History of PTSD and understanding it: Why it matters for survivalists/ preppers and bushcrafters

The Vikings social behavior was based upon an unwritten system of honor or code of ethics. Right and wrong, gender roles, ethics, daily life; in all these circumstances the free man was evaluated by standards of honor.” Rudra Chauhan

What use is honor when speaking of ptsd or post traumatic stress disorder, battle fatigue, acute mania and tremblers? History shows us that this has affected humans since the beginning of wars fought commoners for the causes of wealth, expansion and politics. Interestingly if one studies the tribal societies they quickly find something lacking, as compared to city-state societies and their armies. The idea of ptsd did not exist, or at least not that it was transcribed or talked about.

Honor, this I believe strongly is the difference between why ptsd exists among modern soldiers and why many individuals who have defended themselves or even attacked to defend themselves do not get it. There is no honor in wars fought for the benefit of others, none. Only when one fights or acts with honor, which for the vikings of old and almost every single tribal society I have ever studied or read on, honor was a simple thing. Keep your word, protect those who place your trust in you, do no harm unless harm is first intended to you. This definition clashes quite grievously with the modern definition.

As a problem, ptsd affects and can affect all!

This problem can and does affect anyone who does not allow themselves to dump the adrenaline built up after a traumatic event. There is no need for it to be combat related, rather simply the inability to release the emotions that are built up with extreme action. It is a simple matter of scientific reasoning and can be fixed without massive doses of chemicals, medicines or expensive sessions with individuals who don’t even believe their own approach. Per many tactical instructors and police/military medicinal experts there is a definite need for a better approach to the current issue of ptsd. For survivalist/bushcrafters/preppers the idea is not something that often raises its head.

We are a stubborn bunch, mostly made up of individuals who are at best difficult to teach. We choose our lives, live them, walk different paths and most of all rarely agree on much. This idea that the brain can and in fact will fail you is not an accepted mentality by the staunch individuals that make up the world outside our normal world. More importantly, many in the military/police field fail to see it as a truly necessary study and tend to simply utilize basic Veterans Affairs Hospital approaches, eg., medicate, medicate and shelve until dead. Police psychiatrists do the same thing in many cases as do others in the medical world.

My view differs, as someone who suffers from ptsd, brought on over a lifetime of pain, physical and mental my ptsd recently kicked into high gear, this quite honestly took me by surprise. I have never allowed my walls down in the past, learning at a very young age that we cannot trust anyone truly, except ourselves. Obviously, having children of my own now, this is not an option. I must allow and in fact promote the reliance on self first and others second. You see, my children are not being abused, sexually or physically. Neither will I allow this to occur as long as I am alive. This viewpoint and approach, however, has not changed the simple fact that for me, ptsd is real and causing real problems, impotence, severe to extreme nightmares, waking dreams, sleepless nights, mood swings and much more.

So I offer a solution for you all, something that is working quite well for me. A mixture of several approaches, first being simply admitting that I have a problem that I alone cannot fix! Next using a variety of approaches all of which can be easily done by yourself in a safe environment.

  1. Accept that trauma is a part of life, regardless size of event, it will occur.
  2. The mind is resilient beyond all measure currently in place within the scientific and medical community.
  3. We as humans are wired to react to events that we are not expecting, these reactions are by default traumatic.
  4. The catch is that to avoid being traumatized, the excess energy mobilized to defend oneself must be “used up.”
  5. When the activation is not fully discharged, it does not simply go away; instead it remains as a kind of highly charged “body memory” creating the potential for repeated traumatic symptoms. This type of imprint is known as implicit procedural memory.
  6. Generating experiential knowledge of the sensations that accompany stress is necessary to understanding how to avoid the stress and or change the course of it.
  7. Once your body learns how to recognize cycles of nervous system activation, or arousal, and de-activation, or deep settling after a discharge of energy. You will easily be able to prevent or minimize further trauma.
  8. Understand your feelings, body and how the brain is affected by the body and vice versa.
  9. This is the basis of somatic experiencing/ it is essential to understand that the only way this works, is if YOU want it too!

Remember, in a grid down scenario, YOU cannot and will not be able to find medication nor will you be able to find a professional. Even though people like Rawles and Buppert believe that this is not a reality, I can and will verify as can thousands, millions of others that it is a reality! Fuck people like them, they will be the first gone when things go down. Or the first too turn on us. Never believe someone who claims to have the only true path to anything.

My approach is simple, yet NOT entirely inclusive, do your own research as well, understand it for yourself and better yet, understand that the Vikings, they had it right. After a day of battling, a night of sex, drinking and all around fun was a NECESSARY thing to allow the body to release the energies pent up by the amazing amount of trauma experienced during the battles themselves.

As always, ask, add or contact me if you have additional information.

Free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, jessetalksback.com and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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