It has been said that most military suicide attempts follow a certain logic in regard to their timing and risk factors.
A novel study involved the perusal of temporal factors and the propensity towards committing suicide among army personnel. US Army soldiers were at the highest risk if they were not deployed in war efforts.
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This remaining on the sidelines and in reserve tended to lead to a dip in morale. These never-deployed soldiers were furthermore at even more risk during the second month of their tenure. The study was published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Like the actual fact of self-killing, suicide attempts too have increased considerably among army conscripts in recent times. The past 10 years has seen a rise in such cries for help via suicide attempts.
The sad fact is that such a phenomenon has been studied sporadically in-spite of the fact that it is the earliest warning sign that the person will eventually kill himself using any number of means.
A sample of soldiers were studied from 2004 to 2009. These comprised of 163,178 soldiers. 9650 of them had tried to kill themselves. A whopping majority of these were men. 68.4% were younger than 30.
Almost 60% were White Caucasians and 76.5% were educated upto the high school level. More than half were married too. The 40% who had never been deployed in the theater of war accounted for 61% of those who attempted suicide.
The second month of duty on the sidelines was the riskiest time for these conscripts. For those who had been deployed for the first time, the first half a year was the riskiest time for an attempt. For those who had been deployed before, the risk was greatest five months after returning on duty.
The chosen means of attempting suicide was an automatic weapon such as a gun or rifle. The females among the soldiers were also more likely to try to kill themselves.
They were likely to make a go for it during the first two years of service. Also the majority of them had seen a psychiatrist due to a mental disorder. Those who had been deployed before were also at a higher risk.
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This was especially so if they had been diagnosed with depression or PTSD. The study does have its flaws since most of the data comes under the rubric of cases encountered by the medical establishment. There remains the dark figure which may be more than it is commonly thought to be.