Suicide in the United States is the 11th leading cause of death, with over 32,000 killing themselves per year. While some causes or explanations for suicide will never be known, depression or other diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorders top the list of more than 90 percent of why lives are torn from us. Over the last couple years around the military there has been much debate on whether this rate has been drastically affected by the increased military footprint from fighting two wars. Prior to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military suicide rate was well below the civilian rate. The sharpest increase started within the Army and Marine Corps shortly after 2001, as these services were the most involved in combat. "We know that at least 10 people are personally impacted by each death and every death is a tragedy," Carroll said in the statement. (Starr, 2013)
Increased suicide rates in the military ranks are not directly related to the increase in combat deployments. Studies have shown that mental illness, substance abuse, financial and relationship problems are some of the underlying vigor causing an upsurge in military suicides. The U.S. Government, citizens and service members are deserved a definitive answer if continuous deployments were the number one causing factor in the increased suicide rate. “The findings from this study are not consistent with the assumption that specific deployment-related characteristics, such as length of deployment, number of deployments, or combat experiences, are directly associated with increased suicide risk,” the authors, based at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, wrote. “Instead, the risk factors associated with suicide in this military population are consistent with civilian populations, including male sex and mental disorders.”
In 2012 it marked the tipping point as suicide rates hit a record high of 350 service members. This is more than the number of American troops killed in either combat zone or in transportation accidents and twice the number a decade prior. At this point it was hard not to suggest that 12 years of war may be the reason or at least a leading stressor from normal peacetime operations. This brought on a national effort using government and multiple private companies and surveys like one conducted by Millennium Cohort, who traced the health of thousands of service members of six decades. Researches studied cases of current and former service members of over 150,000 collecting the valuable data points. Precious data was collected by these services to include from the National Death Index and Defense department personnel records. After correlating suicide with the data presented by the surveys, the researchers concluded that rates were highest among men and among people with manic-depressive problems. NDI also found using a small group of 83 service members who committed suicide that 58 percent had never deployed.
“ Despite universal...