Military Stigma: Battling Mental Illness in the Military
Nov 15, 2013
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (Dec. 12, 2013) -- U.S. Navy Capt. Todd Kruder and his wife, Sharon, had a joyous 2012: The couple marked 25 years of marriage, their oldest son was married, and their second son was commissioned into the Marine Corps. But Kruder almost didn’t get the chance to celebrate that year with his family because on three different occasions, he attempted suicide.
"First time I tried, I thought about suicide, I chickened,” Kruder said. “The second time, my son interrupted. So I had to come up with a different way."
The different way, he explained, was to over-exercise himself to death.
"It was the perfect solution to the problem I had, which was I didn't want the stigma of suicide," Kruder said.
Kruder’s over-exercising, together with his 17 hour-a-day job as an executive assistant to a three-star admiral, were taking its toll. It was all part of what Kruder, 47, called his "master plan."
But what he didn't expect was his family and friends becoming concerned about his 60-pound weight loss as well as his personality changes.
Then, one morning in 2011, Kruder hit rock bottom.
"We were probably days, hours maybe, away from breaking the marriage up," Kruder said.
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PRINCE FREDERICK - A Navy Captain sheds light on how he almost committed suicide because of the stigma of mental illness in the military.
Video from CNS