Suicide claims as many as 30,000 Americans every year, according to Save.org. In a new study outlining mental health among military personnel, researchers made note of certain red flags that may increase a person’s chance for engaging in the behavior.
Published in JAMA Psychiatry, the study found that approximately one in four active-duty soldiers who have not yet been deployed already have some type of diagnosable mental condition, and that one in three military personnel who attempt to commit suicide have a pre-existing psychiatric disorder.
People who are already suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol or substance abuse, borderline or antisocial personality disorder, anxiety, or impulsive anger may be at a higher risk, the researchers noted.
Furthermore, a personal history of previous suicide attempts or a family history of depression and suicide may also be factors.
Some of the most common warning signs family and friends need to watch out for, especially among military personnel, include feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, talking about suicide or threatening suicide, changes in eating habits and sleeping patterns, and failure to take care of oneself.
The researchers noted that suicide is preventable but that most families are worried that bringing it up may result in actual suicide attempts, while others are not certain whether or not they should take the threats seriously.
This article first appeared on ‘Parent Herald’ on 5 March 2014.