Trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and more are all common challenges that veterans must overcome, even after leaving service and transitioning to civilian life. Exploring rehab in Hawaii to address these personal needs is paramount, as without proper treatment and a willingness to challenge self-destructive behaviors and stigmas, new challenges can arise. One of the most devastating outcomes of unaddressed mental health challenges and trauma among veterans includes suicidal ideation. While this can be an incredibly difficult and tragic situation for veterans, children of veterans in military families can be equally affected by these ideas. 

What Is Suicidal Ideation?

Suicide and suicidal ideation are very complicated and can be tragic if unaddressed, and veterans can be at an increased risk of dying by suicide for a variety of reasons. From repeated exposure to traumatic experiences and life-threatening situations to the continued effects of survivor’s guilt, moral injury, anxiety, depression, PTSD, flashbacks, and more, veterans must address an array of needs, each of which can impact these ideas. Each of these challenges can compromise a veteran’s feelings of self-worth or impact their personal and spiritual beliefs, which can develop into suicidal ideation without proper treatment and support from trained professionals and loved ones. 

Suicidal ideation is any kind of intrusive thoughts about suicide or a focus on death, dying, or the afterlife. While suicidal ideation does not necessarily mean that a veteran has an active plan to take their own life, it is still paramount to address these intrusive or unwanted thoughts before they manifest further. Some signs that a veteran may be experiencing suicidal ideation include:

  • Preoccupation with death or dying
  • Intense mood swings
  • Self-isolation
  • Giving away either high-value personal belongings or possessions that have large sentimental value
  • Disinterest in previous hobbies
  • Increase in risk-taking behaviors or a disregard for personal safety
  • Use of drugs or alcohol
  • Feelings or expressions of hopelessness, futility, or worthlessness
  • Difficulty tending to personal responsibilities or seeing such responsibilities as unimportant, meaningless, etc.

Recognizing any of these signs of potential suicidal ideation is a reason to reach out to professional recovery and treatment facilities for more information. 

Identifying Addiction in Recently Discharged Veterans
Identifying Addiction in Recently Discharged Veterans

Identifying addiction and its effects on veteran life is the first step toward taking action. We at Hawaii Island Recovery are committed to helping recently discharged veterans adjust to changing lifestyles, cultures, and more while overcoming the effects of trauma, substance use, and more in daily life. To learn how our Hawaii rehabilitation programs can create a comprehensive approach to sobriety and healing for you or your veteran loved one, call (866) 390-5070.

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The effects of suicidal ideation are difficult to overcome, but they are not confined to an individual. Entire families and households are affected by these ideas in veteran loved ones. While family members and spouses can be affected, children can be one of the most profoundly impacted groups when growing up in a home with a veteran experiencing these thoughts and beliefs. 

The Effects of Veteran Suicidal Ideation on Children

Finding treatment for suicidal ideation is paramount for the health and well-being of veterans. However, feelings of helplessness can make it difficult for many veterans to pursue healing for their own benefit. Understanding how these challenges and thoughts affect children can be another way of approaching effective healing and treatment programs like those available at Hawaii Island Recovery. 

Compromised Self-Worth

Children living in a house with a veteran loved one experiencing suicidal ideation can often have their own sense of self-worth compromised. For younger children, this can be incredibly devastating, and living in an environment that is populated by thoughts or ideas of death can have a profound impact on how children value their own lives or the lives of others. 

Some children may also blame themselves for veterans’ suicidal ideation. While some children may believe that they are at fault for such feelings, others may recognize that they are not but are still “not enough” to help veteran loved ones, comprising their sense of self-worth.

Increased Feelings of Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety, depression, confusion, anger, resentment, guilt, and more are all common stresses among children, especially in veteran households affected by suicidal ideation. Not only may some children blame themselves, but pervasive feelings of guilt can compromise self-confidence in other areas of their lives. Resentment can also be common as compassion fatigue sets in and children are faced with challenging situations. 

Strained Relationships

Children living with a veteran parent experiencing suicidal ideation can have these important relationships strained. Feelings of isolation or emotional barriers between parent and child can have lasting effects on children, from behavioral changes and acting out to compromised academic performance. Compromised communication, feelings of helplessness, or even confusion can all affect how children may approach veterans experiencing suicidal ideation.

How Loved Ones Can Help Prevent Veteran Suicide
How Loved Ones Can Help Prevent Veteran Suicide

Suicide among veterans is all too common and tragic, and knowing how to prevent veteran suicide is instrumental in keeping veteran loved ones safe. For more information on our treatment centers in Hawaii, or for more information on how to prevent suicide among veteran loved ones, call us today at (866) 390-5070.

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Talking to Children About Suicidal Ideation

It can be difficult to open up a dialogue about the effects of a veteran loved one’s suicidal thoughts, and many families may not be comfortable bringing up such a sensitive topic with children. However, avoiding the topic can have its own challenges. Some ways to begin a conversation about the topic include:

  • Reiterate how it is not the child’s fault
  • Explore and educate yourself and your children about trauma and PTSD
  • Don’t try to “protect” children by omitting them from the situation
  • Always leave time to actively listen to children, answer questions honestly, and make them feel heard

Because of these effects of veteran suicidal ideation on children, it is paramount to not only seek professional treatment programs like those available at Hawaii Island Recovery for veteran-specific healing but also to engage in effective familial healing programs to promote communication, understanding, and sympathy. Healing is never an isolated effort, and entire families can benefit from treatment programs to overcome the impact of suicidal ideation in veterans.

Identifying and addressing suicidal ideation among veterans is paramount, and recognizing any potential signs or symptoms of such ideation is a reason to reach out to Hawaii Island Recovery for more information on each specific situation. Understanding the impact of suicidal ideation on not just an individual but entire families, especially the children of veterans, is paramount for making an effective plan for addressing the situation. We combine effective and dedicated veteran treatment with a comprehensive approach to familial healing to address the challenges of veterans and promote family healing through our rehab in Hawaii. With education, practical strategies, and a personalized plan for each person, we can help you begin your transformative personal and spiritual healing. Call (866) 390-5070.