Military Suicides Outnumber Combat Deaths

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In a reversal of an historic rate of suicides below that of the general population, suicides in the military have surged. Newsweek explores the issue and some of its possible causes.

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Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor;
This topic has been approached through various angles on MiA. Though there’s nothing definitive, a thread seems evident that there is a high rate of psychotropic medicating and inadequate or inappropriate treatment of PTSD.

Related items:
Mental Illness is the Leading Cause of Military Hospitalizations
Army Restores PTSD Diagnoses in a Servicewide Review
Psychotropics Contribute to Suicide Among Military Children
Lawyers Starting to Blame Psychotropic Drugs for Aberrant Behavior
Antidepressants Keep GIs Fighting
Army to Study Use of Off-Label Meds for PTSD

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. In addition to multiple deployments, I would like to suggest that the millennial generation is demographically very different from the “Greatest Generation” (Tom Brokaw’s label). I am eager to see a thorough study of the data. I would speculate that the recruits of today are much less certain of themselves, their beliefs, their country, their purpose, the meaning of life. The overwhelming majority of young adults in America during the 40’s had been raised by a mom and a dad. Youth transitioned to adult responsibility sooner. I wager that they had more confidence. Today, it is much harder to find recruits who are not disqualified by drug use or a rap sheet. You don’t need me to tell you that the high incidence of broken homes , single parent families , latch-key childhoods, etc must take its toll on children and produce a type of young adult whose mental state may not be helped by the boot camp drill sergeant. Young recruits look to the military to help them “get it together”. How’s that been working for them?