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A THEORY on the dramatic increase of suicide rates in the Military.

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posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 03:00 PM
Thanks again for the great replies...

For some of the members who either are or were active duty stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, I'd love to hear more input from you!

reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Just one more point. I suspect the horrors of the Civil War or even of Vietnam are minimal compared to the horrors current day experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan's modern wars.


In my mind, from what I've seen and heard, the horrors of this war doesn't compare to that of wars of the past.

I'm not sure of that, BH.

The only metric I can think of is to look at casualties as an indicator of the HORROR scale.

What I find is this:

So, when discussing the actual casualty numbers, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are near the bottom of the list by a huge proportional clip. Moreover, if we were to calculate those numbers in relationship to the US general population numbers, I think we would see even greater differences contradicting the assertion that the current wars are somehow worse.

reply to post by queenannie38

Originally posted by queenannie38
Excellent response. I enjoyed reading that.

And so I also took up your suggestion about looking for numbers and I found this report which is very intriguing and gives a bunch of data, too...well-supported:
Howell and Wool The War Comes Home
It is a 19-page pdf file...I read most of it and skimmed the rest...the main gist of this paper is also, like you said (and I agree it is not just ONE single cause), it is a complex problem with countless impacting issues.

And they seem to have it basically attributable to two main causes, which are both complex in their own being the HORROR factor you so aptly named...and the other being STRESS.

Namely the frequency and duration of deployments, and the inadequate breaks between...the stress on family at home or away is compounded as is the personal factor.


So I read this paper, and I'm left with the impression that they do not really address the data inconsistencies I mentioned in this thread. I am still not persuaded these are the two primary causes for the suicide increases. Maybe, I'm missing something, but much of the paper seems to make the case by analogy, while remaining silent on the points that contradict their conclusions.

I'd love to sit in a room with these guys and have a conversation. I suspect they too would not have good answers...

reply to post by Poveglia

Originally posted by Poveglia
Wow. You should delve into more details and submit your findings to DoD. May even find yourself landing a cushy job! Star and Flag!

Thank you.

I actually tend to operate under the healthy premise they already read these boards.

In that regard, I think they already have my material.

reply to post by PapagiorgioCZ

Originally posted by PapagiorgioCZ
Do you guys think coloidal sillver could work on a latent cyst?

No clue.

Maybe you can research this and let us know.

reply to post by riddle6

I largely agree with you, which is why I keep resisting the HORROR theory. If it isn't the primary reason these numbers continue to rise, then we have to look elsewhere if we want solutions to fix the problem.

Originally posted by riddle6
Either way, this is a very well researched thread, and its nice to see everyone having a levelheaded discussion for a change.

Thanks, and I agree here too.

It's fantastic to be in a thread again where everyone is sharing their ideas and not making this a political or personal debate about other things.

This is what makes ATS its best, when we can manage to do this in our discussions...

Thanks to each of you. Very cool, indeed.

edit on 22-8-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 04:02 AM
reply to post by loam

(Part I)

I have doubts about the Toxoplasma gondi (TG) hypothesis.

1) Assuming TG infection results in a higher suicide rate (that appears to be the nuts and bolts of your hypothesis) I would also assume the proportion of suicides between these two groups (local national & U.S. servicemembers) should, roughly, correspond. Do they correspond? (Side note: I read the sources and did not find an explanation why there may be a variance in proportion. That said, I understand that the hypothesis is yours.)

2) Do the rates of increase & decrease of suicide between the two groups (local national & U.S. servicemembers) correspond proportionally with one another? For instance, what would it mean if the rate of suicides among U.S. servicemembers increased while the rate of suicides among local nationals decreased in terms of TG infection? Physiological tolerance, or something to that effect? I think if the rates of TG infection and suicide did not align with one another (between these two groups) then there is a problem with the hypothesis, barring an ad hoc revision such as physiological acclimation, so to speak. The problem, specifically, is that TG is being described as the possible culprit. If that is the case then I would anticipate proportional outcomes of suicide among these two groups given that increased suicide is being modeled under TG infection. In other words, I perceive the hypothesis as an input (TG infection) and output (suicide) model that, presumably, should show proportional results among the two groups.

