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Big Daddy
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:02 pm  Reply with quote

Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 556
Location: Fiddler´s Green

Hi there my bunker mates!

Thanks to our dear Peter, I have been watching the excelent TV show SURVIVORS, and setting aside the survival aspects briefly showed on it (which i will love to talk about on another post) I ´ve never realized in a deep manner the dynamics of both sides of the coin: the total almost "i´m legend" kind of isolation or the day-to-day coexistence with another confined survivors on a post-apocalyptic world.

I´ve been reading for some time on many forums, blogs, etc., the never ending debate about going solo or joining a survival community when the undead menace strikes.

Both of them, indeed, have important advantages but neither of them can be fully enjoyable if we don´t count in the common origin for success, it´s not on our equipment, nor on our knowledge of survival techinques, but simply on our behaviour, our mind set. How many times we have seen on movies a perfect survival hide out going to hell because of unstable individuals? even not so long ago, Peter posted on zombi.blogia a bit of this thought on the brilliant "El yo y el otro tras el Apocalipsis".

The text i present you next , talks about the loss of control in a survival situation, expose the effects and causes to stress, fear, panic, isolation, and another psychological reactions, hopiong we can recognize and control.

So, the more we rely on a fortified, impregnable, sealed bunker with all the comodities, if we don´t have the things well put together in our heads, the less it´s gonna be for some help. All depends on us.


Sorry but it´s a large text, hope you don´t get bored in the process.



TASKS: 9103.01-0002, Maintain Physical Capability to Survive. 9103.01-0003, Adopt the Code of Conduct as a Behavior Guide For Survival.

OBJECTIVE: You will be able to describe the psychological aspects of survival to include contributing factors, emotional reactions, and the will to survive.


a. Aircrew members in a survival situation must recognize that coping with the psychological aspects of survival are at least as important as handling the environmental factors. In virtually any survival situation, the aircrew will be in an environment that can support human life. The survivors' problems are compounded because they never really expected to bail out or crash-land in the jungle, over the ocean, or anywhere. No matter how well prepared, aircrews probably will never completely convince themselves that it can happen to them. However, records show it can happen. Before aircrew members learn about the physical aspects of survival, they must first understand that psychological problems may occur and that solutions must be found if the survival situation is to reach a successful conclusion.

b. Survivors may depend more on their emotional reactions to a situation than on weather, terrain, the enemy, nature of the in-flight emergency, and so forth. Whether they will panic from fear or use fear as a stimulant for greater sharpness depends more on the survivor's reactions to the situation than on the situation. Some of the most common reactions to stress are discussed in section II.

c. All psychological factors may be overcome by survivors if they can recognize the problem, work out alternative solutions, decide on an appropriate course of action, take action, and evaluate the results. Perhaps the most difficult step is deciding on an appropriate course of action. Survivors may face either one or several psychological problems.
Psychological problems are quite dangerous and must be effectively controlled or countered for survival to continue.

d. Survivors do not choose or welcome their fate and would escape it if they could. They are trapped in a world of seemingly total domination—a world hostile to life and any sign of dignity or resistance. The survival mission is not an easy one, but it is one in which success can be achieved. Certain concepts and ideas can help an aircrew member return. Having the will to survive is what it's all about.



a. Emotional aspects associated with survival must be completely understood just as survival conditions and equipment. An important factor bearing on success or failure in a survival situation is the individual's psychological state. Maintaining an even outlook depends on the individual's ability to cope with many factors. Some factors include—
(1) Understanding how various physiological and emotional signs, feelings, and expressions affect bodily needs and mental attitude.

Managing physical and emotional reactions to stressful situations.

(3) Knowing individual psychological and physical tolerance limits.

