Suicide and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Suicide ranks third on the list of top causes of deaths in America for people aged fifteen to nineteen. Nearly one percent of all deaths in the Unites States are from suicide. Of these suicides, approximately ninety percent can be traced back to a mental illness. This lays the groundwork for how suicide can be strongly interconnected with post traumatic stress disorder. For many victims and sufferers of the disorder, their past experiences can be so painful and their flashbacks or memories so terrifying that suicide seems like a welcome relief.


The number of completed suicides is far less than the number of attempted suicides. Many suicides are performed with the underlying intent and hope that a rescue will occur. These half-spirited suicide attempts are usually a way in which the suffering person attempts to call out for help. The suicide technique itself has a bearing on whether or not the suicide is completed. Males are more likely to complete a suicide because they statistically choose a more violent means of suicide, such as using a gun, where women typically try a less gruesome method such as overdosing on a high powered drug. Most relatives and friends left behind in a suicide case feel that the person who committed suicide acted selfishly, when in fact, in the mind of a depressed and suffering person, suicide is believed to be a way in which they can relieve their pain and suffering as well as remove the burden that they feel they are placing on others.


Many people walk through life believing that nothing truly terrible will ever happen to them and for most, this is the case. However, for those few who have gone through a traumatic event, this feeling of invincibility may be lost. As a result, the person may have suicidal thoughts due to the lack of control that they feel they have over their lives. Many times, the depression that is associated with post traumatic stress disorder can be enough to cause suicide. The depression is usually brought on by feelings of guilt that occur because the person feels personally responsible for the terrible event that happened to them. This often happens with rape and child molestation victims who feel that they could have done something different to change the outcome of the situation or that they themselves provoked the incident.