Sunday, November 19, 2017

Holiday's Harder For PTSD Soldiers to Survive Alone

Holidays a difficult time for some veterans, soldiers

Killeen Daily Herald
David A. Bryant
November 18, 2017
“People tend to do stupid things when they isolate themselves,” he said. “As a first sergeant in the Army, I always encouraged people, especially my (noncommissioned officers), to take a soldier home for the holidays.”
The holiday season can be a difficult time for soldiers and veterans dealing with post traumatic stress, and difficult for young troops dealing with the loneliness of being away from family during the holidays for the first time in their lives.
While there is no correlation between the number of suicides going up and the season, the number of attempts does tend to increase around Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to local organizations that assist in suicide prevention.
And the ones most likely to go through with a suicide attempt are the ones who don’t talk about it, said Tony Smith, Coryell County veterans service officer.
“I’ve found in the past that those who talk about committing suicide are less likely to actually follow through,” Smith said. “Those who don’t talk tend to just do it.”
Smith said the holidays increase the number of calls he receives from people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, regardless of the holiday.
“I’ve been to a lot of calls and a lot of suicides,” he said. “I get 3 a.m. phone calls, calls at 4 a.m. or 1:30 a.m. They get to drinking, start thinking about stupid things.” 
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