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Music Makes You Kill Yourself

Updated on April 13, 2014

Note To Future Commenters:

Please actually READ the article before jumping to conclusions based on the title of it, and attacking me. In is clear from the comment section that very few of you actually bother to read the entire thing, and make assumptions about my opinions and the content because of the title of the article.

Can Music Influence You To Do Something You Normally Wouldn't?

There is no doubt that some music can have a great emotional impact on people. The question is, can it drive you to kill yourself? Some people think it can.

Suicide is a theme that is found in the lyrics of a lot of different types of music. Heavy metal, country, folk, and pop music have all explored this theme. Yet, more often than not, in most people's minds it is heavy metal music that is associated with the dark themes of suicide and death.

Is music's emotional impact that strong? Can you it make you do something that you would not otherwise do? There are some songs that can instantly make some people tear up when they hear them, but is there music that could affect someone so strongly that it would influence them to commit suicide?

Heavy Metal Band Judas Priest, who were accused of having subliminal messages inciting suicide in their music.
Heavy Metal Band Judas Priest, who were accused of having subliminal messages inciting suicide in their music.
Stained Class
Stained Class

The album that caused the controversy, Judas Priest's "Stained Class".


Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest (Part 1)

Blizzard Of Ozz
Blizzard Of Ozz

The album containing the controversial Ozzy Osbourne song "Suicide Solution".


Ozzy Osbourne performing "Suicide Solution"

The latest band accused of promoting suicide; My Chemical Romance.
The latest band accused of promoting suicide; My Chemical Romance.
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

The latest My Chemical Romance CD, "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys".


Accusations of Music's Dark Influence

In 1985, two days before Christmas, two American men, Raymond Belknap, 18, and James Vance, 20, sit down to listen to some Judas Priest albums, while drinking beer and smoking marijuana, and make a suicide pact. A couple hours later, they each shoot themselves in the head. Raymond died instantly, while James survived, but had destroyed most of his face. He lapsed back into drugs and died in 1988. Before he died, James claimed that alcohol and heavy metal music led them into believing "the answer to life was death". He said he believed Judas Priest murdered his friend Ray.

The families of then men then accused the band Judas Priest of having driven them to suicide. They decided to sue the band in 1990. They alleged that the band had incorporated subliminal messages into several of their recordings, including their 1978 Album "Stained Class". The recordings purportedly, when play backwards, contain the phrases "do it", "I took my life" and "fuck the lord", among other things. They accused these subliminal messages for inciting their sons into committing suicide.

The case was dismissed after evidence of the boys violent and depressed upbringing is presented. The lawyer representing Judas Priest described their lives as "sad and miserable". I have included part one of a documentary entitled "Dream Deceivers", about James Vance and the lawsuit against Judas Priest, to the right. Parts 2-6 will be available at the end of the article, below the comments section.

Ozzy Osbourne has also been blamed for causing people to take their own lives. Ozzy said in a past interview that he has been blamed and sued in 25 instances of suicide. In all circumstances, it was the song "Suicide Solution" that was blamed. Rather than advocating suicide, the song is meant to be a statement against alcohol abuse. The "solution" meant not to refer to an answer to a problem, but the liquid mixture of an alcoholic drink.

In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne is blamed for the death of 19 year old John McCollum, who shot himself while listening to Ozzy's album "Blizzard of Ozz", which contains the song "Suicide Solution". His parents filed a lawsuit, where they claimed that there are hidden lyrics in the song that urge people to commit suicide, despite the fact that their son had suffered from clinical depression, and had drug and alcohol problems. Their lawyer claimed there were tones called "hemisync" in the song, that would cause a person to be unable to resist what was being said in the song. The case is dismissed when it is ruled that his suicide was not a foreseeable result of the song.

Ozzy was again sued for the same reason in 1991, by the parents of Michael Waller, who contended that the song "Suicide Solution" was responsible for their son's suicide, despite the fact that the song was not on the Ozzy Osbourne record, Speak of the Devil, that was found playing when he shot himself. They claimed it was subliminal messages contained in the song that had influenced his actions. These were the only two instances of suicide involving Ozzy's song that I could find.

