Types of Trauma- Combat Trauma
Combat stress develops as a result of three general factors: exposure, threat (either real or perceived), and limited coping resources (Hobfoll et. al, 1991). Individuals are more likely to suffer significant combat stress under the following conditions: extended time on a particular battlefront, longer periods of time in actual combat, close proximity to life threatening situations, and seeing individuals wounded or dead from the conflict (Shabtai, 2001). The greater the frequency and intensity of exposure and risk to these circumstances, the more likely it is that the combatant will develop combat trauma.
Combat trauma is often used interchangeably with Combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, war neurosis, battle fatigue, and shell shock. In combat situations death is a constant and present danger. It is not uncommon for returning soldiers to be withdrawn, quiet, and “blue” following a deployment. The pressures of readjusting to civilian life, reconnecting with family, and dealing with their own experiences can be very overwhelming at first. The term combat trauma is given when the individual still cannot adjust to life off the battlefield months after their return (National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 2008). They may suffer frequent nightmares and sleep disturbances, overreact or become violent, be isolated, apathetic, or unable to concentrate on relatively simple tasks (Hobfoll, et al., 1991). In extreme cases combat trauma may result in domestic violence and suicide.