HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Adverse combat experiences, feeling responsible for death, and suicidal ideation in treatment-seeking Veterans and actively serving Canadian Armed Forces members

Article

Abstract

Introduction: The present study examines the relationship between feeling responsible for the death of another and suicidal ideation (SI) while controlling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and general adverse deployment experiences. Methods: Participants were current and former Canadian Armed Forces personnel (N=276) seeking treatment at a hospital-based operational stress injury clinic. Data was collected as part of a standard intake protocol. Results: Although 43.5% of the sample reported feeling responsible for the death of another in at least one instance, this variable did not emerge as a significant predictor of SI. Instead, MDD and PTSD severity were the only significant predictors of SI in our model. Discussion: Consistent with previous research, MDD emerged as the strongest predictor of SI. Results emphasize the influence of psychiatric conditions on suicidal behaviour over and above other combat-related variables.

Full Reference

Adverse combat experiences, feeling responsible for death, and suicidal ideation in treatment-seeking Veterans and actively serving Canadian Armed Forces members. Don Richardson, Lisa King, Philippe Shnaider, Jon D. Elhai. Journal of Military, Veteran, and Family Health. 2017, 3:1, 34–40.