3) I'm unfamiliar with data which indicates that foreign allied services' servicemembers have also undergone a spike in suicides that corresponds, proportionally, with the U.S. rate. The phenomena (increased rate in suicides), to the best of my knowledge, is primarily related to U.S. servicemembers. In any case, I'm making a simplifying assumption that TG exposure is roughly constant across a geographical location. I make this assumption because it would--from my point of view--make the hypothesis too complex & open to significant doubt if TG infection & suicide were fixed to specific locations. Maybe accurate correlations can be made to fixed locations in conjunction with TG infection and a resulting suicide, but that is a tall order. To put this “tall order” claim in perspective I offer this brief anecdote to demonstrate just how difficult it can be to pin down location, cause, & effect in terms of disease vectors.

On/about the summer of 2010 an outbreak of malaria occurred on the west-central side of Jalalabad Air Field (JAF). That is to say, U.S. servicemember residing on the west-central side of JAF began arriving at the troop medical center (TMC) complaining about lethargy, fever, and general, all-around discomfort. Diagnosis: malaria. Initial assumption: these guys weren't taking their doxycycline (or its variant) as prescribed. Reality check: they were taking their dox and, unfortunately, contracted malaria.

An epidemiologist (I can't recall her name, surprisingly, but vouch that she is a credentialed M.D.) investigated the matter, thoroughly, and could draw no scientific basis upon which to base malaria infection with those men's location on JAF. To say that this was a troublesome outcome is an understatement.

My point is JAF, by Afghan standards, is relatively posh. JAF is not like, say, Rome (e.g., Bagram Air Field or ISAF headquarters in Kabul), but maybe more like a retreat such as Pompeii. Outside Rome & retreats such as Pompeii lay Hannibal's purple elephants & other peculiar wonders. But, perhaps, you understand this better than I realize. In any case it is not my intent to pontificate, but clarify that getting good data outside of established strongholds is/can be tasking and hazardous. I mean ... mental health professionals, for instance, aren't positioned at combat outposts and firebases where, in reality, they'd get the most business & best data. I'm not even certain you'd find one at a forward operating base. Go figure.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 04:03 AM
reply to post by loam

(Part II)

4) Here is what confuses me most: It is conceded that suicide among U.S. servicemembers is unrelated to ascertainable mental disorder (i.e., these servicemembers are not mentally ill), yet TG may induce brain disorder that induces suicidal tendency. That … summary is a disconnect I find difficult to wrap my head around, so to speak. How will medical professionals identify mental disorder among TG infected patients (presumably, some patients have contracted TG), despite that the patient exhibits no mental disorder? Will the medical professional say, “It’s been determined that you may be infected with TG which, we in the scientific community believe, may prompt you to inexplicably commit suicide.”? I mean that is about as nondeterministic as you can get in terms of diagnosis. Moreover, why is there an increased rate of suicides among seasoned noncommissioned officers? If we call commissioned officers Target 1, noncomms Target 2, and junior enlisted Target 3, it is necessary to explain why there's an increased rate in suicide among Target 2's in terms of TG infection. In other words, why is Target 2 unique among TG infections?

I've a hypothesis of my own. It's simple. The hard thinkers at the Pentagon working the problem consistently sidestep this possible diagnosis: armed conflict drives some perfectly healthy, sane men to kill themselves.

A lot of opinion follows:

By default it is assumed there is something wrong with the gents who've taken their own life. This position, in my opinion, is unfortunate. It is unfortunate because it neglects to recognize that the driving move toward suicide may simply duplicate what these guys are tasked to do over and over again--kill. Moreover, much effort is put forth to institutionally justify aggression. (Side note: it is my understanding that there is no more aggressive nation in modern times than the United States)

