Combat stress reaction  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Combat stress reaction (CSR), in the past commonly known as shell shock or battle fatigue, is a military term used to categorize a range of behaviours resulting from the stress of battle which decrease the combatant's fighting efficiency. The most common symptoms are fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, and inability to prioritize. Combat stress reaction is generally short-term and should not be confused with acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other long-term disorders attributable to combat stress, although any of these may commence as a combat stress reaction.

The ratio of stress casualties to battle casualties varies with the intensity of the fighting, but with intense fighting it can be as high as 1:1. In low-level conflicts it can drop to 1:10 (or less).

In World War I, shell shock was considered a psychiatric illness resulting from injury to the nerves during combat. The horrors of trench warfare meant that about 10% of the fighting soldiers were killed (compared to 4.5% during World War II) and the total proportion of troops who became casualties (killed or wounded) was 56%. Whether a shell-shock sufferer was considered "wounded" or "sick" depended on the circumstances. The large proportion of World War I veterans in the European population meant that the symptoms were common to the culture.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Combat stress reaction" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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