The parents of those who have killed themselves are not the only people who believe that Ozzy was responsible for their deaths. Many religious leaders and conservatives have also blamed Ozzy. Religious fanatic, and the man behind the website, David J. Stewart has said that "Ozzy's music is handing a loaded gun to a person who is suicidal. The music itself is a medium through which demons enter into one's mind and soul".

Most recently, in 2008 My Chemical Romance became the latest band that has been accused of encouraging suicide through their music, when 13-year-old Hannah Bond, who lived in England, hung herself. Bond was reportedly "obsessed" with their music, and had talked with her friends about the glamor of suicide; this was enough for people to conclude that the music of My Chemical Romance was the reason that Hannah took her life. Apparently the emo overtones of the band's music are what ultimately caused her to take her own life, according to coroner who investigated her death.

Though the controversy mostly centers on heavy metal, or rock n' roll music, country music has been accused of promoting suicide as well. There is contention that the themes found in a lot of country music promote a suicidal mood amongst those people who are already depressed and at risk of suicide. Country's penchant for songs about cheating spouses, financial problems, and alcohol abuse, are thought to foster a suicidal state. A study on "The Effects of Country Music on Suicide", by Steven Stack of Wayne University, and Jim Gundlach of Auburn University, showed some surprising results;

"The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide."

So why is it that only heavy metal and rock n' roll seem to be blamed by parents for their child's suicide? You haven't, and will likely never will, hear a parent complain that their kid was influenced to kill themselves by listening to Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw, or Carrie Underwood, despite the outcome of the study done on the effects of country music on suicide. No one makes accusations that Garth Brooks music is Satanic, or that he is the anti-christ, despite his song "The Night Will Only Know", which is about a woman who commits suicide.

Kurt Cobain's suicide precipitated a rash of suicides around the world by his fans.
Kurt Cobain's suicide precipitated a rash of suicides around the world by his fans.

Kurt Cobain's journals, actual copies of the pages from Kurt's diary.


CopyCat Suicides

If music itself does not cause you to commit suicide, what about the worship of the person who creates the music? That's what happened in the case of grunge icon Kurt Cobain.

In April of 1994, the music world was shocked when Kurt Cobain was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The lead singer of the widely-successful band, Nirvana, Cobain was a heavy user of heroin, and struggled with depression. Nirvana's music could be said to contain dark and depressive imagery, and Cobain even wrote a song called "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die".

What was even more shocking was the widespread wave of copycat suicides around the world by Cobain's fans afterward. In the days following his death, not only were there a rise in reports of suicide, there was also a significant increase in calls to suicide hotlines. There is no reliable report of the number of suicides connected to Cobain's, but it has been said that there were at least 65 known cases. The correlation between the two cannot be ignored; there clearly is a link between Cobain's suicide, and the rise in suicides and crisis calls that occurred afterward.  It is easy to speculate that in the copycat cases, the people who took their own lives were likely already suicidal, and that the death of Cobain just pushed them over the edge.  What we will never know for sure is if Cobain had not killed himself, would those fans have done it eventually anyway?

Though not directly related to listening to the music, the idea that someone could have such an impact through their music that when they chose to commit suicide, many fans would follow suit, is shocking. In the case of any well-publicized suicide of well known person or celebrity, media coverage is reported to have an impact on the increase in suicide rates. Such copycat suicides only strengthen some people's belief that music can have a negative emotional impact on its listeners, to the point where it can influence them to want to die.

