Army reports record number of suicides in June

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - For decades, it was a subject no one wanted to talk about within the military.

In recent years, the topic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has reached the headlines.

The toll war takes on soldiers and the difficulty to come home.

"That's part of what you have to learn. How do I come home and I'm not in a battle, I'm not going to shoot my wife. I'm not going to do something like that, but that's what my nervous system is preparing to do," Dr. Stephen Muse of The Pastoral Institute said.

Veterans and soldiers, are beginning to speak about the disorder and the effect it can have on daily life.

And new numbers from the U.S. Army published this week report a possible 21 suicides in the month of June.

The correlation between PTSD and suicide is not a stretch, according to retired Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Nelson.

"If you have the same bad dream every night, every night. I could see where there's a point where you just would rather not have that bad dream again," Nelson said.

Doctors and veterans say there is hope.

The U.S. Army has started implementing more therapy for those who suffer from PTSD.

Therapy, discussion, and talking about traumatic experiences immediately afterward are best.

"I think that's why we have to look at it as a twin go to war and fight the war and you have an equally difficult mission to come home and to be able to live and care for your family and readjust," Muse said.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.