October 30, 2015
This question came from an article on the New York Times about the 2/7 Battalion. They lost 20 to war but so far 13 more to suicide.
Q. Are multiple combat deployments a contributing factor to suicide?The answer is, redeployments have a lot to do with the suicides and the Army knew it back in 2006
Dave Philipps: The data suggest there is little or no added suicide risk associated with multiple deployments, but those studies have been unable to address the amount of combat seen. Second, no study has looked at this question after active duty. We simply don’t know. Anecdotally, nine of 13 members of the 2/7 who killed themselves did multiple tours. And I think it is important to note the quick succession of these tours, with less than a year between.
The report also found a doubling of suicides among soldiers serving in the Iraq war from 2004 to 2005, the latest period for which data are available. Twenty-two soldiers took their own lives in Iraq and Kuwait in 2005, compared with 11 in 2004 and 25 in 2003, Army officials said.That was from the Washington Post Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD Army Finds
U.S. soldiers serving repeated Iraq deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health.
Earlier Army studies have shown that up to 30 percent of troops deployed to Iraq suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the latter accounting for about 10 percent.If you are serious about understanding any of this, I strongly suggest you go and read the whole report that is still active online. All the answers came from what the Army started and the Marines paid for along with the Airmen and Sailors.
The findings reflect the fact that some soldiers -- many of whom are now spending only about a year at home between deployments -- are returning to battle while still suffering from the psychological scars of earlier combat tours, the report said.
How a Marine Unit’s High Suicide Rate Got That Way
New York Times
By DAVE PHILIPPS
OCT. 29, 2015
The funeral for Eduardo Bojorquez, a member of the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, who committed suicide in June. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York TimesSince coming back from Afghanistan in 2008, the hard-hit Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment has struggled to adjust. The battalion, known as the 2/7, lost 20 men in war. In the years since, it has lost 13 more to suicide. The battalion now has a suicide rate 14 times that for all Americans.
The New York Times asked Dr. Charles Engel, of the RAND Corporation, and two Marines who served with the battalion in Afghanistan, Arthur Karell and Keith Branch, to answer readers’ questions about the devastating effects of combat and the high suicide rate among veterans. The conversation took place on Facebook in October, moderated by Dave Philipps, a reporter for The Times who covers veterans’ affairs. Here are some of the questions and answers, which have been condensed and edited. read more here This is another important piece on the report
A.K.: The events of the past inform the outlook for the future. When the events of the past repeatedly trigger an anguish that doesn’t abate, it may cause a veteran to question what kind of future they have in store. I’ve heard of post-combat stress described as a response to deep moral trauma, as war is just about the most intense and certainly the largest-scale moral trauma humans inflict on one another. For veterans, post-military activities, pursuits and/or careers that involve or embody a shared purpose, go a long way toward recovery from that moral trauma.That stigma is due to the program that had been sold as the answer to not just to preventing suicides, but in preventing PTSD. It is called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) is designed to build resilience and enhance performance of the Army Family — Soldiers, their Families, and Army Civilians. CSF2 does this by providing hands-on training and self-development tools so that members of the Army Family are better able to cope with adversity, perform better in stressful situations, and thrive in life.
It didn't take long to understand this program has in fact fed the stigma and should have been ended as soon as suicides increased after its implementation in 2009. Even I knew it would and predicted the inevitable outcome of increasing suicides. Telling them they could take this training to become resilient managed to translate into their thinking that if they ended up with PTSD, they were mentally weak and didn't train right.
Instead of ending this fubar farce, they pushed it harder. It didn't matter it was an unproven research project.
The Dark Side of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness”This is yet another good place to learn some facts because as the Army tends to point toward the high number of non-deployed soldiers committing suicide, they fail to mention this program was so insufficient that it could even keep them alive, refusing to even consider the fact they expected it to work on those with multiple deployments.
Mandatory "resilience training" program for all U.S. soldiers raises concerns.
Roy Eidelson Ph.D. Roy Eidelson Ph.D.
Posted Mar 25, 2011
Although its advocates prefer to describe Comprehensive Soldier Fitness as a training program, it is indisputably a research project of enormous size and scope, one in which a million soldiers are required to participate. Reivich, Seligman, and McBride write in one of the special issue articles, "We hypothesize that these skills will enhance soldiers' ability to handle adversity, prevent depression and anxiety, prevent PTSD, and enhance overall well-being and performance" (p. 26, emphasis added). This is the very core of the entire CSF program, yet it is merely a hypothesis - a tentative explanation or prediction that can only be confirmed through further research.
Top that off with the other factor of the high number of young veterans receiving this training only to commit suicide stateside after surviving combat overseas and you get the idea they failed to see.
When you hear someone saying they are "raising awareness" make sure they are made aware of this since so far few have a clue of what I knew would happen after listening to them complain about Battlemind, the predecessor to CSF. As for Congress, they just kept paying for it, over and over and over again along with all the other money they have spent over the years to produce more deaths after combat than during it. It should have been called Contagious Stigma Feeder because that is exactly what it did!
The Army managed to explain less about the facts on PTSD. They don't know what PTSD is, why they have it or the simple fact that it does not mean they are stuck suffering the way they are today.
PTSD is set of by trauma, not them. They are not weak. As a matter of fact it is the strength of their emotional core that causes them to feel everything more deeply than others. Feel more love and feel a lot more pain.
They can heal and the sooner they get it the better when it is mild and most can be reversed.
None of this is new and Vietnam veterans pushed for all the research going back to the 70"s.
We learned a lot because of what they started yet it appears the Army is still loading the same old BS they used when Patton slapped a soldier.