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Gray, S.H. (1996). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LVII, 1993. Combat and Personality Change. Samuel L. Bradshaw, Jr.; Carroll D. Ohlde; James B. Horne. Pp. 466-478.. Psychoanal Q., 65:678.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:678

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LVII, 1993. Combat and Personality Change. Samuel L. Bradshaw, Jr.; Carroll D. Ohlde; James B. Horne. Pp. 466-478.

Review by:
Sheila Hafter Gray

There is a spectrum of responses and adjustments to the trauma of combat that is related to the severity and extent of the combat experience. Minimal exposure is effectively managed by most participants. Longer immersion leads normatively to the development of a warrior personality. Individuals will place themselves in dangerous situations and kill other human beings, but only under legal orders and for defined military objectives. Under extreme conditions, combatants may develop a killer self that derives personal joy and pleasure from acts of war. The critical variables are individual aggressiveness, the degree and duration of danger and vulnerability, the number of comrades killed and the nature of their death, peer group support and participation, and lack of example or control by officers. They share clinical characteristics with patients who have multiple personality disorders. Treatment for both warrior and killer personalities consists in providing a safe environment in which the individual may discuss combat, expose and accept the killer aspects of his self, and integrate them into his peacetime personality.

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