How Equipped Can I Be?

Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 12:38 PM

I posted the following yesterday:

Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle
It's both sad and scary when you think of it this way: a city gal with mental health problems, including anxiety, is better equipped to handle a major disaster than the average American.

What I said got me thinking. Sure, when it comes to what's tangible, I'm better prepared than the man in the video with his "earthquake kit."

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=291893#Post291893

Sure, I can put on a brave face, take 1MG of Lorazepam (an anti-anxiety medication) and take down Goliath. Let's be realistic. If I have to take 1MG of Lorazepam to handle a road trip, what am I going to do when the population is injured and in a panic?

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: Russ

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 02:51 PM

Training... First define Goliath, and then learn and train to take him down. Train so that itís no longer stressful, just something that needs doing. ďI can do thing without LorazepamĒ...

For me the way to get through things I donít like is to put myself on auto-pilot and let training take control. There are some things I learned from my father that I really donít like doing ó plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry... donít think about it, just do it. No one has ever paid me for any of that, itís just something that needs to be done so I do it.

Sorta like taxes, hold my nose and do the paperwork; nothing to like, dislike or fear, just a necessary evil.

FWIW, probably < $.02
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 05:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Russ
Train so that itís no longer stressful, just something that needs doing.

What does stress have to do with anxiety?

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: Taurus

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle
Let's be realistic. If I have to take 1MG of Lorazepam to handle a road trip, what am I going to do when the population is injured and in a panic?

Jeanette Isabelle


Realistically?

When real life crisis hits you will do one of 2 things.

1. You will overcome your anxiety and do what needs to be done.

2. You wonít.

Donít mean to sound crass, but thatís the long and short of it all. If you canít handle normal every day life without serious limitations itís only bound to get a whole lot worse when things turn bad. All the gear and supplies in the world will be of no use if you are unable to face a bad situation mentally.

Something tells me you already know that though. I canít offer advice (far above my pay grade) but I hope you figure it out. Iíve a lot of friends struggling with similar issues and Iím greatful every day I donít.
Posted by: Russ

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 06:25 PM

If not stress, what triggers your anxiety?
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Russ
If not stress, what triggers your anxiety?

The major one: being in the car for an extended time. I feel trapped and have an overwhelming urge to get out, which would be a bad thing because it might cause a wreck.

I have a problem with my throat. If the muscles in that area get very tight, that will trigger an attack. Only medication will fix that.

Running out of something, such as lip balm, will send me into a panic. Therefore I make sure I have at least three of each product I routinely use.

I also have separation anxiety; fortunately, it's mild. I can treat it without medication. If I'm home alone for an extended time (three hours), I can drive to our gated community's main club where there's always people. I would be fine.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: gonewiththewind

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 09:46 PM

Ya, that is called stress
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 11:33 PM

Driving on S.H. 200 (College Rd.) would give anyone stress. How would being home alone for three hours or running out of lip balm cause stress?

Edit: I looked up the medical definitions of stress and anxiety. The descriptions are similar though the anxiety definition puts more emphasis on panic.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/13/19 11:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Taurus
All the gear and supplies in the world will be of no use if you are unable to face a bad situation mentally.

Here is where I disagree. Having the right supplies provides a level of comfort. Knowing I have them at my disposal does offer some relief.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: gonewiththewind

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 01:09 AM

Anxiety disorder is feeling stress for reasons that do not normally cause stress in others. You are stressed about things, and catastrophize causing the panic.
Posted by: EMPnotImplyNuclear

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 01:12 AM

Hi,
Yo yos?
Fidget spinners?
Knot bracelet?
Sudoku?
2 inch toys (army men among others)?
Humming? Singing? Haiku?
Dancing? Tai chi?
Hugs?
Pets?
Touch?

A fundamental shift in fundamental beliefs/studies ? Ppretend its not denial and believe/study something else that isnt anxiety manual about anxiety ?

Cognitive_behavioral_therapy#Anxiety_disorders ... ??
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 01:32 AM

Originally Posted By: EMPnotImplyNuclear
A fundamental shift in fundamental beliefs/studies ? Ppretend its not denial and believe/study something else that isnt anxiety manual about anxiety ?

I'm not sure I know what you mean by this.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: Herman30

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 05:03 AM

Jeanette; I think EMP means that (from what you have told) because of your religious belief you are expecting somekind of end of world scenario and that might be a cause for your anxiety.

I, myself, is an atheist and an end of world scenario could not bother me less because that I cannot do anything about.
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 01:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Herman30
Jeanette; I think EMP means that (from what you have told) because of your religious belief you are expecting somekind of end of world scenario and that might be a cause for your anxiety.

I have my doubts about that because I experienced mental health problems even before my belief regarding end times have radically changed.

Originally Posted By: Herman30
I, myself, is an atheist and an end of world scenario could not bother me less because that I cannot do anything about.

I believe I can do something about it. After all, I don't want to die of starvation.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: GoatRider

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 02:37 PM

I just saw a great video by the astronaut Chris Hadfield, "What I learned from going blind in space":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo62S0ulqhA

Being in space is incredibly stressful. To overcome their fear, they train train train train, so that when something happens, it's not new, and they know what to do reflexively. It also has an element of what psychologists call "flooding", where you expose yourself to what you're afraid of until you realize that there's nothing to be afraid of.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: GoatRider
Being in space is incredibly stressful. To overcome their fear, they train train train train, so that when something happens, it's not new, and they know what to do reflexively. It also has an element of what psychologists call "flooding", where you expose yourself to what you're afraid of until you realize that there's nothing to be afraid of.


I've had some training in "stress inoculation" where students are put into realistically simulated stressful situations, and trained on what to do. However, it's worth noting clearly that I've never had any astronaut training grin.

