Combat Stress Reaction (CSR) is most frequently known as shell shock or battle fatigue. It results in a range of adverse behaviors as a result of stress from battle. Some universal symptoms are exhaustion, decrease in responsiveness, hesitancy and uncertainty, feeling like you are disconnected, and inability to focus. Combat stress reaction is generally short-term and should not be confused with acute stress disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder, even though some of the symptoms are similar in nature.
Reactions to a combat experience can be emotional, physical, mental and even have behavioral reactions too. All reactions will differ from one person to the next. More importantly, it is imperative to normalize your reactions given your experiences instead of being overly critical of yourself if you are experiencing combat stress.
Emotionally you may:
Mental reactions include:
Behavioral Reactions include:
It is important not to blame yourself if you are experiencing combat stress-related reactions. There are many ways to speak to someone about your concerns. Some helpful resources for you and your family are below.
After Deployment.org (www.afterdeployment.org)
Afterdeployment.org is a website addressing post deployment challenges including psychological health, substance abuse, employment issues, reconnecting with family and friends, and spiritual guidance.
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (www.dcoe.health.mil)
DcoE serves warriors and their fmailies needing help with psychologicla health and traumatic brain injury issues, promoting resilience, recovery and reintegration. DcoE operates a toll-free Outreach Center (866-966-1020).
Military OneSource (www.militaryonesource.com)
Education, relocation, parenting, stress-you name it. Military OneSource was created to help with just about any need. Call 24/7, 800-342-9647.
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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.
Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.
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