According to a new study, when people in the military experience more than one traumatic brain injury, the suicidal risk increases, reports UPI.com.
A new study, for the first time, shows a link between traumatic brain injuries among military officials and risk of heightened suicidal tendencies. The study found that military officials who suffered multiple brain traumatic injuries were most likely to have suicidal thoughts compared to fellow militants who had one or zero traumatic injuries. According to a military data released in 2012, 349 suicides were recorded among active duty military officials. A study from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shows a rise in the number of suicides between 1999 and 2010. An increase of at least four suicides per day was noted in the study during this period.
For this study, lead author Craig J. Bryan of the University of Utah and associate director of the National Center for Veterans Studies and his team, interviewed 161 military service men and women stationed in Iraq. They were assessed for any history of traumatic brain injury, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicidal thoughts.
The study showed that the risk of suicidal thoughts increased among the military officials who suffered more than one traumatic brain injuries.
"All of a sudden the likelihood of being suicidal increased dramatically once you had the second head injury," Bryan told the Los Angeles Times.
"They very much wanted to be returned to duty," he added. "They feel guilty letting everybody else down while they are in a clinic."
The results of the investigation showed no risk of suicidal ideation with those who had zero traumatic brain injuries, while among those who had one concussion, 6.9 percent admitted having suicidal thoughts. But the risk was increased as the number of concussions increased. Almost 21.7 percent of military officials who had more than one traumatic brain injuries admitted having suicidal thoughts.
According to Cynthia Thomsen, a research psychologist at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, it is a misinterpretation that deployment is the main cause of increased rates of suicides in military. In a 2011 Pentagon study, 50 percent of the suicide victims experienced a romance failure and another quarter was exposed to substance abuse.
The findings of the study were published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.