Veterans Answer the Question – How Often Do You Think About Killing Yourself?

It seems from the following comments, that every Veteran thinks about suicide every day. For those who have selflessly served our nation, the transition back to civilian life can be a complex and challenging journey. While we often hear tales of bravery and honor, there is a darker side that remains hidden from public view, concealed by the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the military. One haunting question persists: “How often do you think about killing yourself?”

These words, appearing on a Reddit post within the r/veterans community, echo the thoughts that countless veterans grapple with daily. The struggle with thoughts of suicide is a harsh reality for many, but they often bear this heavy burden in silence. The love for their children and families serves as a powerful deterrent, preventing them from taking that drastic step. Still, the heartbreaking truth is that 18 veterans lose their lives to suicide every day.

Here are the unfiltered answers to the question of how often do you think about killing yourself? Let’s hope each of these Veterans find what they need before the answer is today.

child kissing a picture of her dad

Why Vets Don’t Kill Themselves is Family, Family, and Family.

The headline question was, typos and all, follow up with “I get asked that question so much at the va, and it’s been so bad lately that I wanted to actually answer truthfully, but I couldn’t tell them the truth. .

The following answer from his fellow Vets have been upvoted to sort them in the order of the most favored comments. I have recreated that post here with that Veteran-approved comment ranking in tact.

“I told one (VA doctor) the truth and stumped him.
Him: “If you had a plan, would you tell me?”
Huh? Why not?”
Me: “That would defeat the point of the plan” Exactly!!! Why the fuck would I ruin my own plan???

– Everyday brother. Everyday. I am living for my kids at this point. If that’s what keeps me around, I’ll keep on keepin on.

The Obvious Answer is Every Day

Right there with you, sorry we are in this boat. A lot of us stay around for our kids. Sad state of things. TMS through the VA helped temporarily but I just slid back to baseline shortly after. I hope they figure out something new soon.

Same here, erry day baby! My son is the only thing worth being alive for, I gotta make sure he ends up being the better version of myself and not this violent cyclone of depression that I am.

pretty much any time my mind is idle. Sitting at a red light, watching t.v., etc.

I have guns and i would never answer this truthfully because of the red flag laws.


Dark Humor Around Suicide

Secret time – I fantasize about shooting myself to fall asleep each night.

For sure every time I have to be on hold with the VA. I never thought of it much until the military/VA suggested to me enough times.

I dont think about killing myself because I don’t want to feel like that guy, but I often think about how much easier it’d be, what would go in my note, and who I’d specifically have to address because they’d feel extra hurt.

Just like so many others here my only reasons for staying is my family, the one I built, my current family and my future family. And the curiosity to see where I can take things. If I didn’t have those I would’ve left years ago.

Final Deeper Thoughts About Other Reasons for Veteran Suicide

It’s not because I’m sad it’s because I can’t find the meaning of life, and because there’s no meaning I don’t find it taboo to leave on my terms. I’m at peace with death.

I know we aren’t supposed to think/feel that way but it is what it is🤷🏾‍♂️

I think about it from time to time but not out of distress or anything that makes me not want to live at this point. I think about it because when the time comes, hopefully 10-20 years from now, I will be the one making the final decision. There is no fucking way I’m gonna die in a VA hospital surrounded by strangers. When my life is no longer worth pursuing I will turn out my own lights. Not leaving the most terrifying moment of my life to a stranger.

So yea, I think about it in that way.

The sentiments shared by these veterans are both heartbreaking and profoundly revealing. They collectively underscore the overwhelming importance of family as the reason they continue to bear the weight of their thoughts about suicide. For many, the presence of children is the driving force that keeps them going, as they strive to be a better version of themselves and shield their loved ones from the turmoil within. While they may consider these thoughts during idle moments, they often withhold the truth due to the fear of legal repercussions or the consequences of red flag laws. Dark humor and thoughts of suicide are interwoven into their daily lives, arising in moments of frustration or vulnerability, yet they remain resolute in not wanting to die in a VA hospital, preferring to have control over the timing of their own exit. These sentiments collectively reflect a complex emotional landscape that underscores the need for understanding, support, and mental health resources for our veterans.