During and after a trauma, the human body does what it can to protect itself from further harm. The stress response, also known as “fight or flight,” originally developed to help people make rapid decisions when in potentially life-threatening situations.
In many cases, people can bounce back from their initial fight or flight response and continue to go about their daily lives without issue. But some people end up developing post-traumatic stress disorder, and the condition can last for months or years after the initial triggering event.
Approximately 15 percent of Vietnam War vets had been diagnosed with the condition at the time of the last study, which was performed in the late 1980s. About 12 percent of Gulf War vets had PTSD, while the Department estimated between 11-20 percent of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom were affected.
One of the groups most susceptible to suffering PTSD is the military. Soldiers who see combat often experience horrible events and can be severely affected as a result. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the percentages of combatants who suffer from PTSD are fairly similar among veterans who served in the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Once a battle ends, it is not unusual for a soldier to feel angry, confused or scared or go through several other emotions as well.