(4) Exerting a positive influence on companions.

b. Everyone's biological mechanisms aid in adapting to stress. Bodily changes resulting from fear and anger tend to increase alertness and provide extra energy to either run away or fight. These and other mechanisms can hinder a person under survival conditions. For instance, a survivor in a raft could cast aside reason and drink sea water to quench a thirst, or evaders in enemy territory, driven by hunger pangs, could expose themselves to capture when searching for food. These examples illustrate how normal reactions to stress could create problems for a survivor.

c. Two of the gravest threats to successful survival are concessions to comfort and apathy. These represent attitudes that must be avoided. To survive, a person must focus planning and effort on fundamental needs.
(1) Comfort. Many people consider comfort their greatest need, yet it is not essential to human survival. Survivors must value life more than comfort and be willing to tolerate heat, dirt, pain, hunger, itching, and any other discomfort. Recognizing discomfort as temporary helps survivors concentrate on effective action.

(2) Apathy. As the will to keep trying lessens, drowsiness, mental numbness, and indifference result in apathy. This usually builds slowly, but ultimately it takes over and leaves a survivor helpless. Physical factors also contribute to apathy. Fatigue, weakness, injury, loss of body fluids (dehydration), or exhaustion from prolonged exposure to the elements are all conditions that can contribute to apathy. Proper planning and sound decisions can help a survivor avoid these conditions. Finally, survivors must watch for signs of apathy in their companions and help prevent it. Signs of impending apathy include quietness, resignation, lack of communication, loss of appetite, and withdrawal from the group. Preventive measures include activity and maintaining group morale by planning and getting the organized participation of all members.

d. Many common stresses cause reactions that can be recognized and dealt with appropriately in survival situations. A survivor must understand that stresses and reactions often occur at the same time. Although survivors face many stresses, the following common stresses occur in virtually all survival situations: pain, hunger, fatigue, frustration, depression, cold and heat, isolation, insecurity, sleep deprivation, loss of self-esteem, thirst and dehydration, and loss of self-determination.


Pain, like fever, is a warning signal calling attention to an injury or damage to some part of the body. It is discomforting but is not, in itself, harmful or dangerous. Pain can be controlled, and in an extremely grave situation, survival must take priority over giving in to pain.

b. The biological function of pain is to protect an injured part by warning the individual to rest it or avoid using it. In a survival situation, normal pain warnings may have to be ignored in order to meet more critical needs. People have been known to complete a fight with a fractured hand, to run on a fractured or sprained ankle, to land an aircraft despite severely burned hands, and to ignore pain during periods of intense concentration and determined effort. Concentration and intense effort can actually stop or reduce the feeling of pain.

c. A survivor must understand the following facts about pain. Despite pain, a survivor can move in order to live. Pain can be reduced by understanding its source and nature; recognizing it as a discomfort to be tolerated; concentrating on necessities, such as thinking, planning, and keeping busy; and developing confidence and self-respect. When personal goals (maintaining life, honor, and returning) are valued highly enough, a survivor can tolerate almost anything.


The lack of water and its accompanying problems of thirst and dehydration are among the most critical problems facing survivors. Thirst, like fear and pain, can be tolerated if the will to carry on, supported by calm, purposeful activity, is strong. Although thirst indicates the body's need for water, it does not indicate how much. If a person drinks only enough to satisfy his thirst, it is still possible to slowly dehydrate. Preventing thirst and the more debilitating dehydration is possible if survivors drink plenty of water any time it is available, especially when eating.

b. When the body's water balance is not maintained, thirst and discomfort result. Ultimately, a water imbalance results in dehydration and death. The need for water will increase if the person is sick, is fearful, or expends a great deal of energy.

c. Dehydration decreases the body's efficiency or ability to function. Minor degrees of dehydration may not have a noticeable affect on a survivor's performance, but as it becomes more severe, body functions become increasingly impaired. Slight dehydration and thirst can also cause irrational behavior. One survivor described it as follows: “The next thing I remember was being awakened by an unforgettable sensation of thirst. I began to move about aimlessly and finally found a pool of water."

"We finally found water. In the water were two dead deer with horns locked.
We went down to the water and drank away. It was the best damned drink of water I ever had in my life. I didn't taste the stench of the deer at all." While prevention is the best way to avoid dehydration, virtually any degree is reversible simply by drinking water.


The normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). People are known to have survived with body temperatures 20°F below normal, and up to 8°F above normal. Any deviation, even as little as 1 or 2 degrees, reduces efficiency.

a. Cold, serious stress even in mild degrees, lowers efficiency. Extreme cold numbs the mind and dulls the will to do anything except get warm. Cold numbs the body by lowering the flow of blood to the extremities; this results in sleepiness. Survivors have endured prolonged cold and dampness through food, shelter, exercise, and proper hygienic procedures. When flying in cold weather areas, wearing proper clothing and having the proper climatic survival equipment are essential to enhance survivability. One survivor described cold and its effect in this manner.

"Because of the cold water, my energy was going rapidly and all I could do was to hook my left arm over one side of the raft, hang on, and watch the low flying planes as they buzzed me. . . . As time progressed, the numbing increased . . . and even seemed to impair my thinking."

Another survivor remembered survival training and acted accordingly.

"About this time, my feet began getting cold. I remembered part of the briefing I had received about feet freezing, so I immediately took action. I thought about my shoes and, with my jack knife, cut off the bottom of my Mark II immersion suit and put them over my shoes. My feet immediately felt warmer, and the rubber feet of the immersion suit kept the soles of my shoes dry."

b. Just as numbness is the principal symptom of cold, weakness is the principal symptom of heat. Most people can adjust to high temperatures, whether in the hold of a ship or in a harvest field on the Kansas prairie. It may take from two days to a week before circulation, breathing, heart action, and sweat glands are all adjusted to a hot climate. Beat stress also accentuates dehydration. In addition to the problem of water, there are many other sources of discomfort and impaired efficiency directly attributable to heat or environmental conditions in hot climates. Extreme temperature changes, from extremely hot days to very cold nights, are experienced in desert and plains areas. Proper use of clothing and shelters can decrease the adverse effects of such extremes.

c. Bright sun has a tremendous effect on the eyes and exposed skin. Dark glasses or improvised eye protectors are required when confronted with direct sunlight or rays reflecting off the terrain. Previous sun-tanning provides little protection; protective clothing is important.

d. Blowing wind, in hot summer, has been reported to get on some survivors' nerves. Wind constitutes an additional source of discomfort and difficulty in desert areas when it carriers particles of sand and dirt. Protection against sand and dirt can be provided by cutting small slits in a piece of cloth for vision and tying it around the head.

e. Acute fear has been experienced among survivors in sandstorms and snowstorms. This results from the terrific impact of the storm and its obliteration of landmarks showing direction of travel. Finding or improving a shelter for protection from the storm itself is important.

f. Loss of moisture, drying of the mouth and mucous membranes, and accelerated dehydration can be caused by talking or breathing through the mouth. Survivors must learn to keep their mouths shut in desert winds and cold weather.

g. Mirages and illusions of many kinds are common in desert areas. These illusions not only distort visual perception but sometimes account for serious incidents. In the desert, distances are usually greater than they appear, and under certain conditions, mirages obstruct accurate vision. Inverted reflections are common occurrences.


A considerable amount of edible material (which survivors may not initially regard as food) may be available under survival conditions. Hunger and semistarvation are more commonly experienced among survivors than thirst and dehydration. Research has revealed no evidence of permanent damage nor any decrease in mental efficiency from short periods of total fasting.

a. Frequently, in the excitement of some survival, evasion, and escape episodes, hunger is forgotten. Survivors have gone for considerable lengths of time without food or awareness of hunger pains. Make every effort to procure and consume food to reduce the stresses brought on by food deprivation. The physical and psychological effects described are reversed when food and a protective environment are restored. Returning to normal is slow, and the time necessary for the return increases with the severity of starvation. If food deprivation is complete and only water is ingested, hunger pangs disappear in a few days; even then depression and irritability occur. The individual tendency is still to search for food to prevent starvation. Such efforts might continue as long as strength and self-control permit. When the food supply is limited, even strong friendships are threatened.

b. Food aversion may result in hunger. Adverse group opinion may discourage those who might try foods unfamiliar to them. In some groups, the barrier would be broken by someone eating the particular food rather than starving. The solitary individual has only personal prejudices to overcome and often tries strange foods.

c. Controlling hunger during a survival situation is relatively easy if you can adjust to discomfort and adapt to primitive conditions. The following person would rather survive than be fussy.


