Stress, Not Craziness

One of the most important things that I tell soldiers is, they're not crazy. They're having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. I don't like the word post-traumatic stress "disorder," because to me it's not a disorder. You send somebody to war; they smell their best friend burning to death; they're picking up body parts; they have the blood of the enemy and their own soldiers on their hands. How does that not affect them in some way? A normal reaction is going to be having some type of stress about it. The key word in post-traumatic stress disorder is "stress."

Stress is a normal reaction in combat situations. Keep in mind that for service members injured by an improvised explosive device (IED), not only was the blast a horrific and stressful event in and of itself, but it may have killed or injured close comrades. John Rigg, an M.D. and rehabilitation specialist, discusses battlefield stress.

Posted on BrainLine July 14, 2014.