Rose Law Group Reporter Gripe of the Week
I was mystified in high school as to why three people I knew well took their own lives.
A physician, who saved my life, went home for lunch one day, shot his wife and turned the gun on himself.
A brilliant high school friend gave up his fight against diabetes and let it kill him.
A Hispanic member of our wrestling team, who was certain to be an Olympic star, drove his car head-on into a tree at 90 mph.
Why? Why Why?
Were they mentally ill all along, and no one noticed?
In the past, we’ve expressed our shock when someone committed suicide, but didn’t talk much about it — just let it go as “what a shame.”
Now, finally, we are becoming aware of suicide on a national scale because of what’s going on in the minds of many soldiers returning from war.
Last month, the Pentagon reported 38 soldiers killed themselves in July, the worst month for Army suicides since figures became public in 2009 and twice the number of troops killed in Afghanistan as of Aug. 17.
Why? Is there any commonality among the causes for military suicide and the deaths of those I knew?
“The primary function of suicidal behaviors is to reduce or escape from intense psychological suffering,” stated an article published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Suicide is a response to stress.
Based on the experience of military suicides, psychiatrists are now treating suicide risk as a unique problem instead of searching for an overall psychiatric diagnosis. The problem is, studies conclude, patients don’t have the skills to control or manage their stress and emotions.
Medical scientists now are able to tell someone they are suicidal and why. That’s progress.
But an underlying model of why suicide is actually carried out is still missing.
Pay attention to people you feel might be troubled. Don’t feel it’s none of your business.
It’s time to continue to deal with suicide, something we haven’t done for a long, long time.
If you are contemplating suicide . . . read this first