Frustration occurs when a person's efforts are stopped either by obstacles blocking progress toward a goal or by not having a realistic goal. It also occurs if the feeling of self-worth or self-respect is lost.

b. A wide range of environmental and internal obstacles can lead to frustration. This often creates anger and is accompanied by a tendency to attack and remove the obstacles to goals. Frustration must be controlled by channeling energies into a positive and worthwhile obtainable goal. The survivor should complete the easier tasks before attempting more challenging ones. This relieves frustration and instills self-confidence.


In a survival situation, a survivor must continually cope with fatigue and avoid the accompanying strain and loss of efficiency. A survivor must be aware of the dangers of overexertion. In many cases, a survivor may already be experiencing strain and reduced efficiency as a result of other stresses. A survivor must judge his capacity to walk, carry, lift, or do necessary work, and plan and act accordingly. During an emergency, considerable exertion may be necessary to cope with the situation. If an individual understands fatigue and the attitudes and feelings generated by various kinds of effort, that individual should be able to call on available energy reserves when needed.

a. A survivor must avoid complete exhaustion; complete exhaustion may lead to physical and psychological changes. A survivor should be able to distinguish between exhaustion and being uncomfortably tired. Although a person should avoid working to complete exhaustion, in emergencies certain tasks must be done in spite of fatigue.
(1) Rest, a basic factor in recovering from fatigue, is also important in resisting further fatigue. Rest (following fatiguing effort) is essential and must be sufficient to permit complete recovery; otherwise, residual fatigue accumulates and longer rest periods are necessary to recover. During the early stages of fatigue, proper rest provides rapid recovery of muscular and mental fatigue. Sleep is the most complete form of rest available and is basic to recover from fatigue.

(2) Short rest breaks, during periods of extended stress, can improve total output. Rest breaks provide opportunities for partial recovery from fatigue and help reduce energy expenditure. They also increase efficiency by enabling a person to take maximum advantage of planned rest. Boredom is relieved by breaking up the uniformity and monotony of the tasks. As a result, rest periods increase morale and motivation.

(3) Survivors should rest before output starts declining. If rest breaks are longer, fewer may be required. When efforts are highly strenuous or monotonous, rest breaks should be more frequent. Those that provide relaxation are the most effective. In mental work, mild exercise may be more relaxing. When work is monotonous, changes in activity, conversation, and humor are effective relaxants. In deciding on the amount and frequency of rest periods, the loss of efficiency resulting from longer hours of effort must be weighed against the absolute requirements of the survival situation.

(4) Fatigue can be reduced by working "smarter." Practical ways include adjusting the pace of the effort (balancing the load, rate, and time period) and adjusting the technique of work. Walking at a normal rate is a more economical effort than fast walking. The way in which work is done has a great bearing on reducing fatigue. Economy of effort is most important. Rhythmic movements suited to the task are best.

(5) Cooperation, mutual group support, and competent leadership are important factors in maintaining group morale and efficiency. This reduces stress and fatigue. A survivor usually feels tired and weary before the physiological limit is reached. Feeling fatigued involves not only the physical reaction to effort, but also subtle changes in attitudes and motivation. Remember, a person has energy reserves to cope with an important emergency even when feeling very tired.

b. As in other stresses, even a moderate amount of fatigue reduces efficiency. To control fatigue, it is wise to observe a program of periodic rest. Because of the main objective--to establish contact with friendly forces--survivors may overestimate their strength and risk exhaustion. On the other hand, neither an isolated individual nor a group leader should underestimate the capacity of the individual or group on the basis of fatigue. The only sound basis for judgment must be gained from training and past experience. In training, a person should form an opinion of individual capacity based on actual experience. Likewise, a group leader must form an opinion of the capacities of fellow aircrew members. The group quoted below didn't think.

