

Why do we miss the blood of men? Here are six reasons:

1. Society doesn’t expect us to bleed, therefore they have no approriate, emotional response when they see our blood.

2. Men have become masters of self-medicating to hide our blood, making it typically visible only to those who are medicating beside us.

3. Society in general is selfish and as long as we perform our blood does not matter.

4. Men are sometimes the source of our own wounds and people feel no compassion for self-inflicted wounds.

5. People are looking at the wrong indicators. (The cost of being great at medicating.)

6. The blood of men is not a priority.

To those reading this blog, I simply ask: Do you see the blood of the men around you, or are you so lost in your life, that you can't see theirs slowly fading away.

Disclaimer: While women often miss the signs of a bleeding man, so do men who say they care. We must adjust our heart for compassion.

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