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Discuss Veteran Suicides In The United States In America (Essay Sample)


Discuss veteran suicides in the united states in America


Veteran Suicide
Veteran Suicide
A report published by the VA in the year 2016 that featured over 55 million veterans that served between the years 1979 and 2014 revealed that a massive 20 veterans commit suicide daily (Walker & Gray, 2017). It means that the rate at which the combatants are committing suicide is much higher than that of the public. Interestingly, the veterans who were deployed in either Iraq or Afghanistan are experiencing slightly lower suicide rates than the deployed veterans. It implies that this phenomenon is more than just trauma of war. Therefore, this research paper will cover veteran suicides in regards to its statistics, causes, and prevention (Brown & Elmore, 2017).
Research questions
What are the causes of veteran suicides?
Why do cases of suicides more prevalent in veterans than in general population?
Why is the veteran committing suicides more than the general population?
Between younger and older veterans, who commit suicide more?
Why are the veteran suicides common among the non-deployed veterans than deployed veterans?
What is the relationship between veteran suicide cases and mental illnesses?
Does gender play a role in the number of veteran suicides?
What are the preventive measures of reducing the cases of veteran suicides?
The leading causes of veteran suicides include alcohol abuse, depression, manic depression, as well as the posttraumatic stress disorder. Veterans commits suicide more than the public because they are exposed to traumatic experiences more as compared to the public. As a result, they stand higher chances of developing mental disorders such as posttraumatic disorder later in life than the general population. Moreover, more non-deployed veterans always commit suicide more than the deployed veterans do. Gender does play a role because male veterans are more likely to commit suicide as opposed to the female veterans. One of the factors believed to cause suicides in general is mental illnesses. In regards to the case of veteran suicides, there is a close association between mental health issues and suicides.
Age has no role to play as far as the veteran suicides are concerned. It is expected that suicide among the veterans be evenly spread across the age. The number of veterans committing suicides are more than the general population because they are exposed to more traumatic experiences than the general population. Moreover, they are more likely to develop mental illnesses than the public. Besides, veterans have reduced stress and trauma management skills as opposed to the general population. Some of the ways of preventing suicide among the veterans include military handling of the soldiers with mental health problems more carefully.
Another preventive measure of minimizing the ever-increasing instances of veteran suicides is the government and other organizations to undertake the management campaign against post-traumatic stress disorder. Besides, actions should be in place to early identify veterans who are likely to commit suicide with the aim of helping them avoid incurring the vise. Additionally, mental health specialists and centers should be made available and accessible for the veterans.
Statistics regarding the veteran suicide
In the year 2012 alone, more than 6,500 veterans committed suicide. Arguably, the number of veterans who died of suicide was more than the military personnel that was killed in Iraq. Military deaths do not only affect the veterans, but active-duty soldiers are also facing the same problem. Moreover, in the year 2012, 177 active soldiers committed suicide. The phenomenon affects both sexes with both males and females veterans having the same fate. However, 97% of the total veteran suicide cases were males while only 3% of the cases were females (Jobes, 2014).
Women are believed to stand lower chances of committing suicides than the males because of their ability to manage traumatic experiences better than the men. Moreover, males tend to keep to themselves by not sharing their problems than the females who continuously share their adversaries with those close to them. Therefore, it approves the assumption that more male veterans commit suicides as opposed to their female counterparts (Bossarte, 2015).
A report that was released in the year 2013 by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showed that a veteran commits suicide after every 65 minutes. Some reports were also of the opinion that the report was an undercounting the actual suicide incidences. Furthermore, the same report revealed that about 30% per 100,000 veterans’ population commit suicide each year as compared to the 14% of the civilians per 100,000 population. Besides, the report also revealed that the older veterans of more than 50 years of age represent 69% of the suicide victims as opposed to 31% of the veterans below the age of 49 years. Consequently, it is inconsistent with the hypothesis claiming that the number of suicides among the veterans is evenly spread across all ages (Thompson & Poulin, 2016).
Causes of suicide among the veterans
From my hypothesis, the causes of suicide among the veterans include alcohol abuse, depression, manic depression, as well as the posttraumatic stress disorder. However, these claims are consistent with the studies that showed that the majority cases of the veteran suicides were individuals with a record of accomplishment of drug abuse and addiction. Among all the drugs, majority of the veterans who commit suicides are alcoholics. Moreover, upon interviewing close friends and relatives of the veteran who committed suicides, nearly all of them revealed that the victims were depressed just before committing suicides. It is a reliable indicator that depression is one of the salient causes of veteran suicides. Depression is a silent killer and one of the major causes of suicides in general especially when untreated (Bossarte, 2015).
Therefore, it approves my hypothesis that claimed that depression plays a significant role in causing suicides among the veterans. These are just some of the causes responsible for the high rates of suicides among the veterans. However, a report contained in the journal of the American Medical Association blame the underlying mental health issues among the veterans as the leading cause of the high rates of veteran suicides. Examples of the mental illnesses associated with suicides include schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, anxiety disorders, among the rest are associated with increased risks of suicides. Besides, the VA reports on the veteran suicides indicated that the majority of the victims were the individuals with the previous record of mental illnesses (Thompson & Poulin, 2016).
Furthermore, according to the research conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the victims of bipolar disorder depression have 15 times risk of committing suicide. Additionally, the same report also revealed that people living with schizophrenia stand 40 times more chances of attempting suicides than healthy individuals. As for the anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, the victims have 18 times more opportunities of committing suicide than the healthy individuals. Therefore, there exists a close relationship between mental illnesses and the veterans committing suicide. Moreover, 79% of the total veteran and active military suicides were individuals with a history of mental illnesses. Consequently, it proves my assumption that veteran suicides and mental illnesses have close association (Conwell & Kemp, 2016).
The same report also revealed that the public also suffers from the similar underlying mental health issues, but the handling of mental illnesses by the military is different. The same report also purported that army does not take the problems of mental health seriously. Most of the soldiers with mental health issues are continuously deployed in the primary operations. Furthermore, the military does not undertake constant counseling and education on stress together with the trauma management. Additionally, the military does not conduct continuous screening and diagnosis of their soldiers regarding mental health illnesses. Therefore, most of the cases of mental health illnesses are noticed when they have reached an advanced stage when their management is difficult. It explains why the cases of suicides are higher in the veterans than in the general population. Therefore, it approves the assumption claiming that more veterans are committing suicides than the general population (Bossarte, 2015).
The same report also revealed that the duration of deployment also affects the rate of suicide rates among the veterans. The shorter the deployment period, the higher the rate of suicide. The report from the VA showed that 67% of the daily veterans’ committing suicides represent individuals who were deployed for less than one year (Thompson & Poulin, 2016). Therefore, this finding is inconsistent with my hypothesis that claimed that the more extended and more the number of deployments the higher the rates of suicides.
Arguably, the shorter and the fewer instances of military deployments enhance the chances of the veterans developing the post-traumatic stress disorder (Walker & Gray, 2017). Moreover, it explains why veterans who were deployed for a shorter period and fewer occasions tend to commit suicide more than those deployed for a more extended period on several times. American Medical Association is of the opinion that the effects of the post-traumatic stress disorder are at the...
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