Men are not so much inclined to the hostile vagaries that someone like Thomas Hobbes had taught & that others since have echoed with solemn vigor. Rather, I believe that the majority of mankind finds it in his nature to repudiate or distance himself from violence to the greatest extent possible. This does not mean disagreement does not occur, nor that soft aggression never enters the mind & acts of two parties. And yes, I grant that some men are just flat-out violent by nature. Nonetheless, whatever goodwill toward our fellow man existed previous to taking up arms begins to slowly erode as men become continually immersed in violence. And I don’t mean—by violence I don’t mean a mixed martial arts bout on TNT, but a sort of violence that is unworthy of description: sickly, dark, and unimaginably inhuman. That some people should find themselves incapable of reconciling both the framework for their aggression and the violence they’ve shared in never enters as an official diagnostic. Furthermore, I am doubtful that it’s necessary for me to explain why that is so.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 10:36 AM
Humanitarian perspective is growing faster than any religon ever has,the new morality is a humanitarian catalysed morality,the days of religon based morality are over and gone.

These soldiers are patriots,and they clearly understand their jobs and are committed to doing them,but at the beginning of the day AND at the end of the day these intelligent patriotic people can SEE a bigger picture than their handelers would wish them to see,these men and women can see the global humanitarian perspective growing,they see peace comeing and they want it here faster they dont want to be a part of the delay.These men and women want to become a part of the solution not a part of the problem on a GLOBAL SCALE,the internet has brought us all together,that is done, its over, progress has been initiated and wont stop naturally,only something artificial can stop this global humanitarian perspective from evolving .And they know this ,except they are expected to go out and kill people when they are a part of the biggest team in the world,there is no glory in busting up civilians even as collateral damage.Only in a WORLD WAR do we condone these actions,and this aint no world war folks.

There is no enemy to transfer their bloodguilt to ,if there were a dragon then all would be well,but there is none and we ALL know it.Global support is required to make this right to them.

If the major superpowers told us all that they were working together to make the planet a better place by wipeing out all the little trouble makers who are killing people---AFTER---a one year amnesty so they can voluntarily stop abuseing humans,then we are in a totally different dynamic.Then we have record numbers of kids joining a global peace force ,we see a new frontier developing.,

To much hollywood,to many movies,to much media manipulation desensitizing us over generations,not desensitizeing us because of blood or gore or violence,but because of the catalysts behind the actions,the wanton infliction of emotional suffering attatched to the action of violating another human being.

Our world has a long and storied history,heres some food for thought,there are a lot of connected people here on this site,and wether anyone likes it or not it is an excellent conduit for interesting new ideas,the downside is that in cyberspace this site isnt even equated to a single grain of sand,not even that,so no one really tries to stop the data flow here or almost anywhere in cyberspace because really it is simply so vast that the likelyhood of the data affecting them is very remote.In fact it is far better to keep vocal or progressive thinkers here in cyberspace where they really have no effect,imagine if they were all crying their truths in the town squares???

Try this on for size,we are ALL born visual or 3D thinkers,at around seven or eight our Pineal glands cease functioning and we are forced in a REGRESSIVE manner to become 2D thinkers,or non-visual thinkers.

Think of it like this,the thought processes in a 3D thinker are all catalysed by visual stimulation cerebrally,in other words there is an actual video picture running in realtime in the persons head or mind and it is there first or it is a catalyst,as soon as a 3D thinkers gets a data bite of input a visual comes up on their screen,I mean at the first word.or sound a full blown picture video starts running in our minds,then we use every subsequent data byte to sculpt or edit the running video until we can pare it down to match it with what we actually see.

When I heard the clank of a spoon in a bowl as a small child,at that milisecond I saw the entire picture video of my mom prepareing to pour the cereals into my bowl.I already had a truth or a reality in my mind,I wasnt waiting for more data beyond the first clang of the spoon because my data banks only needed the sound to start the video.Nothing more,no more PROOF was needed to get that picture----and it wasnt a guess it was an identification a surety,and then as more and more data was added I eventually pared my video down to the exact reality I saw when I turned to look.This means that if there were ten of us in a room and we all listened to just the clink and then you asked us to write down our thoughts I would do a super descriptive essay on all of the dynamics that led me as an individual to that complete video picture.jThe other nine i cant say what they would write down,maybe nothing.

