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Does Combat Lead to Rising Military Suicides?

SpouseLink.Org |

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that veterans and current military personnel aren’t driven to suicide as a result of combat. The study was conducted between 2001 and 2008, tracking 150,000 active servicemembers and veterans. By the end of the 7-year study, 83 suicides had been reported.

Whether stationed abroad or in active combat, no consistent links exist between these roles and suicide. Instead, factors are similar to those found among civilians. The group that exhibited a higher risk of committing suicide were males who had been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder; many of whom suffered with alcohol-dependency.

Previous studies suggested that deployment increased the risk factors leading to mental health issues such as PTSD due to combat. So why is this study exhibiting different results? According to the Pentagon, over 50% of active duty troops who committed suicide were never deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq.

What are your thoughts on this study?


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