Some Research Findings on Music and Suicide From the Centre for Suicide Prevention

  • A simple cause-effect relationship does not exist between rock music and suicide (Stack, Gundlach & Reeves, 1994: 21-22; Was, Raup, Cerullo, Martel, Mingione & Sperring, 1988-89: 179; Martin, Clarke, & Pearce, 1993: 534; Was, Miller & Redditt, 1991: 200; Was, Miller & Stevenson, 1989: 289).
  • Heavy metal music more often seems to become a problem for adolescents who are already disturbed and struggling with feelings of alienation.  These adolescents may also lack positive role models, come into repeated conflict with authorities, abuse alcohol & drugs; and have a family history of violence and/or suicide (Litman & Farberow, 1994: 497-498).
  • Far from placing adolescents at risk of suicide, heavy metal music may have some protective functions for some:
  • 54% of a sample of heavy metal fans who were interviewed said that their music served a purgative function, that is it helped to relieve feelings of anger.  The music mirrored the emotional volatility brought on by the usual crises and conflicts of adolescence (Arnett, 1991: 83,95).
  • Rock lyrics, including those said to advocate destructive acts, may in some cases provide a medium for dealing with issues of death and for managing the anxieties these issues create (Was et al, 1991: 204).

The Correlation Between Suicide and Music

Do some people who listen to certain types of music commit suicide? The answer to that question is obviously yes. The real question is whether or not there is any correlation between the two, and if so, does one precipitate another?

The answer to me seems to me like common sense, but apparently it's not for a lot of people. What is really more likely, that someone is influenced by dark, or heavy metal music to commit suicide? or that someone who is already depressed and struggling with thoughts of suicide might be drawn towards music of a darker nature? My opinion is that the later is far more likely. Otherwise, wouldn't everyone who listened to the same music all be killing themselves? Since that isn't happening, the idea of someone who is depressed searching out and relating to music that happens to be darker makes far more sense.

The truth of that matter is that we all seek out music to reflect our moods, emotions, and feelings. When someone goes through a bad break-up and they are sad, they might spend all night listening to sappy love songs, or if they are angry about it, they might spend the night listening to bitter songs about lost love. When someone has friends over for a night of fun, they might throw up upbeat music, or dance music. Music is an important part of life for many people, and intrinsically woven into our memories and life experiences.

Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, it is a matter of personal responsibility. The parents who sue the bands over their influence on the suicide of their children simply do not want to take any personal responsibility for the obvious depression and desperation that cause their children to see death as the only way out. They do not want to admit that they might have missed all the warning signs that their children were struggling. They don't want to acknowledge that they might have in some way contributed to their own children's depressive state. The Vances, both parents and son, did not want to accept any responsibility in Jame's attempted suicide, and Ray's death. It's far easier to find a scapegoat, then to face reality; his parents were not good parents, his home life was far from good, and when he made a suicide pact with his friend while drunk and high, it was not the music playing in the background that placed a gun in their hands, and caused them to try to end their lives.

Dream Deceivers, Part 2

Dream Deceivers, Part 3

Dream Deceivers, Part 4

Dream Deceivers, Part 5

Dream Deceivers, Part 6


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    • profile image

      mike 3 years ago

      Michael waller killed himself in my parents house..I was his best friend and was standing literally 5 feet from him when he did it...I hate to say this but his parents could not accept he did this and had to blame someone..they even blamed and Mike were around each other EVERY day for a year leading up to him committing suicide and I knew him better than anyone and I can tell you Ozzy had ZERO influence on him doing what he did..Mike was despondent about some things that was happening to him at the present time and he just decided to kill himself..the Waller's lawyer was looking for a payday...when he called me in his office one day (years later) to question me I told him music had NOTHIMG to do with Mike's actions and I knew gim better than anyone and that if I got called to the stand that is what I will say. .he abruptly told me to get the hell out of his office..Mike doing that ruined my life for many years...

    • profile image

      Anonymous 3 years ago

      Hey! I'm doing a research paper on how music affects moods in people, specifically teens. I really enjoyed reading your article!

