Combat Stress Reaction: Combat Psychiatry Documentary Film

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Video Description

"Combat stress reaction (CSR), is a term used within the military to describe acute behavioural disorganisation seen in medical personnel as a direct result of the trauma of war. Also known as ""combat fatigue"", it has some overlap with the diagnosis of acute stress reaction used in civilian psychiatry. Historically, it has some link to shell shock, and can sometimes precursor post-traumatic stress disorder.

Combat stress reaction is an acute reaction including a range of behaviours resulting from the stress of battle which decrease the combatant's fighting efficiency. The most common symptoms are fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, and inability to prioritize. Combat stress reaction is generally short-term and should not be confused with acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other long-term disorders attributable to combat stress, although any of these may commence as a combat stress reaction.

The ratio of stress casualties to battle casualties varies with the intensity of the fighting, but with intense fighting it can be as high as 1:1. In low-level conflicts it can drop to 1:10 (or less).

In World War I, shell shock was considered a psychiatric illness resulting from injury to the nerves during combat. The horrors of trench warfare meant that about 10% of the fighting soldiers were killed (compared to 4.5% during World War II) and the total proportion of troops who became casualties (killed or wounded) was 56%[citation needed]. Whether a shell-shock sufferer was considered ""wounded"" or ""sick"" depended on the circumstances. The large proportion of World War I veterans in the European population meant that the symptoms were common to the culture.

In the military, therapy starts with prevention by training and providing good morale and support. Simple procedures like providing adequate rest, food and shelter are important. Relaxation exercises have a role as does critical event debriefing.

Once a service member has deteriorated beyond this they are usually relieved of duty and given support, dry clothes, food and rest. When appropriate they are given supportive counselling aimed at their speedy recovery. Some are prescribed psychotropic medications and simply discharged.

Figures from the 1982 Lebanon war showed that with proximal treatment 90% of CSR casualties returned to their unit, usually within 72 hours. With rearward treatment only 40% returned to their unit.

In Korea 85% of US battle fatigue casualties returned to duty within three days and 10% returned to limited duties after several weeks.

Although the PIE principles were used extensively in the Vietnam War, the post traumatic stress disorder lifetime rate for Vietnam veterans was 30% in a 1989 US study and 21% in a 1996 Australian study.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_stress_reaction"

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"Having a pet is really an effective for stress. I have a Labrador and I feel very relaxing while playing with him."

David

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