Combat Addiction: Revisited and Reaffirmed

Matthew Bowen
2017 Journal of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry  
Combat Addiction (CA) is identified as an unrecognized syndrome occurring within the fourth cluster of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in DSM-5. While extensively described during the Civil War, its only specific study has been a pair of papers thirty years ago by one psychiatrist with Vietnam veterans. Drawing from oral history interviews and clinical practice, this review discusses symptom constellation and high incidence of CA in the current generation of Middle East War veterans.
more » ... alar and dopaminergic modulation are explored as factors in the high sensation-seeking personality sub-type, and further the potential of trauma-derived Toxoplasma gondii of the brain. Potential chronicity of CA is illustrated by case studies also including aged Vietnam veterans. Within the CA sub-type, clinicians are urged to reconsider assumptions of the nature and expression of PTSD, and interventions are analyzed in respect to limitations and frank contradictions of applying some common modalities with combat addicted veterans. Alternative approaches are described. Major limitations in the few recent studies touching on the syndrome are discussed, and suggestions for enhanced study offered. Given the very extroverted and recklessly endangering core expression of combat addiction, it is emphasized as a parallel public health problem begging overdue study and intervention.
doi:10.15406/jpcpy.2017.07.00463 fatcat:lr5lopjsa5aehdmsdzubkx4sa4