"By nightfall, we were completely bushed. . . . We decided to wrap ourselves in the chute instead of making a shelter. We were too tired even to build a fire. We just cut some pine boughs, rolled ourselves in the nylon and went to sleep . . . and so, of course, it rained, and not lightly. We stood it until we were soaked, and then we struggled out and made a shelter. Since it was pitch dark, we didn't get the sags out of the canopy, so the water didn't all run off. A lot of it came through. Our hip and leg joints ached as though we had acute rheumatism. Being wet and cold accentuated the pain. We changed positions every ten minutes, after gritting our teeth to stay put that long."


The effects of sleep loss are closely related to those of fatigue. Sleeping at unaccustomed times, under strange circumstances, or missing part or all of the accustomed amount of sleep cause a person to react by feeling weary, irritable, and emotionally tense and losing some efficiency. The extent of an individual's reaction depends on the amount of disturbance and other stress factors that may be present.

a. Strong motivation is one of the principal factors in helping to compensate for the impairing effects of sleep loss. Superior physical and mental conditioning, opportunities to rest, food and water, and companions help endure sleep deprivation. If a person is in reasonably good physical and mental condition, sleep deprivation can be endured five days or more without damage, although efficiency during the latter stages may be poor. A person must learn to get as much sleep and rest as possible. Restorative effects of sleep are felt even after catnaps. In some instances, survivors may need to stay awake. Movement, eating, drinking, activity, and conversation are ways a person can stimulate the body to stay awake.

b. When one is deprived of sleep, sleepiness usually comes in waves. A person may suddenly be sleepy immediately after feeling wide awake. The feeling soon passes, and the person is wide awake again until the next wave appears. As the duration of sleep deprivation increases, periods between waves of sleepiness become shorter. The need to sleep may be so strong after a long deprivation period that one becomes desperate and does careless or dangerous things in order to escape this stress.


Among the most severe survival stresses during isolation are when survivors experience loneliness, helplessness, and despair. People often take their associations with family, friends, military colleagues, and others for granted. Survivors soon begin to miss the daily interaction with others. These, like other stresses, can be conquered. Isolation can be controlled and overcome by knowledge, understanding, deliberate countermeasures, and a determined will to resist it .


Insecurity is the feeling of helplessness or inadequacy resulting from varied stresses and anxieties. These anxieties may be caused by uncertainty regarding individual goals, abilities, and the future. Feelings of insecurity may have widely different effects on your behavior. You should establish goals that are challenging yet attainable. The better you feel about your abilities to achieve goals and adequately meet personal needs, the less you feel insecure.


Loss of self-esteem may occur in captivity. Self-esteem is the state or quality of having personal self-respect and pride. Lack or loss of self esteem in survivors may bring on depression and a change in perspective and goals. Humiliation and other factors brought on by the captor may cause the survivors to doubt their worth. Humiliation comes from the feeling of losing pride or self-respect by being disgraced or dishonored and is associated with the loss of self-esteem. Prisoners of war (PWs) must maintain their pride. They must not become ashamed because they are PWs or because of the things that happen to them as a result of being a PW. Survivors who lose face (personally and with the enemy) become more vulnerable to captor exploitation attempts. To solve this problem, survivors should try to maintain a proper perspective about the situation and themselves. Their feelings of self-worth may be bolstered if they recall the implied commitment in the Code of Conduct--PWs will not be forgotten.


A self-determined person is relatively free from external controls or influences over his actions. In everyday society, these controls and influences are the laws and customs of society and of the self-imposed elements of our personalities. In a survival situation, the controls and influences can be very different. Survivors may feel as if events, circumstances, and in some cases other people are in control of the situation. Some factors that may cause individuals to feel they have lost the power of self-determination are a harsh captor, captivity, bad weather, or rescue forces that make time or movement demands. This lack of self-determination is more perceived than actual. Survivors must decide how unpleasant factors will be allowed to affect their mental state. They must have the self-confidence, fostered by experience and training, to live with their feelings and decisions. They also must have the self-confidence to accept responsibility for the way they feel and how they let those feelings affect them.


