“The people at highest risk of making an attempt struggled with depression and anxiety, or post-traumatic stress, in combination with impulsiveness and aggression,” Dr. Nock said. “The former gets people thinking about suicide, and the latter gets them to act on those thoughts.”
The new findings present the military with a challenging question: How do you identify people vulnerable to suicide without driving them underground? More intensive scrutiny typically leads would-be recruits to hide mental struggles. Some experts suggested that the services could screen people after enlistment, to identify those who might be offered additional support.