by Jesse Voluntary Mathewson
“From an evolutionary perspective, it’s exactly the response you want to have when your life is in danger: you want to be vigilant, you want to react to strange noises, you want to sleep lightly and wake easily, you want to have flashbacks that remind you of the danger, and you want to be, by turns, anxious and depressed. Anxiety keeps you ready to fight, and depression keeps you from being too active and putting yourself at greater risk. This is a universal human adaptation to danger that is common to other mammals as well. It may be unpleasant, but it’s preferable to getting eaten.” Sebastian Junger
Mr. Junger went on to show how keeping all of this bottled up is what actually causes PTSD in soldiers today. I agree with his assessment, and disagree greatly with his conclusion at the end, regardless, he makes a solid point.
Research, facts and evidence have guided my life. Decisions made now are the result of intensive training, research, study and a basic understanding of the situation regardless the problems that may crop up from time to time. In a recently published article, History of PTSD and understanding it: Why it matters for survivalists/ preppers and bushcrafters, I took the time to go over the history of ptsd and the reality that is represented when we fail to address it appropriately.
This article is going to be centered more on the need for a Post Action Adrenal Dump or paad. In the life of individuals who choose to forgo modern medicine in extreme cases and do not have access to it in less extreme cases, we must be prepared. I firmly believe that our “uncivilized” ancestors were far more better off than we for many reasons, least among them their approach to natural remedies and approaches to very real issues. One of the largest mistakes modern “civilized” societies have made when engaging in war is that they disallow the young men doing the killing from celebrating this.
Understand, I find all state sponsored warfare and agencies to be extremely distasteful. This does not mean we should not learn from governments mistakes. It is the goal of all city-state government to conform through coercion or force the individuals within its realm to fit whatever it needs at the moment. Interestingly, humans regardless their natures tend to rebel against this conformity even the most subservient of them will at some point intentionally or unintentionally/ subconsciously break the laws of the state they reside under.
By removing the ability of the modern soldier to engage in some form of paad, government in fact creates the rising problem of ptsd within its borders. My suggestion for those of you who are interested in caring for yourself and avoiding or removing the negative affects of combat and or stressful situations is to embrace the approach utilized by the tribal societies that in some places still exist, came before and in many ways still are better than what we see today.
Vikings/ Highlanders and many Northern European tribal societies engaged in all-night orgies of sex, drinking and somewhat violent horseplay among comrades in arms. American Indians had many traditional approaches, from dancing to chewing or smoking any number of great hallucinogenics; through doing dream walks and the infamous plains approach utilizing great bone hooks through ones skin. In South America they chewed the coca leaf, danced, made music and had lots of sex.
In many ancient and some modern African tribal approaches combine or combined the above in many ways. This is not an article about who came up with what first, but rather that these approaches tended to help reduce the after affects of horrendous events.
Even their sorrow was tinged with celebrating, simply put, life was understood to be a circle, and death has always been apart of that. So celebrating ones life after they died allows for a much better release than wallowing in the death alone. Modern cultures have allowed their views to be perverted by religions and governments, not that there is actually a difference any longer.
So here is my solution for the PAAD that ALL of us will and or have felt at some point, cry, laugh, drink BUT do it WITH your compadres. And remember one very important thing, never for a second think that what is taught by modern militaries and governments is foolproof, quite the opposite in fact. Learn from the mistakes of others, embrace life and embrace those closest to you. As always I welcome feedback, and in fact want to see more of it!
There is a reason ALL of my go kits, key chains and more include my flasks, drinking horns and more. Where I go, so does my ability to relieve stress AFTER and or WHEN able.
Free the mind and the body will follow