As a survivor, depression is the biggest psychological problem that has to be conquered. It should be acknowledged that everyone has mental highs and lows. People experiencing long periods of sadness or other negative feelings are suffering from depression. A normal mood associated with the grief, sadness, disappointment, or loneliness that everyone experiences at times is also depression. Most of the emotional changes in mood are temporary and do not become chronic. Depressed survivors may feel fearful, guilty, or helpless. They may lose interest in basic life needs. Many cases involve pain, fatigue, appetite loss, or other physical ailments. Some depressed survivors try to injure or kill themselves.

a. Psychiatrists have several theories as to the cause of depression. Some feel a person who, in everyday life and under normal conditions, experiences many periods of depression would probably have a difficult time in a survival situation. Depression is a most difficult problem because it can affect a wide range of psychological responses. The factors can become mutually reinforcing. EXAMPLE: Fatigue may lead to depression, depression may increase the feeling of fatigue, fatigue leads to deeper depression, and so on.

b. Depression usually begins after a survivor has met the basic needs for sustaining life (water, shelter, and food). Once these basic needs are met, there is often too much time for that person to dwell on the past, the present predicament, and future problems. The survivor must be aware of the necessity to keep the mind and body active to eliminate the feeling of depression. One way to keep busy (daily) is by checking and improving shelters, signals, and food.


15. FEAR

Fear can either save a life or cost a life. Some people are at their best when scared. Many downed fliers, faced with survival emergencies, have been surprised at how well they remembered their training, how quickly they could think and react, and how much strength they had. The experience gave them new confidence. On the other hand, some become paralyzed when faced with the simplest survival situation. Some have been able to snap themselves out of it before it was too late. In other cases, a fellow aircrew member was on hand to assist. However, others have not been so fortunate and are not listed among the survivors!

A person's reaction to fear depends more on the individual than the situation. This has been demonstrated in actual survival situations and in laboratory experiments. It isn't always the physically strong or happy-golucky people who handle fear most effectively. Timid and anxious people have met emergencies with remarkable coolness and strength.

b. Anyone who faces life-threatening emergencies experiences fear. Fear is conscious when it results from a recognized situation (an immediate prospect of bailout) or when experienced as apprehension of impending disaster. Fear also occurs at a subconscious level and creates feelings of worry, depression, uneasiness, or general discomfort. Fear may vary widely in duration, intensity, and frequency and may affect behavior across the spectrum from mild uneasiness to complete disorganization and panic. People have many fears. Some are learned through personal experiences, and others are deliberately taught to them. Fear in children is directed through negative learning, such as being afraid of the dark, noise, animals, or teachers. These fears may control behavior; a survivor may react to feelings and imagination rather than to the problem.

c. When fantasy distorts a moderate danger into a major catastrophe, or vice versa, behavior can become abnormal. There is a general tendency to underestimate. This leads to reckless, foolhardy behavior. An effective method of controlling fear is to deny that it exists. No sharp lines are between recklessness and bravery. Behavior must be checked constantly to maintain proper control.

d. In those who are afraid. However, they may also appear in circumstances other than fear.

e. Throughout military history, many people have coped successfully with the most strenuous odds. In adapting to fear, they found support in previous training and experience. There is no limit to human control of fear. Survivors must control fear and not run away from it. Appropriate actions should be to understand fear, admit it exists, and accept fear as reality.

f. Training can help survivors recognize what individual reactions may be. Prior training should assist survivors in learning to think, plan, and act logically, even when afraid.

g. Every person has goals and desires. The greatest values exercise the greatest influence. Because of strong moral, religious, or patriotic values, people have been known to face torture and death calmly rather than reveal information or compromise a principle. Fear, a normal reaction to danger, can kill or save lives. By understanding and controlling fear through training, knowledge, and effective group action, fear can be


a. Anxiety is a universal human reaction. Its presence can be felt when changes occur that affect an individual's plans, safety, or methods of living. Anxiety and fear differ mainly in intensity. Anxiety is a milder reaction and specific causes may not be readily apparent; whereas, fear is a strong reaction to a specific, known cause. Anxieties are generally felt when individuals perceive something bad is about to happen. A common description of anxiety is butterflies in the stomach. Anxiety creates feelings of uneasiness, general discomfort, worry, or depression. Common characteristics of anxiety are resentment, indecision, fear of the future, and a feeling of helplessness.

b. To overcome anxiety, the individual must adopt a simple plan. It is essential that you keep your mind off of your injuries and do something constructive. For instance, one PW tried to teach English to the Chinese and to learn Chinese from them.


