Why are troops taking their own lives in steadily increasing numbers?
The rate of suicide among active and reserve military personnel has increased to its highest level since accurate record-keeping began in 2001, the Pentagon reports. CNN reports:
According to the Pentagon, 239 military deaths in 2012 have been confirmed as suicides and another 110 are being investigated as probable suicides. The number of suicides in 2011 reached 301; there were 298 the year before.
Perhaps the most chilling phrase there is “probable suicides”. Suicide victims often feel isolated, unable to reach out or communicate, and nothing bespeaks that condition more than a suicide that must be inferred. It implies that even in their last extremity, the victim could not speak of ending their own life. In civilian life, this often takes the form of suspicious one-car accidents under safe driving conditions. Military life offers many more opportunities to end one’s own life in an unclear fashion, leaving no note or apology, nothing but that phrase, “probable suicide”.
If you are having thoughts about killing yourself, call 1-800-273-8255 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Don’t think that your problem isn’t serious enough or that nobody wants to hear from you. Talking saves lives.