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Study: Female Vets Especially Vulnerable To Suicide


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, culture, death, ethics, family, freedoms, government, humans, news, politics, sadness, safety, society, violence, usa, women )

Hans
- 1481 days ago - npr.org
Around 32,000 people commit suicide in the U.S. each year; 20 percent of those suicides are veterans. Traditionally, when we think of suicide among vets, we think of men. But this week, for the first time, a sizable study was published that looked specif



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Comments

Patricia N. (41)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 10:31 am
Noted. Wish there was some way to help them get through the traumatic stress, what a shame.
 

Dotti Lydon (112)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 10:41 am
This is so sad. We should do more for our Veterans. They give or are willing to give their lives for our freedom. DADT is one of the things that I am so in favor of.
 

Charmaine C. (176)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:05 am
You'd think by now war would be a thing of the past! Humans are the only species that have managed to put natural evolution in reverse!
 

Carmen S. (69)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:07 am
Basically woman are not meant to go to the battlefieleds. They are nurturers by nature. So I can see how this would affect them even more than male soldiers who are brought up with taht kind of mentality, strong, fight, kill.
If I had a daughter I certainly would not encourage her to enlist in the military. And on top of that their is a lot of raping in the military of woman. Med basically do not want woman on the battlefield and when their is one , that is what happens.
 

. (0)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:23 am
Very sad situation, I think war is so brutal, that must stop...
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:53 am
Noted, thanks. This is very sad and shameful that little to nothing is being done to treat the post traumatic stress disorder. And unfortunately, some of the male vets are likely to become serial killers (as did John Allen Muhamad/the Beltway sniper, Howard Unruh, Timothy McVeigh, Son of Sam, Charles Whitman to name a few). To quote David Grossman, a former US military psychologist "The ability to watch a human being's head explode and to do it again and again -- that takes a kind of desensitization to human suffering that has to be learned." Everything has a ripple effect, especially war.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (448)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 12:30 pm
Truly a terrible statistic. Why doesn't the US open a dialogue with Israel on this matter. Women must serve in the military for 3 years, along side men. I'd be curious to know what the rate of suicide among the military is in Israel.
 

Marti Williams (170)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 1:07 pm
War is a horrible event to endure...we do our warriors no good by burying our heads in the sand...and our women need special help...
 

Jassmine F. (0)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 1:08 pm
Very sad. This war needs to stop, it brings nothing of enough value to make up for the distress it has caused everywhere. I want to weep for all of those who come home and find their lives in a downward spiral.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 1:18 pm
noted and sad....i realize that most people think of male veterans at risk...but suicide knows no gender...it's absolutely gender neutral and anyone can come under its' influence...that is what makes this so sad and tragic...we do not need to make this an issue of gender..it is an issue of life and death...that is what we should all be focused on and not be so concerned if the victims are male or female...this is as useless as knowing the percentage of suicide victims with blue eyes...who cares...dead is dead and we need to help these people before they kill themselves....when one is having feelings and desires towards suicide, they are NOT thinking of their gender, they can only focus on their pain. we need to help them deal with the paid and value their lives...it isn't about gender....
 

ewoud k. (73)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 1:48 pm
Sad story.

On the other hand, it's hard to believe that you can be send to fight a war (and a nasty one in this case) and come back home unchanged and unharmed (psychologicaly). When there's no follow-up things must be hard to cope with.

Didn't know that women ware more fragile in this than men.
 

Dianne Lynn Elko-Eakin (732)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 1:48 pm
noted,thanx
 

Krasimira B. (175)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 3:21 pm
Sad statistics. Veterans with post traumatic stress disorder need special help. Noted, thank you Hans.
 

eileen k. (1)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 3:23 pm
Here are the facts, gang. As Robert and Carmen have commented, women, by nature, are suited for caring for others, not for combat on the battlefield alongside men. It is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY AND NATURE to send women into combat. In other words, it is a form of GENOCIDE against one's own citizens. It is WOMEN who bear the next generation, not men.

We, as human beings, may have advanced technologically; however, as far as interaction with our fellow humans, we certainly have not. In many ways, we've regressed, in spite of international organizations such as the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. The League couldn't prevent WWII; the jury is still out on the UN. So far, the UN couldn't prevent the wars in Korea, Vietnam, etc.; and, it's totally impotent in the current ones.

