A team of researchers have worked with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and found that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with an increased risk for thoughts of suicide. Writing about their study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, the researchers have revealed that veterans who screened positive for PTSD were four times more likely to report suicide-related thoughts relative to veterans without the mental disorder.
They say that their study establishes PTSD as a risk factor for thoughts of suicide in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.
According to them, that held true even after accounting for other psychiatric disorder diagnoses, such as substance abuse and depression.
The team said that the veterans who screened positive for PTSD and two or more comorbid mental disorders were significantly more likely to experience thoughts of suicide relative to those with PTSD alone.
As many as 46 percent of veterans in the study experienced suicidal thoughts or behaviors in the month prior to seeking care, and of those veterans, three percent reported an actual attempt within four months prior to seeking the care.
The researchers said that suicide-related thoughts and behaviors discovered in a returning veteran, who has been diagnosed with PTSD, especially in the presence of other mental disorders, might suggest an increased risk for suicide.