HomeADDU-SAS Graduate Research Journalvol. 7 no. 1 (2010)

Combat Stress, Hardiness and Death Ideation: Narratives from the 2008 Mindanao War and Index Trauma Events

Rhodora Gail T. Ilagan

Discipline: Psychology



This 2-phase, 6-stage study is the first research on combat stress done among active duty troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It demonstrates a procedure for assessing the psychological readiness of a 6,347-strong infantry division and examining the psychological sequelae of its troops’ participation in the 2008 Mindanao War. Following the Proximity, Immediacy and Expectancy (PIE) principle, this piloted assessment protocol was able to identify and treat individual elements at risk of developing posttraumatic

stress symptomalogy from combat-related index trauma events. Two soldiers with high PTS symptomatology were subjected to an abbreviated psychotherapeutic intervention based on narrative psychotherapy, a third-generation psychotherapeutic method as yet to be popularized in clinical practice in the Philippines. A pre-deployment combat stress inoculation module was designed and recommended to enhance the psychological preparedness of troops.