A nation that fails to take care of its war veterans is not a great nation, period. The US USED TO BE a great nation; but, since the NEOCON COUP on November 22, 1963, it has been (and still is) in decline - a decline that has accelerated immensely since Bush Jr. was selected. The addition of women in combat roles in both Iraq and Afghanistan under Bush Jr. is a sign of both EMPIRICAL AND MORAL DECAY. Not even the ancient empires of Egypt, Greece, or Rome would ever conceive a plan of inserting their women into battlefield combat; so, who was more civilized? Those three ancient empires, or the US? Naturally, the three ancients. Case closed.
 

patrica and edw jones (190)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 3:30 pm
WOMEN HAVE NO PLACE ON THE BATTLEGROUND - THEY SHOULD BE LOOKING AFTER THE HOMEFRONT - WHICH IS WHERE THEY WERE MEANT TO BE. IT IS UPSETTING TO SEE WOMEN DRESSED FOR WAR AND SAYING 'GOODBYE' TO THEIR FAMILIES. DEEP DOWN THEY KNOW WHERE THEY SHOULD BE AND THAT IS WHY THEY SUFFER MORE EMOTIONALLY.
 

Janyce S. (12)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 3:46 pm
Noted with a sad heart.
 

Susan Lynch (126)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 3:47 pm
How very sad.
 

Alice B. (241)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 4:19 pm
NOTED. This is no surprise - and btw female vets are HIGHLY LIKELY to have been raped by either individual and/or group/s of their 'fellow' male vets. Another extremely dangerous trigger for suicide. Women are STRONG and we already have to cope with PTSD in daily life due to incest, rape, battering, lower pay, last-hired-first-fired in better jobs, and generalized anxiety disorder re: an entire life environment of misogyny and emotional violence specifically targeting us 24/7. I used to work as an intern at our local VA Hospital back in the early 1990s, working with vets from Korea, Vietnam & the 'first' Gulf War. Suicide was a horrible 'given' for a high percentage of those vets willing to come in and take part at least part of the time in support groups and/or individual therapy. Those out there either homeless or not getting any support services were even more likely to commit suicide or put themselves at risk of being victims of manslaughter or murder. Uncle Same-Old-Same-Old doesn't give a crap about his 'kids' - he's content to ship them off into the meatgrinder - anybody who makes it back is just so much dog-food as far as Uncle Sam and his cronies are concerned.
 

Elle E. (24)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 4:37 pm
Sad.
 

Susan S. (191)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 5:21 pm
It is very tragic the great number of vets who are victims of suicide.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 5:30 pm
I thin that the increased risk of suicide isn't only limited to female vets. I think that anyone that faces any kin dof psychological, physical or emotional distress is at increased risk.
 

Judith C. (161)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 5:32 pm
More support is needed for veterans to help with stress disorders.
 

Sherrie Wright (1)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 6:07 pm
Noted and signed.
 

Vijay Tankha (28)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 6:31 pm
Call me old fashioned if you like, but why would a woman want to go do the work that from time immemorial has bee for the man to do. I feel that most of these poor women have huge feelings of guilt, especially those with kids, of simply not having been there with the children when the nuturing was needed most. After all is you have a child you have a responsibility toward it and going off for months on end must be hellish. The child will in the meantime develop quirks in its character which when the mother notices it, will be too late to rectify. The adjustments that a woman has to make in this life is huge, why does she need this further problem in an already charged situation? I feel so sorry that they fell they need to do jobs like this to prove their worth. Don't they know that a woman is beyond any precious gems and the world, no matter how they treat them , know this. Stay at home and work. Let all those men and the machos go fight. Our children need us. Remember our mothers and grandmothers? That iron hand within the soft yielding glove. Be clever for the sake of your kids.
 

Gloria H. (88)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 6:32 pm
I still can't figure out why women would enlist to go into war zones and want to kill other women's children. Sure, there are bad guys out there, but there are lots of civilians aka "collateral damage"being blown to bits via drones/cross fire and oopsies-wrong placee, wrong time.
When men return to civilian life, they can crawl into a bottle at home or in a bar. They can cope with PTS by being homeless and begging for money at intersections. (how many women vets holding signs have you seen?).
I don't believe for a moment that "being strong, holding it together" bullshit is the way to deal with PTS for anyone, male or female. We send young kids into war and expect these virgins- of -life to come back cool and collected, not have nightmares of bleeding friends and limbless children to haunt them.
 