    • profile image

      leslie again... 3 years ago

      More people need to read the article all the way and in depth think about what you are saying cuz if u like rock and stuff you'd see the writer isn't against it. Plus pierce the veil ISN'T metal anybody telling you to check your facts needs to check theyrs first other words they just make themselves look stupid

    • profile image

      leslie 3 years ago

      This article does prove a point and i can see why it is thought that music can cause such thoughts , but more often then not heavy metal is written to encourage fans not to commit suicide and usually talks about they're expierences growing up. Not particularly a heavy metal band but is rock ex.of mice and men in the song second and sebring austin carlile (lead singer) sings to his deceased mother and says he wishes he could have had more time with her . He also states that he is thankful for everything he had back then . But this is a widely contreversal topic that is being explored in depth . Then again i think it is almost important to respect the belief of other people so in the end i would like to say that i do not think that music enforces it but maybe the people that did commit were already struggling in life and they were just pushed over eedge.

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I would really like to know how many people are going to continue to come to this particular article and comment on it without actually READING it to argue with me even though I agree with them, despite the very clear note at the beginning of the article, and my various comments underneath.

      Emily; had you bothered to read it, you would see that I agreed with you in the article, saying pretty much exactly what you just said. I am not in any way bashing the music. That being said, please don't just spout off random, bullshit statistics that are in no way verifiable or plausible. It does nothing to help our side of the case.

    • profile image

      Emily 3 years ago

      This type of music has actually reduced teen suicides by 89%! Please dont bash on the music just because some people do kill themselves, it's more likely they went to the music in search of help, not looking for reasons to kill themselves.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 3 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Very interesting subject which has always fascinated me. One of the first Hubs that I wrote here dealt with the subject of how music influences human behaviors. I tend to agree that certain individuals are attracted by certain types of music and that musicians shouldn't be used as scapegoats so that negligent parents can excuse themselves of their parental responsibility. You made some compelling points, I'm glad that I stumbled upon this Hub.

    • profile image

      Dan 3 years ago

      This arcticle is 100% true. I heard a Nicki Minaj song the other week and nearly killed myself.

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for your comment Colin. In regards to my "talking out of my ass", perhaps, if you'd actually taken the time to READ my article, instead of jumping to conclusions based solely on the title of it, you could have saved yourself from your diatribe about how wrong I am, and saved yourself from talking out of YOUR ass. Thanks. I greatly appreciate when people take the time to comment on my articles, but I appreciate it even more if they actually read them first.

    • profile image

      Colin 4 years ago

      With regards to your accusations of metal music promoting suicide,

      I know of MANY people, including a bunch of close friends, whose lives have been turned around by these kinds of bands. Including My Chemical Romance. And if you'd take the time to actually look up certain bands like MCR or Pierce the Veil or The Color Morale you'll know that themes central to their music are AGAINST suicide and its aim is often to provide consolation for people who may be considering it. Without metal I might have committed suicide myself by now - it's very possible. It helps not hurts, metal music does, in addition to other genres like post-hardcore, hardcore, and pop-punk or emo. If you knew people like I do whose lives have been saved by metal and genres like it, you'd know how much you're talking out of your ass right now. Good day.

    • Yumi Kasu profile image

      Yumi Kasu 4 years ago

      I loved this article because it helped me with a school project i was doing and many other things. I listen to Nirvana, MCR, Judas priest, ozzy osbourne those type of bands.Im a huge music fan. I listen to all kinds of music. i agree to most of the comments that were posted on this hub. It is someones choice no doubt about it.

    • profile image

      chelsey 4 years ago

      My chemical romance helped me NOT commit suicide. Music is interperted in so many ways i think its wrong to blame the artist instead of the person

    • profile image

      Jule 5 years ago

      Every song has a subliminal message

    • profile image

      Killjoy 5 years ago

      OMG ..that about MCR..complete shit!!..How could MCR music helped her,to take her life?..Because they aren ´t emo!..I think lyrics "i´m not afraid to keep on living" can´t encourage someone to suicide!! So..who writed it is jerk !

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for a thought provoking piece. I agree with you, the person unfortunately is probably suffering from depression and mood disorders already, and the parents were clueless, and need to blame someone in their grief. Ozzy Osbourne just loves the stage and the attention he gets. When his show "The Obournes" was on TV, his health and substance abuse issues were so bad he could barely walk around his own house without falling. But he can still get on stage, and jump around like he was years younger. I don't think every song should be taken so seriously. If you are a parent, and don't notice suicidal tendencies in your kids, I think you can only blame yourself. As someone else mentioned above, often people only hear part of the lyrics, and don't interpret the whole song.

