AT A GLANCE
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Returning service members experience combat stress, which is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Common stress and PTSD aren't that different. It's more of a matter of severity, frequency and intensity.
Combat stress is a response that can happen to anyone who has experienced a significantly stressful combat or operational event.
The term combat stress usually refers to a cluster of symptoms that can occur following exposure to significant stressors related to combat and operational events. It is generally viewed as a normal reaction to abnormal conditions. When someone experiences combat stress, it may be of a limited intensity or duration and require no help from a professional.
The symptoms of PTSD are more intense, more frequent and last longer than those of combat stress. The symptoms of PTSD include:
1. Re-experiencing symptoms:
• Flashbacks — reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating.
• Bad dreams.
• Frightening thoughts.
• Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person's everyday routine. They can start from the person's own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.