Published On: Fri, Jun 1st, 2012

One in ten Marines deployed have suicidal thoughts according to study



The endless wars that have resulted in numerous repeat deployments have been shown to have a detrimental effect on our military members and their families.

A study last year showed that the children of deployed military members were more prone to violence. Another study showed the suicide rate of Army personnel was up 80% since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

The studies on the divorce rates of deployed military members have shown mixed results.

According to a Marine Corp Times report Thursday, a study on Marine suicides was presented at the Navy-Marine Corps Combat Operational Stress conference in late May and it showed  as Cynthia Thomsen, a research psychologist with the Naval Health Research Center refers, “13 percent of people reported some type of suicidal thoughts or plans”.

The study, which was administered anonymously in 2006-2007 using 1,517 active-duty Marines and sailors showed the factors  for predicting suicidal thoughts and behavior  was seen in Marines who experienced a great deal of combat and suffered from PTSD, depression or drug use.

Other key findings include:

  • Higher levels of combat exposure led to more PTSD symptoms and alcohol use, and these individuals reported they had less social support.
  • Marines and sailors suffering from PTSD, depression and substance abuse “were more likely to report suicidal thoughts or plans”.
  • Deployment stressors, which can include worries about spouses and personal finances at home, or dangers such as heat and bugs in the war zone, were “significantly related”.

The Marine Corp plan to institute “social fitness” programs to help Marines cope with these stressors of military life.. This will include physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects that are referred to as “Marine Total Fitness”.


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About the Author

- Robert Herriman, MPH,M(ASCP) is a health, politics and world news writer at the

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