Combat trauma is a common mental condition in active soldiers as well as in veterans. Trauma is caused by witnessing or going through terrifying happenings and is characterized by either consistent flashbacks to the event, hypersensitivity, anxiety and consistent thoughts on the event.
Thesis statement: This paper will provide a summary of the nature of combat trauma which include: Intrusive memories, cutting off people, shift in emotional reactions and consistent negative thoughts. It will also focus on the causes of trauma such as loss of friends, terrifying human suffering and survivor’s guilt among others. Lastly it will consider the different methods of dealing with the trauma, both long term and short term solutions.
Nature of trauma
Intrusive memories- these include flashbacks to the events that often trigger anxiety and negative thoughts. It is also characterized by nightmares or reliving the memories of the events by the patient.
Cutting off people- victims tend to think that family and the civilian community does not understand them hence tend to create walls in such relationships. It can also include avoiding visiting places that bring back memories of the traumatic event.
Shift in emotional reactions which involves being hypersensitive and aware of danger that is not even present, high irritability, destructive behaviors such as drugs and substance abuse, aggressive behavior and sleeplessness.
Consistent negative thoughts such as guilt, regret over doing things better at the time of the event or suicidal thoughts.
Causes of combat trauma
War is the biggest cause as brings with it intense human suffering which can be result to trauma
Death of colleagues in the unit can cause survivors guilt hence trauma
Change in environment upon returning home
Betrayal by a fellow soldier causing lack of trust
Ways of dealing with combat trauma
Therapy and counselling
Use of drugs such as morphine in cases where the victim is badly injured
Finding purpose through spiritual guidance
Rehabilitation and detoxification services by medical military professionals.
Combat trauma in active and veteran soldiers cannot be ignored. Trauma can take the form of intrusive memories, negative thoughts, cutting off people and changes in emotional and physical reactions. These people can however be helped through therapies and counselling sessions done by professionals, administration of drugs that are likely to reduce trauma once the patients recover, spiritual guidance and rehabilitation and detoxification services done by medical military professionals.
Combat trauma is a common thing among soldiers; both veterans and those active in service. Soldiers are trained in such a way that they view each other family and as such a closely knit relationship is often seen when serving and long after they get off service. However, their time is can be characterized by traumatic events which can affect their lives in a very destructive way. Combat trauma often appears in the form of intrusive memories such as nightmares and reliving traumatic events, cutting off people or avoiding places where the traumatic event occurred, having negative thoughts some which may be suicidal and also changes in emotional and physical reactions such being aggressive and highly irritable. This paper also focuses on the causes of combat trauma and specifically looks at causes such as war and the terrific occurrences that happen, loosing fellow soldiers and never having enough time to grieve, changes in environment once they return home and also betrayal by fellow soldiers. However, this is a mental condition that can be dealt with before it morphs into a chronic mental disorder such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These solutions include Rehabilitation and detoxification services, administration of drugs that reduce the likelihood of having PTSD, therapy and counselling and also seeking purpose and spiritual guidance from spiritual leaders.
Holbrook, T., Galarneau, M., Dye, J., Quinn, K., & Dougherty, A. (2010). Morphine Use after Combat Injury in Iraq and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. New England Journal Of Medicine, 362(2), 110-117. doi: 10.1056/nejmoa0903326
For Military Treatment Professionals. (2019). Retrieved from https://stoningtoninstitute.com/treatment-programs/starlight-program/military-treatment-professionals/
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (US). Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2014. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 57.) Chapter 3, Understanding the Impact of Trauma. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207191/
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Symptoms and causes. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967