“Combat Trauma” (officially called “Deployment-Related Stress” by the Army) describes a spectrum of distressing reactions a troop may have to the trauma combat. These reactions could include anything from the normal, relatively mild tensions associated with the transition from deployment back to home and family life (reintegration Issues), all the way up to severe conditions known as Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). ASD and PTSD occur in those who have been exposed to a traumatic combat-related event (or series of events) which involved actual or threatened death or serious injury and caused an emotional reaction involving intense fear, panic, helplessness or horror. The symptoms are both disorders are: (1) a persistent re-experiencing of the event(s) through nightmares, intrusive thoughts or dissociative episodes, (2) obsessive avoidance of any stimuli associated with the event(s), and (3) feeling “keyed-up” (aroused, angry, sleepless, jumpy) at all times. The difference between these two disorders is how long the symptoms persist: one month for ASD, no time for PTSD.
PTSD is common»