It isn't clear to me that stress inoculation would be a good idea for someone with an anxiety disorder. That sounds like a question for a professional.
Posted by: GoatRider

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
It isn't clear to me that stress inoculation would be a good idea for someone with an anxiety disorder. That sounds like a question for a professional.


Agreed. Don't try this at home, kids. Get a cognitive behavioral therapist.

I have a bit of an anxiety problem, but it's not disabling, so it's not a disorder. Some anxiety is a good thing- it keeps me focused. It only becomes a problem for me when it causes insomnia. With the help of a therapist, I've learned to put boundaries between what causes anxiety and bedtime. Training in things that cause me anxiety definitely helps.
Posted by: gonewiththewind

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 04:43 PM

Anxiety can be caused by many things, but it usually results in physical changes to the amygdala, which makes you much more sensitive to stress. There are behavioral therapies that can help. they do take some effort and discomfort, but have a good track record. Medication can assist in controlling the anxious reactions, or make you less sensitive to stress stimuli, which can help you focus on the therapy. Medicine will not fix it, only assist in control.
Posted by: Russ

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 05:09 PM

I hadnít heard it referred to by the term Stress Inoculation , but there it is...
Quote:
Stress inoculation is a type of therapy in which the client is exposed to stress in a controlled and measured way in order to increase their "psychological resilience" against stressors. This type of cognitive-behavioral therapy is intended to help with the consequences of previous stress and also 'inoculate' against future stressors. The client is exposed to stressors in a therapeutic and highly controlled setting in which they learn adaptive strategies for dealing with the situation in the future. It is used before major stressful events like major surgery and military combat scenarios. Physical or psychological illnesses, divorce, rape, and PTSD are other situations in which stress inoculation therapy can be helpful.


FWIW, Anxiety is mentioned in the pdf at: Stress Inoculation Training
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 06:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Russ
I hadnít heard it referred to by the term Stress Inoculation , but there it is...


I've only seen this term previously with regard to combatives training, not anxiety or any kind of therapy.
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 07:30 PM

There is a lack of mental health care professionals in Northcentral Florida. I have no choice than to go to a county-run mental health clinic. I did see a therapist; that was counterproductive. I have to take 1MG of Lorazepam to go to the clinic and the sessions offered no benefit.

I am aware of cognitive therapy; if I can't even find a regular therapist, how am I supposed to find one who has studied the art of cognitive therapy?

I did have a mental health problem even when I lived in Dallas; I knew how to cope and worked at a job. The job did not pay much; it had an excellent benefits package. When I moved to the sunshine state, I got worse.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: gonewiththewind

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/14/19 08:02 PM

Do you read?

Rewire your Anxious Brain

It is a good book and based on good science.
Posted by: pforeman

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/15/19 11:55 PM

The very good thing about all this is you are thinking about it and actively planning, working and trying to deal with the issue. With that, I'll kick in my two cents...

The whole Stress Inoculation thing I work with when I'm dealing with rookies that have no useful background and now have to deal with "incarcerated Individuals" other wise know as 'prison inmates'. Also - it's never enough. You run them through some training, spray them with OC and make them cuff a person, drag a dummy across the room, find the phone/radio on the table and call in the situation all in an effort to give them the confidence that they really can do it and survive even when hurt, scared and pepper sprayed themselves. Then we make them do it again. We are also hard about making them do it "right" as what you do in training you do when you need it. You will do what you've done.

That may not be any help but, I think you are on the right track to explore ways to mitigate the impact your anxiety will cause and trying to figure out a way to 'fight through it' when you have to.

The space program and test pilots are all famous for being calm when the wings fall off - "uh, Huston, we have a problem" and they got that way by training so hard that they could control the natural fear and anxiety that situations produced so they could work the problem and be anxious later. That will take someone special to help you with that, I'm afraid but do try to find that person / resource and work the problem. Good Luck too!

Paul -
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/16/19 05:05 PM

One more thought to add. "Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong." Another version of it is that "You won't rise to the occasion, you will sink to the level of your training."

I don't have time to train to the "professional" level on everything I'd like to, that's for sure. But I am trained to the "professional" level on some things, and it helps. Knowing deep in your bones that you can handle one set of adverse circumstance may be of help if you are facing something you're not as well trained for.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: How Equipped Can I Be? - 03/16/19 10:33 PM

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet

I don't have time to train to the "professional" level on everything I'd like to, that's for sure. But I am trained to the "professional" level on some things, and it helps. Knowing deep in your bones that you can handle one set of adverse circumstance may be of help if you are facing something you're not as well trained for.


If you experience stressful situations, you will become better at dealing with that condition. I am sure I can be overwhelmed i the stress is great enough, my ability to function under stress has been helped considerably by extensive participation in volunteer search and rescue.

We could be called at unpredictable times, 24/7, although the probability of an operation was high on a late Sunday afternoon, especially if the weather was good. Operations varied in length from five minutes to more than two weeks. Participation was voluntary; one responded, if possible, but we all had real world commitments which sometimes interfered.

I learned a lot about effective cooperation, often, but not always, in a stressful environment, and about putting forth your best effort, often relying upon other members of the team to also do their best.

There is always a lot o discussion about what to put in a "bug out bag," and when i tune into those threads, I realize that I had been maintaining a BOB for many years. Packed with enough to keep me going unsupported for three days, with an extensive FAK and basic technical climbing gear, all adjusted for the variable seasons found in southern Arizona (One of my colleagues famously remarked that in summer our packs consisted of little more than giant water bottles). Today I have received CERT training, and a similar bag is packed and ready to go. I am older and slower now, and just a tad bit rusty, but if needed I expect the old habits to rise to the occasion.