    • profile image

      skreamin kido 5 years ago

      well maybe if some people would actuly listen to the lyrics of MCR, you would see that they trying to prevent suicide. the song famous last words has a really good message about not leaving this world even if your alone.

      "I am not afraid to keep on living. I'm am not afraid to rock this world alone."

      just an example

    • profile image

      Dark Dragon. 5 years ago

      When people blame music or video games for what they do to themselves than they should not be listening to the music. If your not mature enough to listen to music without thinking "They're talking to me" than stop listening to it. Music portrays emotion and a story. Theirs. Not others. Take it from me, a fellow song writer.

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada


      Yes I have in fact heard the song, here is a question for you... did you actually read what I wrote at all? I guess that is really more of a rhetorical question, because I already know the answer: obviously not. Thank you for taking the time to call me idiotic and stupid though, even though you didn't bother to take the time to read the article.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      Have you ever even heard the song "I hate myself and want to die"? It is not sad at all, and to say that song was a reference to Kurt being suicidal is idiotic. Just because an artist writes a song and calls it that does not mean he is suicidal. I also believe Courtney Love was the chief reason why he committed suicide, and she may have even murdered him. But really, the song I Hate Myself and Want to Die is not a reference to Kurt being suicidal, it is very stupid to think that.

    • KikiCobain profile image

      KikiCobain 6 years ago from Lancaster, Lancashire

      I agree with TheHeavyReview. I love Nirvana, I idolize Kurt Cobain, but this doesn't mean i am going to do as he did and end my own life.

      Depression is the main factor of suicide in most cases.

    • TheHeavyReview profile image

      TheHeavyReview 6 years ago

      I think people who supposedly kill themselves because of music have underlying problems that have nothing to do with the music itself. Music, and particularly metal, is an easy target. I'm a huge metalhead and not suicidal at all nor do I listen to music that is blatantly about suicide.

    • KJhusak profile image

      KJhusak 6 years ago from Akron


      If they are listening to music to "make themselves feel better" than why listen to a song about suicide? Music is not to blame, if someone is thinking about suicide and they are searching for music to make them feel better than they should choose better music. That's just pure stupidity...

    • profile image

      person whose name will not be said 6 years ago

      i listen to metal....16 years old and still stable...

    • profile image

      ElizabethSullivan 6 years ago

      Heavy Metal has saved millions more people than it ever "killed"

      IF you really want to blame any type of music for driving somebody to suicide then you should listen to some of the stuff from the 1970s. Some of these singer's voices are enough to drive somebody to suicide, and don't even get me started on Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun" (keep me away from the razor blades!)

      Music - not just "metal", even though I do consider myself a "metalhead", but any kind of music that speaks to me - has been my best friend ever since I can remember, and will be until the day I die. I wouldn't be alive today if music hadn't been there to keep me going.

    • profile image

      hbj318 6 years ago

      This is a load of shit pure iggnorance u can't blame the music

    • Darkmetaly profile image

      Daníel Guðmundsson 6 years ago from Iceland Höfn í Hornafirði.

      you decide what you do if this is anybody's fault its the parents for not keeping a closer eye on there children.

      I can relate to the suicide thing I was bullied from the 3 grade to the 8 grade for being little and not being into sports I was beaten and called names. metal music helped me get through it. every time I felt angry and miserable and wanted to kill myself I turned on the metal music it helped me get that anger and depression out of me. I would not be here today if it weren't for metal music.