In the face of danger, a person may panic or freeze and cease to function in an-organized manner. He may have no conscious control over individual actions. Uncontrollable, irrational behavior is common in emergency situations. Anybody can panic, but one may go to pieces more easily than another. Panic is brought on by a sudden overwhelming fear and often can spread quickly. Every effort must be made to bolster morale and calm the panic with leadership and discipline. Panic and fear have the same signs and should be controlled in the same manner. The survivor below allowed pain to panic him.

"His parachute caught in the tree, and he found himself suspended about 5 feet above the ground . .. one leg strap was released while he balanced in this aerial position, and he immediately slipped toward the ground. In doing so, his left leg caught in the webbing and he was suspended by one leg with his head down. Unfortunately, the pilot's head touched an ant hill and ants immediately swarmed over him. Apparently, in desperation, the flier pulled his gun and fired five rounds into the webbing holding his foot. When he did not succeed in breaking the harness, he took his own life. It was obvious from the discoverer's report that if the pilot had even tried to turn around or to swing himself from his inverted position, he could have reached either the aerial roots or the latticed trunk of the tree. With these branches, he should have been able to pull himself from the harness . . . . The fact that his head was in a nest of stinging ants only added to his panic, which led to the action that took his life."

18. HATE

Hate is a powerful emotion that can have positive and negative effects on a survivor. Understanding hate and its causes are the keys to learning how to control it. It is an acquired emotion rooted in a person's knowledge or perceptions. The accuracy or inaccuracy of the information is irrelevant to learning to hate.

a. A person, object, or anything that may be understood intellectually (political concepts or religious dogma) can promote feelings of hate. These feelings (usually accompanied with a desire for vengeance, revenge, or retribution) have sustained former PWs through harsh ordeals. If an individual loses perspective while under the influence of hate and reacts emotionally, rational solutions to problems may be overlooked and the survivor may be endangered.

b. To effectively deal with this emotional reaction, the survivor must examine the reasons why the feeling is present. Once reasons have been determined, the survivor should decide what to do. Whatever approach is selected, it should be as constructive as possible. A survivor must not allow hate to control him.


Resentment is experiencing an emotional state of displeasure or indignation toward some act, remark, or person that has been regarded as causing personal insult or injury. Luck and fate may play a role in any survival situation. A hapless survivor may resent a fellow PW, travel partner, and so forth if that other person is perceived to be enjoying a success or advantage not presently experienced by the observer. The detrimental to morale and could affect chances of survival if resentment over another's attainments become too strong. Imagined slights or insults are common. The survivor should try to maintain a sense of humor and perspective about ongoing events and realize that stress and lack of self-confidence play roles in bringing on feelings of resentment.


Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong. People become angry when they cannot fulfill a basic need or desire which seems important. When anger is not relieved, it may turn into a more enduring attitude of hostility, characterized by a desire to hurt or destroy the person or thing causing the frustration. When anger is intense, the survivor loses control. This may result in impulsive behavior which may be destructive. Anger is a normal response that can serve a useful purpose when controlled carefully. If the situation warrants and there is no threat to survival, one could yell, scream, take a walk, exercise vigorously, or get away from the source (if only for a few minutes). The following person could not control his anger.


a. Psychological stresses brought about by impatience can manifest themselves quickly in physical ways. Internally, the effects of impatience can cause changes in physical and mental well-being. Survivors who allow impatience to control their behavior may find that their efforts prove to be counterproductive and possibly dangerous. For instance, evaders who don't have the ability or willingness to suppress annoyance when confronted with delay may expose themselves to capture or injury.

b. Potential survivors must understand they have to bear pain, misfortune, and annoyance without complaint. In the past, many survivors have displayed tremendous endurance (mental and physical) in times of distress or misfortune. While not every survivor is able to display such strength of character in all situations; each person should learn to recognize things which may make him impatient in order to avoid acting unwisely. The survivor below couldn't wait.

