The obvious answer is also the most accurate; a PTSD classification for a person who has served in combat, hence Combat PTSD. It's a name that is used to quickly describe the type of trauma you have endured and your immediate background. You are military / ex-military and you have served within a combat area. For a mental health professional to hear those two magic words, they instantly reduce various questions being asked. The DSM V may even make it an official categorisation of PTSD, time will tell, though I wouldn't hold your breathe for it. Currently it is not an official categorisation, though still widely used to quickly assimilate the type and degree of PTSD being dealt with. Discussion as to whether civilians who serve in combat zones should be classified with this term. Well... whilst a civilian can serve in a combat zone, endure being fired upon, they are not a constant target as a soldier in uniform is, nor do they have to fire back and take lives. So the categorisation of Combat PTSD is reserved as a label for veterans only. A reporter may follow with a formation and become involved in a contact, though at no point do they have a weapon or act as a combatant. If they suffer PTSD as a result, it is still very real and still very much PTSD, just not Combat PTSD. Whether Combat PTSD becomes an official term or not within mental health manuals is really irrelevant at this stage, as the term is widely used within the mental health profession worldwide to assimilate its above meaning. The term rapidly identifies a top 5 likely issues: Heightened anger and aggressive response. Heightened startle response. Heightened alertness. Alcohol and/or cigarettes used for coping. Relationship abuse / issues - emotional and/or physical. The first three are due to military training, the fourth is due to military lifestyle and the last a combination of the first four which usually reflect an inability to hold a relationship, or you fit within a statistical majority that are emotionally abusing your partner or even have physically abused your partner due to your anger getting out of control. Note the key term, "statistical majority," which does not include everyone, but a majority. Statistics are typically an accurate model of a larger scale group. These are all discussed in much further detail in another article, which outlines the core issues of Combat PTSD due to military training and lifestyle. This document is Copyright © 2009 and may not be replicated in part or full without express written permission off the author.