Monday, December 14, 2009

A Mounting Suicide Rate Prompts an Army Response

A Mounting Suicide Rate Prompts an Army Response
Click on this title to go to the Time magazine article.

This will be a tough problem to treat. Men don't want to reveal their mental problems, for reasons Leif wrote about and I've posted here. They often confide, if they do at all, only in their wives, girlfriends or their best friends, to a lesser extent. They don't want to be seen as weak or "broken." Asking for help is anathema to many.

A contributing factor to some of these suicides, not mentioned in this article, is the breakup of relationships, the end of marriages, or the inability to relate to their wives as they did before. Both husbands and wives are changed by deployment, separation and war. Leif came home from service in Bosnia to find that his marriage was over. He nearly committed suicide then but somehow pulled himself together. He didn't tell us about his planned suicide until years later, although we could tell he was severely depressed, and when he did talk about it, he blamed it on the army, not on his marriage breakup. He never asked for help. He also drank too much after his marriage ended, and I will always believe that had he not been drinking heavily the night he died, he might still be here. Guns, alcohol and depression are a bad combination.

This is sad, tragic way to end service to one's country, a service these soldiers embarked upon with hope and a desire to serve, not realizing or believing what it could do to them.

Please, if you are suffering from PTSD, depression from a failed relationship, or substance abuse, get help, and don't minimize or pass off your depression or symptoms. You life is worth fighting for, even if you don't feel like it right now.

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