Elise L. (4)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 6:59 pm
took that in note. There should be more help for people when they're back and i'd like to know why we don't have better structures to help people that have been fighting for the country
 

Constance F. (431)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 8:25 pm
Thank you Alice, my thoughts exactly. Not only are these women suffering the horrors of war, but some of these women are being raped by the guys that are supposed to be their comrades. My god, the horrific isolation, the horrific trauma. And the question isn't why do these women go to war - they go for many reasons, because they may be young and impressionable and believe they are doing the right thing, or because it's a way to have access to higher education or other benefits they may not have access to, or other reasons that seemed valid or meaningful to them at the time...The real question is why isn't the Government who laid them out on the slab in the first place not rolling the red carpet out for them when they return, doing everything (emotionally, physically, finacially) to help them adjust back to civilian life. Better yet, why doesn't someone tell them the realities they are going to face, including the possibility of being raped by their comrades.
 

Judy C. (101)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 10:53 pm
I agree with many of the comments made. I have a hard time understanding when women with children at home go into the military, especally into combat. Their first responsibility is their children. Even if the children have excellent care while they are gone, they may well have a traumatized and warped mommy coming home to them. This story demonstrates another horror of war.
 

Shirley S. (176)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:36 pm
I agree with most of the comments re women should not be involved with frontline battle areas.
 

Geynell Eskite (68)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:42 pm
Women in the military seem to have as much to fear from their male counterparts as they do from the enemy. Bullets and bombs kill women just as effectively as they kill men, yet our female troops seldom get the respect or acknowledgement of their bravery that they deserve.

As for those who do not understand why women with children would enlist:

- Men with families enlist all the time. No one questions them about the morality of this decision.

- Some women (and men) join the military in peace time for the benefits and educational assistance. Then war breaks out and they are deployed.

- Some women love the military and desire a career along this track just as some men do. Why is it wrong for a woman to desire the adventure, discipline and sense of service that the military offers, but it's okay for a man?
 

Kathy Chadwell (365)
Sunday December 5, 2010, 11:52 pm
I have been VERY aware of the sexual harassment & rapes the women in the military have been going through. I wasn't aware of the high rate of suicides by women though. War is good for nobody but those who profit off the blood of the dead
 

Colin Hope (243)
Monday December 6, 2010, 3:31 am
Sadly noted, thanks Hans!!
 

Laurence M. (43)
Monday December 6, 2010, 3:45 am
So sad ! But war always engendered pain, despair, cruelty...
 

Charla D. (67)
Monday December 6, 2010, 8:01 am
This is sad, but not surprising. Women have more complex, sensitive nervous/hormonal systems than men do. This is not a weakness, simply a difference, but it makes them especially vulnerable to the effects of stress. Even in civilian life, the statistics point to much higher numbers of women suffering from stress, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and depression (all of which, taken to an extreme degree, could lead to suicide).
 

Tarequl M. (170)
Monday December 6, 2010, 11:00 am
Noted with thanks
 

Mary Hall (74)
Monday December 6, 2010, 12:38 pm
To some extent, all veterans that have served on the front lines experience some degree of PTSD. We need to discover the coping mechanisms used by those that do not suffer to the point of suicidal ideation or life limiting anxiety. If at all possible, these techniques should be taught to our troops as part of basic training. We also need to allocate more resources for the treatment of PTSD. Our veterans, both women & men, deserve so much more than what we are offering!
 

Tracy Cruze (111)
Monday December 6, 2010, 2:40 pm
That doesn't surprise me.
 

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Monday December 6, 2010, 2:48 pm
How can young people, many just out of high school not even through adolescence, be given a rapid fire weapon and told to kill, kill, kill. Most of them have never had any authority and now make life and death decisions for other people.

Many have had lots of time on video games designed to desensitize killing being very real with heads rolling off and blood splashed all over. It is a game, not reality, until one comes home where killing is abhorred.

Return to civilian life where most of the things required of them will get then a jail sentence or execution. No more authority over life and death. Society and their friends and family have moved on. How do you relate? How do you live with the things you were required to do knowing your family and friends would judge you very harshly if they only knew?

War and battle is glorified. How many have heard the carry out clerks in the grocery store say their plan when they graduate is to enlist and "serve their country"? How sad to break their balloon by telling them "don't do it for me". How can we reach these victims before the fact to educate them to the reality of war?
When people refuse to go to war, then it will end. The soldiers have to be willing and complicit in the killing of civilians. Just as in the Vietnam war soldiers returning were not always accepted into open arms.
They do deserve a second chance and help in restructuring their lives. Group homes have been successful in providing support until a full adjustment is made, if there is such a thing. We need to support their self forgiveness, as I believe many suffer from regret and the knowledge that they cannot fix the damage.
No war should be started unless the leaders are willing to send his children into the front lines.
 

