Thursday, September 28, 2017

More Older Veterans Commit Suicide When Loneliness is the Enemy

Yale finally figured out what we've known all along. Veterans need to be with other veterans. They are the only ones who know what it is like to hold that rare distinction of putting the lives of others ahead of their own.

I think they should add in retirement coupled with loneliness.

For suicidal veterans, loneliness is the deadliest enemy

Yale News
Bill Hathaway
September 28, 2017

To date, there has been a strong emphasis on treating pathology rather than bolstering resources these individuals may already possess. Results of this study suggest that preventing suicidal thinking may not only be about fixing what is wrong, but also building what is strong.” Robert H. Pietrzak

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About 20 veterans commit suicide every day. The primary enemy most veterans face after service is not war-related trauma but loneliness, according to a new study by researchers at Yale and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The study, scheduled to be published Oct. 1 in the journal World Psychiatry, followed 2,000 veterans over a period of four years to help explain why studies have shown that vets are more than twice as likely to kill themselves as their civilian counterparts.  At enrollment, the participants never had suicidal thoughts and were representative of U.S. military veterans as a whole: They were predominantly older, with an average age of 62, and two-thirds had never seen combat.
When you look at the age breakdown of veterans who kill themselves, 65 percent are over the age of 50,” said lead author Robert H. Pietrzak, Director of the Translational Psychiatric Epidemiology Laboratory of the Clinical Neurosciences Division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD and associate professor of psychiatry at Yale. “We sought to identify early warning signs of suicide risk in this population, much like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help predict heart disease.”
read more here

It is a bond that cannot be broken with time or distance. It turns strangers into brothers, willing to die for each other. Civilians do not understand that and veterans are uneasy among them. Yet put veterans together at a veterans event and you see life come back into their eyes and years mean nothing.