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Suicide & Mental Illness

by Jim Fausone

The rash of suicides this year that involve members of the military has been getting plenty of attention.  Veterans face the same suicide problem brought on by the stress of war.  Military veterans with psychiatric illnesses are at increased risk for suicide, says a new study by the University of Michigan in conjunction with US Department of Veteran Affairs.

The researchers examined the psychiatric records of more than three million veterans who received any type of care at a VA facility in 1999. Over the next seven years, 7,684 of the veterans committed suicide. Slightly half of them had at least one psychiatric diagnosis. All of the psychiatric conditions included in the study — depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders — were associated with increased risk of suicide.

 To read more about the study:

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/645083.html