Frustration arises when a person is continually thwarted in their attempts to reach a goal. The goal in an emergency is to stay safe and alive until you can reach help or until help can reach you. To achieve this goal, the you may have to complete some tasks with minimal resources. It is inevitable, in trying to do these tasks, that something will go wrong that is beyond the your control; and with one’s life at stake, every mistake is magnified in terms of its importance. Thus, sooner or later, we will have to cope with frustration when a few of our plans run into added difficulty.
One outgrowth of this frustration is anger. There are many events in a emergency situation that can frustrate or anger a person. Getting lost, damaged or forgotten equipment, the weather, inhospitable terrain, hostile people, and physical limitations are just a few sources of frustration and anger. Frustration and anger encourage impulsive reactions, irrational behavior, poorly thought out decisions, and, in some instances, an “I quit” attitude (people sometimes avoid doing something they can’t master). If the person can harness and properly channel the emotional intensity associated with anger and frustration, they can productively act as they answer the challenges of the situation. If the person does not properly focus their angry feelings, they can waste much needed energy in activities that do little to further either their chances of success or the chances of those around them.
Depression; it would be a rare person indeed who would not get sad, at least momentarily , when faced with the deprivations of a life or death situation. As this sadness deepens we label the feeling “depression.” Depression is closely linked with frustration and anger. The frustrated person becomes more and more angry as they fail to reach their goals. If the anger does not help the person to succeed, then the frustration level goes even higher. A destructive cycle between anger and frustration continues until the person becomes worn down physically, emotionally, and mentally. When a person reaches this point, they start to give up, and their focus shifts from “What can I do” to “There is nothing I can do.” Depression is an expression of this hopeless, helpless feeling. There is nothing wrong with being sad as you temporarily think about your loved ones and remember what life was like back in “normal times” . Such thoughts, in fact, can give you the desire to try harder and live. On the other hand, if you allow yourself to sink into a depressed state, then it can sap all your energy and, more important, your will to live. It is imperative that each person resist succumbing to depression.
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Read the final installment of the series: part 7