Friday, August 17, 2007

Army Suicide Rate Highest in 26 Years, But ...

The Associated Press (via America Online) highlights how U.S. Army suicides are the highest in a quarter century, but we have to wait until the fifth paragraph to read an interesting detail:

The 99 suicides included 28 soldiers deployed to the two wars and 71 who weren't. About twice as many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide as did women not sent to war, the report said.

Earlier, in the second paragraph, the report states that all 99 soldiers were on "active duty." Yet, 71 of these suicides were not deployed in either Afghanistan or Iraq? Perhaps the 71 had been deployed but were not at the time of their deaths, but this is something that the AP makes the reader conjecture on his own. One is left wondering why over 70% of the suicides took place among soldiers not serving where the actual fighting is taking place.

In addition, it's not until the eleventh paragraph that it's revealed

About a quarter of those who killed themselves had a history of at least one psychiatric disorder. Of those, about 20 percent had been diagnosed with a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder and/or depression; and 8 percent had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, including post traumatic stress disorder - one of the signature injuries of the conflict in Iraq.

A history of a psychiatric disorder? Again, the reader is left wondering: How long of a history? Was participating in either of the wars the cause? Why are mental ailments such as post traumatic stress -- a battlefield-induced disorder -- mixed in with mood illnesses like bipolar which a person is likely to have had since childhood?

H/T to Newsbusters


At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many were suffering from PMS? Don't recall the medical term when a group of women are living together, which causes their mentrual periods to syncronize. Did the woman all commit suicide the same time of the month; and possibly the PMS caused the men to kill themselves?


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