Editors Note: A guest contribution from Olivia to The Prepper Journal. For Preppers, the initial effect of a disaster/SHTF event will need to be processed as we try and cope with the everyday challenges of life and how it has changed. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!
Psychological shocks are the results of traumatic events. But how do you really know when a traumatic event has ended? People who’ve experienced psychological shocks agree that the impact of the traumas never stop being a burden. They will always feel susceptible to attacks, in a continuous state of alert, vulnerable and impotent in the face of danger. “When you are there, it’s all about surviving,” relates Lola Underwood, victim of sexual assault.
There are certain ways to cope with psychological shocks even when you experience the aforementioned emotions. Liberating your mind from that constant state of anxiety is challenging, and for irresolute individuals, nearly impossible. However, if you are determined to improve your life, this is a good place to start.
Take Your Time
After you’ve experienced a trauma, take some time to figure out your feelings. In case you are still in danger, it’s crucial to take a moment and decide on the next thing you must do. When we are trying to solve problems under pressure, the outcomes are worse than expected. Even when there is an imminent danger approaching, thinking about the issue and trying to find the perfect solution is the only smart thing you could do.
- Be aware of what is happening and stay connected to the present
- Don’t fight your feelings
- Think of solutions rather than worry about the past
- Focus on your breathing, and realize that the outcomes will be positive as long as you don’t freak out
- Don’t let the situation control you. You control the situation.
In times of danger, structuring your thoughts is crucial. If your mind is haphazardly distributed, your brain will shut down. Make sure you breathe in, breathe out, and take everything step by step.
Write Down Your Emotions
People living with constant fear are usually paranoid, continuously afraid, and obsessed with taking revenge for what has happened to them. Even when they are not in an insecure place anymore, they might feel threatened by various sources, and act irrationally.
Dana Johnson, Psychologist at UniPsych Inc. and Writing Leading Specialist at CraveToWrite, a research paper writing company, shares her opinion. “Righting down your feelings and emotions after a traumatic event is crucial. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much writing helps us overcome different obstacles in our lives.”
A different approach:
- When you are feeling down, take a pen and a paper and write down the reasons
- For each feeling you’ve described, write down a number from 1 to 5 (1: the feeling is not that powerful, 5: the feeling can barely be borne)
- Underline the most negative emotions, and write down what you feel when you experience those specific emotions
- Ask yourself why you are afraid of those specific things (at least 7 times in a row)
- Take a break, and come back to the exercise the next day
This exercise helps you realize what you are afraid of, and what is your level of anxiety.
Take a Look Behind the Curtains
It’s not enough to know what you’re scared of, you must know why too. Thus, try this:
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in, breathe out
- Let your emotions flow
- Imagine yourself in that place again
- Even if it hurts, revive your emotions and let them flow into your brain
- Now, stop right where your emotions are at their highest peak
- Open your eyes, and write down exactly what you felt reliving that moment
- What are the most vivid memories you have? What place or person do you recall the best?
If you review, pause, and write, it will be easier for you to identify the exact reasons behind your fears. Taking a look behind the curtain and understanding your own emotions and anxieties is crucial. That’s how we treat the causes, and not only the symptoms.
Educating yourself is truly important when it comes to your own safety, that’s why I am really glad that you are here. However, reading articles is not enough.
- Acknowledge the fact that the same situation might happen again
- Learn how to protect yourself and your family
- Stay confident in your own defense mechanisms
- Start taking self-defense classes
- Always wear a pocketknife/paralysis spray with you
Remember: Better safe than sorry! Always.
It’s truly important to recognize that we need help, whenever we do. Asking for therapy is not shameful, yet quite the opposite: it’s indeed very courageous. Taking about your problems with somebody else can be very challenging, especially when your experience has led to a burdensome trauma.
Reach out to the first person you trust, whether it’s a close friend, or a family member. If you don’t really trust anyone anymore, a psychologist is an even better option. They have worked with similar cases before, and they’ll know what type of support you need. And remember: if you feel uncomfortable, you can always leave.
In case of a shock, take your time to think about your next decisions, write down your emotions, understand your feelings, educate yourself on possible, future dangers, and reach out to a trustworthy person. It’s always good to know that somebody’s got your back.
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