Effects of Combat"
Dave Grossman and Bruce K. Siddle
psychological effect of combat
is a concept which encompasses a wide variety of processes
and negative impacts, all of which must be taken into consideration
in any assessment of the immediate and long term costs of
war. This entry will address the wide-spectrum psychological
effects of combat, to include: psychiatric casualties suffered
during combat, physiological arousal and fear, the physiology
of close combat, the price of killing, and Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A Legacy of Lies..........to honor the memory of the
fallen and rationalize their deaths....
Casualties in War..........A psychiatric casualty
is a combatant who is no longer able to participate in
combat due to mental (as opposed to physical) debilitation.
Arousal and Fear..........The impact of fear and its
attendant physiological arousal is significant, but it
must be understood that fear is just a symptom and not
the disease, it is an effect but not the cause.
Trauma of Close-Range, Interpersonal Aggression..........The
impact of fear, physiological arousal, horror, and physical
deprivation in combat should never be underestimated....
Physiology of Close Combat..........An understanding
of the stress of close combat begins with an understanding
of the physiological response to close-range interpersonal
Resistance to Killing..........The existence of a
resistance to killing lies at the heart of this dichotomy
between killers and nonkillers.
the Resistance to Killing..........Throughout history
the ingredients of groups, leadership, and distance have
been manipulated to enable and force combatants to kill,
but the introduction of conditioning in modern training
was a true revolution.
Price of Overcoming the Resistance to Killing..........Conditioning
that overrides such a powerful, innate resistance carries
with it enormous potential for psychological backlash
A Cultural Conspiracy..........In the field of developmental
psychology a mature adult is sometimes defined as someone
who has attained a degree of insight and self-control
in the two areas of sexuality and aggression.
of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, Volume 3, p.159
1999 by Academic Press. All rights of reproduction in any