The Main Factors and Personality Characteristics to Predict the Risk of Suicide by Military Personnel in Hostilities

Ihor Prykhodko, Yanina Matsehora, Olexander Kolesnichenko, Anastasiia Bolshakova, Olena Bilyk, Andriy V. Haydabrus


The problem of non-combat losses due to suicides of military personnel is relevant for most of the armed forces of states participating in local armed conflicts. The posthumous pathopsychological study of materials from the investigation of suicides by Ukrainian military personnel made it possible to identify the main factors of committing suicides during the period of participation in hostilities in eastern Ukraine in 2014-2019: problems of adaptation to combat conditions; insufficient level of professional and psychological training to perform missions in combat conditions; acute stressful reactions to participation in hostilities; physical and mental exhaustion, demotivation; dysfunctional families; loneliness or breakup with a beloved woman; offenses and disciplinary actions; alcohol abuse. The main types of personality who committed suicide in different periods of hostilities were: in 2014-2016 “Demonstratively-Dependent”, having two subtypes “Demonstratively-Maladaptive” and “Demonstratively-Masked”; in 2017-2019 “Asthenic-Depressive”, which has two subtypes “Constitutionally-Weak” and “Exhausted-Demotivated”. The manifestation of PTSD symptoms, physical and mental exhaustion, demotivation, indifference of society to the problems of veterans can significantly increase the risk of suicide in the post-war period. The division into periods of suicidal activity of servicemen suggests that the identified types (subtypes) of personality become suicidal only in extreme conditions with impaired adaptation and self–realization. The identified reasons for committing suicides and the typification of military personnel-suicides associated with different periods of participation in hostilities are not exhaustive.


suicide; hostilities; military personnel; personality characteristics, Ukraine

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