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PERSPECTIVE ON PTSD FROM COMBAT PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 27 January 2011 15:20

Many military personnel relate to the feeling of shock, fear, numbness, and excitement during the first combat with the enemy. They can relate to the anger felt inside when their comrades fall.  What many psychiatrists or psychologists cannot relate to is what happens next. When one continues to be in a combat situation, that anger becomes more intense along with the hyper-vigilance; that intense anger and hyper-vigilance turns into revenge. The revenge becomes even more intense. During that process, the fear for one’s life becomes pushed back while the revenge becomes more satisfying. At one point, the intensity of the revenge becomes so great that one’s affect flips; there’s joy and gratification when he or she is able to kill the enemy. At that point, instead of avoiding combat situations, one is looking for a fight wanting as many kills as possible. The pain of losing comrades is replaced with the joy of satisfying the intense revenge.  Many of those whose PTSD, hyper-vigilance, and flipping of their affect has gone this far, would actually volunteer to extend their duty in combat at that point. There may be underlying survival guilt that had lead to that decision as well. One would actually look forward to the enjoyment he or she would receive from the high after each combat situation, especially if there is a kill. It’s very difficult to change the hyper-vigilance and the flipping of affect after one comes home from this kind of combat history. What is good in combat becomes a hindrance in civilian life. When psychiatrists and psychologists realize these steps of combat intensity, they will have a better understanding of PTSD themselves in order to render treatment.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 15:24