Episode 335 S11-11
How to Emotionally Conquer the Apocolypse
Changing Earth Audio Drama Ep 11
A life of service has left guest Brian Duff, host of Mind for Survival, with a plethora of repressed trauma. We can all learn to be more emotionally prepared for difficult times ahead through his story of emotional training.
PTSD is something that develops over a lifetime. Historically our social system has repressed the recognition of emotions and the processing of traumatic experiences. American society went through difficult times in the early 1900s. America fought World War I, then was sickened with the Spanish Flu, and then fought WWII. There were a lot of men with unprocessed emotional experiences walking around. They dressed up in suits (like their military uniform) to become part of a fraternal organization like the masons or Lyon’s club. Dad’s came home from work and escaped into cocktails. Women started taking drugs like Vallum to make it through the day. Then their children entered the sixties and went nuts.
Learning how to cope with emotions and process them so they can’t control you is the key to a healthy emotional status. Children should learn about how their brains make them think and recognize feelings to develop these essential skills at a young age.
Brian is not medically trained but twelve years overseas working for various organizations from the State Department to Blackwater left him with a myriad of unprocessed stressful memories. It all began to catch up with him, and after a couple of trips to the hospital, he found out his head was mixed up, not his body. Brian could no longer manage the anxiety, and his brain seized into a blob of frozen concrete, dealing with the overwhelming sense of fear. Like many of his friends he went into combat scenarios with, he just wanted it to end and contemplated taking his own life to achieve that goal. After two years of counseling, Brian is back in control and focused on turning his weakness into his strength and teaching others to do the same.
It’s not only combat veterans that experience PTSD. Whether you have seen a battle, been attacked on the street, or experienced traumatic family issues, your chances of carrying around these unprocessed memories are the same. You may try to downplay your experiences by comparing them to the experiences of others and thinking, “what I went through isn’t as bad as that.” However, trauma is trauma. Researchers found that 10%-20% of vets returning from overseas developed PTSD. If everyone experiences stress in life, 10% - 20% of the population in every country of the world has PTSD.
In the brain, the prefrontal cortex controls your ability to think logically. The medulla oblongata is the primal brain that controls emotions. The emotional brain responds to threats to survive. It shuts off logic so you can react without thought getting in the way. You may not have time to calculate.
Eventually, the prefrontal cortex shuts down the medulla oblongata so you can calm down and think.
Memories are usually processed and stored away in a file in a back room in your brain. If called upon, the memory is there, but it is no longer active. However, PTSD causes those memories to stay active, swirling around to instantly warn you oncoming danger, even if that danger doesn’t exist. Repeated trauma adds more and more into the mix until they are uncontrollable. The unprocessed memories cause the subconscious to react, and it doesn’t understand time or place. The active memories tell the body that it needs to respond right now.
For example, if you were out on a seventy-five-degree day and a pigeon flew by, then a red car passed by, and then trauma happened, ten years later when it’s a seventy-five-degree day, a pigeon flies by, and then a red car passes by. The active memory puts your body on high alert for no reason.
These unprocessed traumatic memories tell you there’s bad stuff around you all the time. Your body reacts, becoming anxious, and then the brain freezes. Learning to identify the energy when it hits is the key to getting control of your brain again.
If you are struggling with PTSD or alcohol, Brian strongly recommends the Deer Hollow Recovery Center.
Preppers are preparing for the worst and should be prepared to cope with PTSD as well. There will be no shortage of traumatic experiences in a potential collapse scenario. If you practice recognizing when your subconscious starts to ramp you up, you can learn to control the primal responses. However, if left unmanaged, the prefrontal cortex can permanently lose the ability to stop the medulla oblongata.
All of us deal with problems. However, you are the only one that can control your emotions. Despite the signals, you can control them if you know how to recognize them. Every time you notice yourself feeling anxious, focus on the feeling. Learn what you first felt that led to the emotion. For example, if your child runs out in the street, you are calm the first time you call. Then you get more anxious on the second call. By the third, you may be cursing and yelling. Why is that? It’s because you are afraid something terrible might happen to the child. Learn to feel the feeling.
This emotional training can exponentially increase your situational awareness. You are no longer seeing things. You are feeling things. Practice in traffic. Recognize when you are starting to get the sensations that cause you to get agitated. Think about the person in the other vehicle. They are probably a decent person just trying to make their way through the day as well. This thought process helps you rationalize the experience and calm yourself. Congratulate yourself for recognizing the emotion and managing it before it gets out of hand. If you can learn to realize that subconscious message, you can analyze whether there is a serious threat or not faster.
The most important part of the OODA Loop is the observation and orientation. This is the raw data. We tarnish the raw data with a personal perspective during the decision and action phase. We all perceive data differently, but if you can recognize the data versus the perspective, you can decipher reality from beliefs.
Understand that you are biased and challenge yourself to see things differently. Try to understand why it is people do what they do. If you can look at what is going on and really question the raw data, you can determine fiction from facts and lies from reliable information. The great strategist John Boyd also wrote a paper titled Destruction and Creation. He suggests taking everything and breaking it down into pieces. Then take everything someone else suggests and break it down into pieces. Then you can choose what pieces are best with minimum bias influencing your decision.
Call BS on yourself. Ask yourself if you are wrong. If you are wrong, how does that change the picture? To unite as a United Nation once again, we have to start empathizing with one another. Use the scientific method to put your theory under constant scrutiny. This will help you develop more confidence in your decision, allow you to think outside of your box, and examine your problem from all angles.
You know if you are being stubborn, headstrong, and overreacting. You allow yourself to do that. Life is 10% circumstance and 90% reaction.
The Changing Earth Series
Brian Duff is the go to resource for concerned people who want to improve their safety, security and preparedness. He is a proud former Army Ranger, Paramedic, Firefighter, High Threat Security Specialist and International Security Director who has served and protected people around the globe for decades.
When he’s not working to help others, he can be found in the garage, tinkering away, out on the hiking trail, or meeting up with friends and occasionally trying to find the end of the Internet. Make the choice, take a look at Brian’s virtual home, Mind4Survival.com and set yourself up to overcome and survive any difficult situation.