PTSD and Suicide often go together. Isolation enhances PTSD and damages the soul. By now, this should be no news flash.
The article link provided below speaks to an increasing US Army awareness of the suicide illness in its ranks. While the Army remains two-minded on PTSD (sometimes it seeks to promote PTSD awareness and healing and other times it seeks to pretend the condition does not exist), it is refreshing to see somebody in the Pentagon actively trying to avoid suicides among the troops.
In my own day, for an officer to admit to stress or depression damaged your career and promotion prospects. At one point while serving in a critical nuclear duty position, I acknowledged I had problems with stress. It was used against me in my next officer evaluation report. Oddly, they kept me in the position.
In the linked article there is mention made of the correlation between isolation and suicide.
Isolation enhances PTSD and damages the soul. Part of what heals us and sustains us against PTSD and suicide is our series of proper relationships. Relationships with God, our Self, our multiple communities, and the Creation. PTSD damages these relationships and actively seeks to isolate us from all forms of each of these right relationships.
The Army general in the article noticed that soldiers working in long periods of isolation appear to be at higher suicide risk. He is right.
The position of the PTSD Spirituality blog is that isolation promotes PTSD and increases risk of self-harm and suicide. Suicide is a Stalking Horse for the PTSD survivor. It can feel like the right thing to do in an otherwise absurd and untenable situation. It can be seductive and society seems to encourage it by criticizing those who are not “strong” or “tough.” The isolation seeks to prevent us from seeking help and from being noticed that we need help.
Whether our PTSD comes from military or civilian trauma, or some combination of the two, seeking out healthy relationships is essential to survival. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are in this together. Helping reduce the spiral of isolation and soul damage is important.
Now that an Army general is dedicating one meeting a month to suicide prevention, well, at least we have a start. It is an immense improvement over a cowboy culture that allowed us to be damaged and then kill ourselves.
Our lives have value, your life has value. Semper Pax, Dr. Z