    • profile image

      Hollywood 6 years ago

      There are different circustances that affect an individuals mindframe to want to committ suicide.The devil has his ways of influencing and controlling people who lean towards an ungodly lifestyle. The key to life is ,stay focused on "The Most High".He will protect all individuals who believe in his grace,

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 6 years ago from London UK

      This is some interesting stuff. When I was a teen I was suicidal and wound up in a hospital. When I was there I was asked by other teens, 'did you want to kill yourself cause Kurt did?' and I was like 'who is Kurt?' and thought, I have real reasons to want to kill myself not because of someone unrelated to me. I personally think it is an insult to the suffering of a person to blame a song for someones' action. I must add that modern music is not the only music to be blamed for this sort of thing. During the great depression there was a song that was totally banned because it was believed that listening to it would drive anyone to commit suicide. The original writer and composer actually ended up committing suicide because of the blame he got for causing suicides. The song is Gloomy Sunday, I have written a hub on the song :)

    • profile image

      Kate Killjoy 6 years ago

      But, also you got to remember, if a band "persuaded" a girl to commit suicide, then that girl was pretty unstable to begin with.

    • profile image

      *InfoGirl* 6 years ago

      I do think music is part of most of these cases. Anonomous is right that sometimes something may be bothering them before they killed themselves, but I think that the music they hear (to make them feel better) doesn't really help but is the little push for them to go and kill themselves. It seems like its there only way cause no one else seems to know theres a problem.

    • profile image

      Anonomous 6 years ago

      When I hear that kids are committing suicide over music and the rock sings are getting blamed for it I think why would the sings get blamed for the suicide it's NOT the singers fault at all that these kids kill themselves so why do singers like Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson and other rock sings get blammed for the suicide of these kids I think that before the kid even killed themselves and someone realized that something was bothering the kid then that person needs to listen to what the kid has to say and try to help them out NOT waiting till they kill themselves to do something about it and I just DON'T understand why these singers get blammed for kids killing themselves or other people and I am only 14 and I think the singers getting blammed for suicide is rediculs.

    • profile image

      Unknown 6 years ago

      Like most people say "music in an inspiration", so the music could have been the cause of these suicides. I feel for the families and support their decisions on taking these bands to court.

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for your comment Kate, I appreciate your input, though I'm not too sure you actually read my article. :)

      If you had, you would clearly have read that, despite the title of the article, I do not in any way believe that music makes someone kill themselves. That was the entire point of the article. :)

    • profile image

      Kate Killjoy 7 years ago

      MCR didn't make that Hannah girl kill herself. It's your own decision wether or not you take your own life and it wasn't the bands influence that made here do it.

      My Chemical Romance is something I ( and millions of other fans), listen to 24/7 and we're perfectly fine. for whatever reason Hannah killed herself might have been personal problems that had no connection to My Chemical Romance what-so-ever!

      I hope that many put that into concideration.

      Art Is The Weapon,

      Kate Killjoy

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Little Kim, thanks for your comment! I find this subject fascinating, especially because of the James Vance case. From the parent's perspectives, I can understand the denial that your child would choose to commit suicide. James Vance survived his suicide attempt though, and then claims himself that the music is what influenced them. Whether he claimed that simply because he thought he would get a settlement or not, it's such an illogical notion that music can actually have an effect on your ability to make your own decisions.

    • Little Kim profile image

      Little Kim 7 years ago from Any town U.S.A.

      Great Hub! I listened to Gladys Knight, Simon and Garfunkle, Elvis and Coutry music growing up. I listened also to ABBA and Heavy Metal. I give all music a chance. My parents knew who my friends were and where and what I was doing always. This is before cell phones.It's not the music that causes suicide.

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Joesy Shmoesy. :)

    • Joesy Shmoesy profile image

      Joesy Shmoesy 7 years ago from New England

      Wow. What an awesome Hub. Look forward to reading more of your writings.

    • Antonia Monacelli profile image

      Antonia Monacelli 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I agree. The idea that subliminal messages are behind it is ridiculous too. As Ozzy Osbourne said in the video clip, if he put subliminal messages in his songs to get his fans to kill himself, he wouldn't have any many fans to buy his music.

      That is what many fans of heavy metal have said, that the music didn't make them feel worse, it actually helped them through difficult times.

    • garynew profile image

      garynew 7 years ago from Dallas, TX and Sampran, Thailand

      the only one who can 'make' you do something is yourself. i really enjoyed metal when i was in the army; it helped me get through the difficult times then.