Whether it's combat-related, holiday blues or a number of other anxieties, one thing is certain: Increased stress equals increased mishaps.

Stress that isn't handled properly can lead to a number of higher risks.

Adrenaline junkies: Members returning from combat might feel bulletproof and crave the adrenaline rush the combat environment provided. In replicating this "thrill ride" back home, they could take more risks, such as speeding on sports bikes.

Road rage and/or aggressive driving:
Stress causes shorter tempers, which many people release on the dangerous roadways.

Fatigue: Stress causes many people to lose sleep; fatigue can lead to falling asleep at the wheel or mishaps in the workplace.

Distractions: People preoccupied with problems are inattentive and indecisive, which make them susceptible to "tunnel vision" and missing information required to make safe decisions. This can lead to costly, life-threatening mistakes.

Alcohol/drug abuse: Depressed or stressed out people often turn to alcohol or drugs to dull the pain. This can lead to workplace mishaps or drunk-driving tragedies.

-- Air Education and Training Command Ground Safety