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Suicides on the Rise-PTSD

June 8, 2012

On the front Page of the Orange County Register newspaper today Friday June 8, 2012 is the headline “Suicides surging among troops”.  and the sub-title says “More are taking their own life than are killed in combat, Pentagon says”

This is such a tragedy that most people don’t appreciate.  War of course is Hell, as they say, and this is an even uglier side of it.  Killing and wounding the enemy is what war really is suppose to be about.  Killing of oneself to avoid having to kill or wound the enemy, somehow seems like an even worse outcome to me.  Especially since it is likely that this total will continue to rise even when the actual war has ended and the troops come home.

The article goes on to state some of the reasons for the suicides which are: combat exposure, post traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems.

There is one suicide profiled in the piece. It is of a helicopter pilot who hung himself in 2005 between deployments. He said he was “unable to bring himself to go for help.  He was afraid of how people would view him once he went for help.  He thought that people would think he was weak, that people would think he was trying to get out of redeploying or trying to get out of the service.”

Henri Matisse once said “No person should live their life in prison inside themselves.” War sometimes forces this self imprisonment.

The truth is that PTSD is a sickness and it needs to be treated as nothing more nothing less.  If you or anyone you know suffers from symptoms of PTSD please encourage them to seek help.  At the least, tell them to come here and tell their story to unburden themselves.  The best medicine is the light of day.