The "short timers syndrome" describes a soldier's psychological response to the approaching end to a service tour with active fighting.


Onset: The syndrome may start 3 months before the end of the tour. It becomes more noticeable during the last 3 weeks, and tends to become marked during the last 3 or 4 days.



(1) drop in morale

(2) rise in anxiety, irritability, inappropriate behavior, restlessness

(3) withdrawal from commitment to combat or any risk taking, and may become totally useless for combat

(4) desire not to be die or be injured


It is easier to recognize when this represents a personality change from previous behavior patterns.


Differential diagnosis:

(1) survivor guilt (feelings of remorse at surviving while friend's had been killed)

(2) battle fatigue


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