suicidal soldierVeterans have seen and experienced things most people have been lucky to avoid. Their level of trauma is way more advanced and destructive than we will ever know. Many veterans in their 30s will dissociate or even ‘come out of their bodies to deal with the trauma they have experienced. Out of the blue, this trauma will be triggered by a sound or a smell.

Many come home to their families where they suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Some will hold it together for many years, then once they feel their family is doing well, they will start getting their affairs in order and take their life. Nearly 70% of suicides are committed using a gun. The first thing to do is to lock away any firearms, drugs, or other dangerous items if you are concerned.

2016 data showed 20 veteran and service member deaths a day. About 16 were veterans, and 4 were active members. 2018 showed that number increasing to 22 a day. PTSD is not the only cause of despair; immense stress, performance, and frequent moves add to the hopelessness.

There are many Veterans Legion Halls around the country that provide much comfort as only military members can join them. Many members have been through similar experiences, so it is a beautiful place to connect and know they are not alone in their feelings.

Most people contemplating suicide do not want to die. They want their pain to stop.

Risk behaviors:

  • Nightmares or having problems sleeping or oversleeping
  • Excessive alcohol or drug abuse
  • Excessive grief
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, or society
  • Risky or reckless behaviors
  • Excessive rage or anger
  • Anxious, agitated, or hopelessness
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Talking or writing about self-harm, suicide, or death.

Some common causes of military suicide:

  • Relationship problems
  • Death of a loved one or friend
  • Disciplinary or legal issues
  • Work or performance issues
  • Sleep issues
  • Financial burdens
  • Disrupted social network.