Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canadian Military Suicide study supports depression-suicide link

Major depression drives suicidal thinking in soldiers and vets, new Canadian study shows

Sharon Kirkey
2 hours ago

Soldiers and veterans seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder should be screened closely for major depression, say the authors of a new Canadian study that shows depression is the single greatest driver of suicidal thinking.

Appearing in this month’s issue of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, the study of 250 actively serving Canadian Forces, RCMP members and veterans comes as record numbers of suicides are occurring among American troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, and as the number of suicides reported among Canadian Forces personnel last year reached its highest since 1995.

In vets diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, about half also experience symptoms of major depressive disorder at some point in their lives, the authors of the new study write.

But “the task of predicting which people may be at an increased risk of completing suicide is a complex and challenging care issue,” they said.
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