Amy R. (6)
Monday December 6, 2010, 4:01 pm
noted. please support our troops
 

Annick Letourneau (67)
Monday December 6, 2010, 5:11 pm
Very sad... thinking of her :)
 

Ruth R. (216)
Monday December 6, 2010, 6:30 pm
1. NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO NPR IS DOING A GOOD JOB. THANK YOU NPR!
2. i LOVE THE STORY, AND TWO OTHERS.
3. i PRAY FOR NPR TO HAVE MANY MORE BIRTHDAYS.
4. I PRAY FOR PEOPLE TO BE THERE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND TO HELP PREVENT ALL SUICIDES FROM TAKING PLACE.
5. i PRAY THAT DESTRUCTIVE THINKING CAN BE REPLACED BY LIFE-GIVING GOOD / POSITIVE THINKING, DOUBTING REPLACED BY BELIEVING IN SELF AND OTHERS.
6. GIVEN WHAT THESE WOMEN AND THE MILITARY, AND OTHERS HAVE GONE THROUGH, PLEASE DO NOT FEEL THAT SUICIDAL THINKING IS ANY THING TO BE ASHAMED OF. IT IS TOO BE identified, AND REPLACED WITH THE HELP OF PEOPLE WHO DO CARE.
7. I am almost sure that all people have had negative thoughts, and that almost all people have to get good thoughts into their minds or lives to replace those destructive thoughts or thinking patterns. Thank you for the posting.
 

Bruce Eyster (62)
Monday December 6, 2010, 10:35 pm
O.K. I'd started a few thoughts unlisted and timed out so :

Many of today's youths face a bleak and jobless future and turn to the armed services as an alternative .

The preparation and understanding of the people they are sent off to deal with is minimal .

The pressures faced to be patriots are many and often from their own families and other authouritive figures as well as their peers .

I've known men and women who were raped , in their tour of duty .

I've known women who were detremened to serve and did so as compedently as any man and returned , feeling proud and better for having done , so .

I'm sorry that I have to go against the popular responses BUT I'm not so sure that women are more vulnerable to the pain and stress of war , than men and history and other cultures do have many doocumented female soldiers , warriors and even armies ! I timed out listing some of them but if you look on line there are loads of these female fighters , many whom are mothers as well as leaders .



 

Melody Aragorn (135)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 1:16 am
'Life has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and out a sound mind.' these reports need to be given to the men who call for war. The men who stand in their offices secured and send humans to fight ... this traumatic stress, had to happen... not of course only to the women but also to the men involved for its they who realize what inhuman conditions they thrived to survive or they would have to just face death... Once on the battle field they were treated like pawns for there was no value for their lives.. How could one feel when one would go through this feeling? “No value for my life?” This is what the doctor should of said...
If one says no to war alone will not do for it’s the simple common man’s child and family member out there fighting war ...so called for fame and glory... Look at their families today.. a mother has lost a child, a child a parent, a wife/husband a partner for life…no one can ever get any of them back. Never…
Ban War don’t send a family member either.. Let the ones in power fight.. Man to man then see how many would run for posts and how many would wage wars..
I bet I know the answer NONE...
Peace..
 

Gary C. (5)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 8:49 am
noted thankyou....
 

Jane H. (138)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 10:31 am
" War---what's it good for?......absolutely nothing"
 

Robert O. (12)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 10:38 am
These statistics are horrifying and so sad. Thanks.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 12:37 pm
Noted. Sad.
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 6:48 pm
Very sad !!
 

Ann B. (0)
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 9:38 pm
I think that there are two reasons why men "fare better" than women. One, western culture (or really any culture) puts a heavy emphasis on the man being all... manly and about what he can provide. We're just now getting to a point where it's okay for men to not be the sole breadwinner and can be stay-at-home dads, but only just. Two, as far as I'm aware, men don't have to deal with MST. It's even worse in their situation because, one, nothing usually happens to the guys, especially if it's a superior, two, it's by someone you trust. I'm not talking about trust like family, you trust this person with your LIFE, to be there and keep you safe. It's the ultimate betrayal. So, with the child rearing being a more "female" thing weighing on their minds and coming home unable to be a good mother and the horrific trauma of MST on top with PTSD, it's not surprising. The military needs to do more about PTSD AND MST. We need to take care of the people who take care of us.
 
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