At a glance: Post-traumatic stress disorder

At a glance: Post-traumatic stress disorder
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: July 8, 2012

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.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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