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Soldiers Don’t Trust the Military to Help with Suicide

From the “Not really surprising” file… Returning soldiers and military veterans don’t really hold much hope or trust in the military to help them with their mental health needs — especially suicidal thoughts — according to a new report.

And why would they? The military is their employer. Would you feel comfortable talking to your bosses about all of your mental health issues? And not just mild stuff either, this is the serious depression, “I want to kill myself” stuff.

Most of us would be extremely uncomfortable with such a conversation. We would be even more uncomfortable with such a conversation knowing it is being recorded in our work record, and will follow us around for the rest of our professional career.

This is exactly what happens to soldiers and officers in the U.S. military.

Read on to see the preliminary results of the report…

8 Comments to
Soldiers Don’t Trust the Military to Help with Suicide

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  1. So sad. Cannot the army provide them with way to get confidential treatment, like any other person in our society?

  2. From the article:
    “There are messages that the warrior gets when they back here that they are crazy,” he said.

    Notice anything peculiar about that quote?

    I wonder if the militaries adoption of calling soldiers “warriors” is perhaps also playing any role in this lack of trust amongst soldiers – psychologically. The CIA and the USMC recognize a difference between the two terms ‘soldier’ and ‘warrior’, and the stated differences seem to corelate with why soldiers are refusing to seek help.

    From a World War 2 manual by the USMC ( page 27:

    “The Japanese is more of a warrior than a military man, and therein lies his weakness. The difference may be a subtle one, but it does exist: The essential quality of the warrior is bravery; that of the military man, discipline.”

    From the CIA (

    “Soldiers and warriors are not the same. The modern soldier is a product of a system that takes him out of “normal” life and makes him over into a disciplined, responsive professional in the use of lethal force. He answers to a clear chain of command, and he is expected to carry out orders from his superiors, all acting to achieve the goals of the state.

    The warrior is not taken out of the civilian part of society and placed in something different. He is within normal society in his role as a warrior. His skills and weaponry derive from what is available to his tribe. His knowledge of war probably is confined largely to that found within his society. He operates within a looser organization and a more relaxed disciplinary system. The warrior lives close to the land and the people on it. Under the proper circumstances and handling, he can be as effective as the modern professional.”

  3. The situation with the military and their “mental health efforts” pisses me off. My husband was in the Navy, and when he told his command that he was depressed, they sent him to anger management and told him he couldn’t have anti-depressants because they would disqualify him for his job.

    Until they start looking out for the best interests of the individuals rather than their own, nothing is going to change for the better. It makes me sad.

  4. This makes me so angry, but it’s really not surprising.

    If soldiers could access competent, effective, *confidential* mental health services when they started having any mental health concerns, instead of only getting any care when they attempt suicide or otherwise show the extent of their problems, it would prevent so much needless silent suffering, not to mention deaths by suicide. But there is no real confidentiality here and it absolutely does affect the course of soldiers’ careers if they show that they’re having problems.

    Besides concern about the pain soldiers are going through – from a purely practical point of view, what does the military think will affect job performance more – getting help at the start or hiding your problems until you can’t bear it anymore? Having a good mental health system would *make better soldiers* because we wouldn’t have as many people getting to the point where they’re unstable and can no longer do their jobs.

    But the military seem to treat all mental health issues as the same – disqualifying conditions for any kind of stressful work. Until they change that, this is not going to get any better.

  5. It’s a shame they have to fear for telling the truth. I lost my son 7 years ago in the Army b/c they refused to take his mental health issues seriously, even after his suicide at FT HOOD (the suicide base). I can not respect the organization that cares more for themselves than for their charges and that of the ‘team’. I will be sad for the rest of my life while his CoC go marching on, never thinking about the deaths they are responsible for. Thank God they have to answer for their deeds someday and face the music they are protected from by the Feres Doctrine. MAN UP ARMY!

  6. American physicians have a high rate of suicide, yet they tend to refuse mental health treatment. Physicians report that any involvement with psych treatment is career limiting, and causes further social/family problems. Now if American physicians tend to refuse psych treatment, because of the stigma engendered within psych lingo, and “diagnoses” should’nt we and the government take notice of the message? Should not we reevaluate psych treatment as it is now practiced, and withhold any future allocation of the tax-payer’s money, until we understand better? Should we determine if psych treatment as practiced is truly beneficial in the long-run for our veterans, and yes indeed for our families as well? Let’s really look at the evidence. Please review Also and

  7. Secondly Thomas Szasz, M.D. wrote a best seller entitled “The Myth of Mental Illness”. Dr. Szasz who is a famous board certified clinical psychiatrist, and professor of medicine states that “mental health diagnoses” (the DSM IV) and non-medical lingo are unaccountable, unreliable, non-quantifiable, and invalid. Thus this reveals that psych “diagnoses”, and lingo truly fail to meet even the most basic test for science, and medicine. Dr. Szasz further states that current psych practices cause a lifetime of stigma, family problems, and hamper recovery. YES PLEASE GET THIS: THAT PSYCH LINGO HAMPERS RECOVERY, AND REHABILITATION. There is also a high incidence of patient abuse by staff within the field of mental health. Peter Breggin, M.D. at http://www.breggin,com and which is edited by well-known neurologist tend to agree with Dr. Szasz’s conclusions.

  8. Physicians also report that psychologists are non-medical, and have no training in modern scientific medicine. That psychology is an abstract, non-quantifiable, unaccountable, and unreliable academic field, but it is surely not a clinical profession. A Ph.D., or Psy.D. in psychology should never be used to justify the title of “doctor” in any healthcare setting. Psychologists are not doctors. Psychologists are not truly independent professionals, and thus should always be carefully supervised by physicians, and nurses in any setting whatsoever.

  9. This very thing is happening to me right now. My husband flipped out and took all his anger from the military out on me and now we’re seperated and he’s becoming darker and darker and the VA Psyc told him he’s fine, because he’s getting redeployed in Dec. He is not mentally stable to go and he will do something to totally distory his life if he goes…if he hasn’t already. No one will help us. I’m loosing my family!



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