"I became very impatient. I had planned to wait until night to travel but I just couldn't wait. I left the ditch about noon and walked for about two hours until I was caught."


The captivity environment is the prime area where a survivor may experience feelings of dependency. The captor will try to develop feelings of need, trust, and support in prisoners. By regulating the availability of basic needs (food, water, clothing, social contact, and medical care), captors show their power and control over the prisoners' fate. Through emphasizing the prisoner's inability to meet his own basic needs, captors seek to establish strong feelings of prisoner dependency. This dependency can make prisoners extremely vulnerable to captor exploitation. By recognizing this captor tactic the PW has the key to countering it. Survivors must understand that, despite captor controls, they control their own lives. Meeting even one physical or mental need can provide a PW with a victory and the foundation for continued resistance against exploitation


Loneliness can be very debilitating during a survival situation. Some people learn to control and manipulate their environment and become more self-sufficient while adapting to changes. Others rely on protective persons, routines, and familiarity with surroundings to function and obtain satisfaction.

a. The ability to combat loneliness during a survival situation must be developed long before the situation occurs. Self-confidence and self-sufficiency are key factors in coping with loneliness. People develop these attributes by developing and demonstrating competence in performing tasks. As the degree of competence increases, so does self-confidence and self-sufficiency. Military training, specifically survival training, is designed to provide individuals with the competence and self-sufficiency to cope with and adapt to survival living.

b. In a survival situation, the countermeasure to conquer loneliness is to plan, to be active, and to think purposely. Developing self-sufficiency is the primary protection since all countermeasures in survival require the survivor to have the ability to practice self-control.


Boredom and fatigue are related and' frequently confused. Boredom is accompanied by a lack of interest and may include strain, anxiety, or depression. This is particularly true when no relief is in sight and the person is frustrated. Relief from boredom must be based on correcting the basic sources-repetition and uniformity. Boredom can be relieved by varying methods-rotating duties, taking rest breaks, broadening the scope of a particular task or job, or other techniques of diversification. The ungratifying nature of a task can be counteracted by clearing up its meaning, objectives, and in some cases, its relation to the total plan. One survivor couldn't think of anything to do, while another survivor invented something to do.


Hopelessness stems from the negative feeling that, regardless of actions taken, success is Impossible or the certainty that future events will turn out for the worst no matter what a person tries to do. Feelings of hopelessness can occur at virtually any time during a survival situation. Survivors have experienced loss of hope in--
a. Trying to maintain health due to an inability to care for sickness, broken bones, or injuries.

b. Returning home alive.

c. Seeing their loved ones again.

d. Believing in their physical or mental ability to deal with the situation.

e. A person may begin to lose hope during situations where physical exhaustion or exposure to the elements affects the mind. The term "giveupitis" was coined in Korea to describe the feeling of hopelessness. During captivity, deaths occurred from no apparent cause. Individuals actually willed themselves to die. The original premise (in the minds of such people) is that they are going to die. To them, the situation seemed totally futile, and they had passively abandoned themselves to fate. It was possible to follow the step-by-step process. The people who died withdrew themselves from the group, became despondent, then lay down and gave up. In some cases death followed rapidly.

f. One way to treat hopelessness is to eliminate the cause of the stress. Rest, comfort, and morale building activities can help eliminate this psychological problem. Another method is to make the person so angry he wants to get up and attack the tormentors. A positive attitude has a powerful influence on morale and combating the feeling of hopelessness.

g. Since many stress situations cannot be dealt with successfully, it may be necessary to work out a compromise solution. The action may entail changing a survivor's method of operation or accepting substitute goals.

h. Evaders faced with starvation may compromise with their conscience and steal just this one time. They may ignore their food aversion and eat worms, bugs, or even human flesh. A related form of compromise is acceptance of substitute means to achieve the same goals.

This is it, next we will learn all about the "will to survive".
Thanx for reading this far! see ya!
It ain´t over ´til it´s OVER!
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