There is a video online somewhere of a group of tourists in Greenland or somewhere that were watching an iceberg when it calved and a huge piece fell into the water washing up and over the place they were all standing,like fifty or more people,some drowned and some didnt it was terrible,but heres the issue we need to observe,a millisecond before the iceberg broke there was a sound and one of the people reacted to it,they immediatly turned away and polted at top speed for NO APPARENT REASON.Well I can now tell you why that person bolted,because they were a visual thinker.

edit on 1-9-2012 by one4all because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 11:13 AM
reply to post by one4all

Sorry,I ran out of room,but the point I was driveing at is that these men and women are becomeing 3D thinkers and are visualising their futures in a much different way than their predecessors ever did,this is because the internet is in effect teaching us ALL to learn how to become 3D thinkers,what do you think google is??Just think about what it actually does when you enter a search phrase or word.

As these soldiers evolve along with the rest of society,the reasoning behind the extensive training and indoctrination they recieve or the catalysts,becomes vague,outdated,or invalid to the way they are currently viewing their world.And they begin to question their individual impact in a very different way than they were trained to do,soldiers are educated in humanitarian concerns needs and processes more than ever in history,and this means that they are suffering a greater internal conflict than ever before,this is a result of the influx of data exchange in realtime in todays world,they are suffering sensory overload because they are 2D thinkers in the middle of a forced evolutionary step initiated by the provision of free realtime data globally into being 3D thinkers----and during this transformation that they didnt exactly request they are forced to face the life and death dynamics we ask them to handle on our behalfs.

There is no way to stop the evolution of humanity unless we restrict data and end the internet,there is no way to lie to people to get them to kill humans anymore,you need to tell them the truth and then ask them,because if you lock them into a contract and then force them to kill humans for the wrong reasons you are in effect sentencing them to death by consciense,or suicide.

There is therapy that might work,it is unconventional and it is undocumented and it it is available in a different format than may seem applicable but it is in fact very appliccable, Pimsleur,look up the guy and his learning tecniques,see how he teaches 2D thinkers to become 3D thinkers and then use the same cureative therapys you are currently attempting,it is like an intravenous conduit will be opened to their minds,like a mainline to deliver relief through adding new data as opposed to tryng to erase old data.The 2D and 3D references are mine,but I am hopeing you will see the connection.

And I hope this helps someone out there somewhere to see things in a more realistic and clearer and healthier light.There is no burden of guilt or blame to bear when you can see the bigger picture,the sooner you can put your own individual role into a new perspective the better.Change is difficult under perfect conditions,we need to provide a better method of accomodateing changes that these men and women are going through enmasse.We need a NEW approach,if anyone seems to understand what I am saying and is interested send me a message,and I will reply.

This isnt about what is right or wrong,this is about helping our people recover after takeing one for the team,its about healing not about policys,its about the future of these men and women and their places in society for the rest of their lives,its really about all of us,its not about judgement or changeing the system that causes the conflict,it is about focusing on the here and now and healing wounded people ASAP.

We can never confuse the issues of politics and preventative medicine,these people are not wounded because of bad government decisions,society as a whole dictates that truth,they are wounded because that is their reality,no more can be read into it,blame has no place to land here,because WE send them where they go on behalf of US through the conduits of our governmental and military processes.We must carry the burden of guilt or no guilt,we must take it from them through positive growth and transference,we need to take ownership of their emotions and to do so we need to give them a way to make that transfer,a 3D method.They cant find the words they need to make the transfer,so we need to provide them with a conduit so we can take our medicine and in doing so give them theirs.

Sorry if this seems to ramble on but as it is unconventional thinking it isnt easy to explain in a way most would grab onto quickly if I am to brief.Look up the Pimsleur fellow and read and compare my thought to his established methods and maybe something good will come of it.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by one4all

Excellent points. Hard to put into words, I know. But you did good.

posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 10:24 AM

At certain points throughout this thread, there has also been discussion about the civilian numbers...

Well, here is the latest:

Suicide, Not Car Crashes, #1 Cause of Injury Death in US

In that study is apparently the assertion this is now a global phenomenon.

Researchers say the findings demonstrate that suicide is now a global public health issue.

“Our finding that suicide now accounts for more deaths than do traffic crashes echoes similar findings for the European Union, Canada, and China,” they write.

Very interesting.

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