Stalked By Voices From the Other Side – Veteran Suicides

Majid Ali, M.D.

An article in Elemental Serenity for Stress Series


In 2008, the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. In seven years, suicide spread through the unit like an infection, such that suicide rate reached nearly four times the rate for male veterans and 14 times that for all Americans.


Here are some words of those now on the other side as related by those left behind.

“[At] the next few (suicides), …I started feeling as if it was inevitable — that it is going to get us all and there is nothing we could do to stop it.”

“If all these guys can do that, what’s stopping me? That’s what freaks me out the most. I haven’t touched a gun since I got out of the Marine Corps because I’m afraid to.”

“War is killing. That is all what it is.”


“Now, when I meet someone, I already know what they look like dead. I can’t help but think that way. And I ask myself, ‘Do I want to live with this feeling for the rest of my life, or is it better to just finish it off?’ ”


“I was lost then. I still am kind of lost,” he said in a recent interview. “I was just trying to look for something that wasn’t there. I was trying to look for an answer that I don’t have — that no one does.”


“You see someone blown in half, or you carry a foot. You can try, but it is hard to.”


You wake up a primal part of your brain you are not supposed to listen to, and it becomes a part of you. I shot an old woman. I shot her on purpose because she was running at us with an RPG.”


A Three-Prong Approach

The anguish and insufferable pain of our veterans reflected in the words quoted above is far too deep to be plumbed by any psychological metrics. This is where the dereliction of the Department of Defense reaches a level of cruelty.

  1. Metabolic and Nutritional
  2. Psychopharmacologic
  3. Seeking Elemental Serenity Among Peers

Talk therapy with the so-called mental health talk therapy specialists, by and large, is fanning the fires of war trauma.


Gulf War Syndrome was Predictable – And Was Predicted


The Cortical Monkey Thrives on Recycling Misery

When recycling past misery is not enough, the Monkey loves to precycle feared future misery. This was the main theme of the first book which i wrote for general readership, The Cortical Monkey and Healing (1990). Twenty-five years later, the relevance and significance of these simple words continues to grow whenever I hear or read any reference to the post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).



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