chapter  8
Scanning for Danger: Readjustment to the Noncombat Environment
WithLAUREN M. CONOSCENTI, VERA VINE, ANTHONY PAPA, BRETT T. LITZ
Pages 24

In war zones, not only are service members at risk for being exposed to specic life-threatening traumatic experiences, but they also need to maintain high levels of alert, alarm, and arousal because of potential threats. e latter is particularly true in the context of guerilla wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, where civilians and combatants are oen indistinguishable and covert aggression, such as sabotage and terrorism, is ubiquitous. Lengthy deployment to such dangerous and uncertain contexts can lead not only to acute symptoms of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD) but also to enduring changes in habit, lifestyle, style of communication, ways of relating to others, and wellness behaviors (e.g., leisure, sleep, eating, and hygiene behaviors). In the harsh and demanding world of combat, symptoms of PTSD and changes in demeanor and manner are occupational hazards. Although the majority of combat veterans do not go on to develop PTSD or other behavioral problems associated with poor adjustment to garrison life and beyond, no one is completely immune; all must adapt and reintegrate and slowly reclaim their predeployment repertoires to return to homeostasis.