To answer the question of why veterans die by suicide, we must first consider the reasons why anyone might be driven to consider this option. Than, we must consider how this knowledge applies to the unique experiences of veterans.
Suicide is a reaction to extreme psychological pain.
Suicide is not a “cowards way out,” nor is it the result of someone being “crazy”. In fact, those who have completed suicide are those who are least fearful since they were able to overcome the brain’s survival mechanism based in the amygdala. But what drives individuals to want to overcome their hard-wired desire for self-preservation?
In Suicide as Psychache, Edwin Shneidman argues that suicide is the result of an intense level of emotional pain that exceeds the individual’s threshold to endure it. Of course, we all experience emotional pain in our lives, but in the case of suicide this emotional pain…
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