Mental illness and prepping
There's a terrible stigma about mental illness in Western nations. I don't really understand it, but I suspect it's because of the truly insane means that these same nations historically treated patients with mental illness. They placed them in institutions and locked them up far away and out of sight. The cure was often worse than their illness. They actually experimented on them in barbaric ways.
Prior to this method, they were mostly taken care of by family or simply lived alone themselves. Since that can be overwhelming, it's not an option for those who are severely afflicted. They won't be able to take care of themselves, or may hinder their families, and so they might certainly die in a collapse.
Many of the homeless in the seventies and eighties were mental patients who'd been released from state institutions and told to find their way to cities for treatment. Up until then, they were placed in small quiet rural areas. This caused a migration of them into urban areas were they were untreated and indigent.
Most patients don't take their medicines regularly. It's been estimated that 70% don't regularly take their medicines.
How do medicines work? Most are taken orally, to improve the chances that people will use them. Imagine if prescription and over-the-counter medicine was injected?
A oral tablet will go to the stomach for digestion. Most are absorbed through the walls of the stomach and into the numerous arteries surrounding it. Then it passes through the filters of the kidneys and liver, for they are not naturally occurring substances in the body. Then in time, they overwhelm the kidneys and liver and build up a therapeutic level in the blood.
Since an injection avoids this process, then more of it gets into circulation and builds up faster. It's why an injection is frequently given in a medical setting to quickly treat an illness.
Because of the slowness to build up to a therapeutic level, patients won't like the slowness of the response. They'll think it's not working, and it might not be, or it might just take time, or they might have stopped taking it, and the level of the drug in their system has plummeted by liver filtration.
Since many drugs have side effects, many patients stop taking their meds. Some side effects include: lack of concentration, loss of appetite, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sleep loss, etc. Is it any wonder that patients don't like to take their medicines?!! “Your blood pressure is just fine now, John, but of course you won't have routine erections on occasion....” Hmmmmm?
There's a very high rate of patients with mental illness not taking their medicines. It's why a family who's taking care of patients must constantly check on their compliance. No one likes this process, most of all the patient who want self-determination, so this creates combativeness.
In a collapse, a lot of patients won't have medicines. They'll run out of them, and then the symptoms of their illness will return. Mostly the new treatment will be to learn coping mechanisms to deal with their issues.
We all have issues with stress and in dealing with people and ourselves. While people often say that one in ten have mental illness, really we all have some forms of mental illness. Does that shock you? Why? All people have occasional issues that they can't handle themselves.
In a collapse, a lot of people will be shell-shocked. Do you know what that is? In WW1, the first real use of heavy artillery was utilized against ground troops. Prior wars had used cannons, but these new artillery units were far more numerous and cheaper to create and operate. The soldiers were inundated by a barrage of attacks that came suddenly and there was no real way to shield themselves, only hope for protection by living in foxholes and trenches. It was miserable.
In a collapse, most people will be barraged by severe stress. Their ability to cope will become worn and fragile. Some if not all will break at some point. Everyone has days in which they can't cope and get out of bed. If also weak from malnutrition and co-morbidity from other physical ailments, then a mental illness might be revealed.
A lot of people have mental issues, but because of living in a post-modern society, they have a life free of dealing with sourcing food, or building a shelter, or digging a well, or finding an herb. Since the stress seems insurmountable, they'll begin to form cracks in their coping strategies.
If you have a loved one in your family with mental issues, or even want to help yourself, then prepping now is a good way to respond to their or your illness.
Journaling is a great way to create an intentional dialogue with yourself. It can (and should) be read later to see what you were thinking, what your plans were, and how you thought you should cope.
Creating a community or finding one will allow people to support one another. We think we're a social media generation, but really we're isolated and thinking that Facebook friends are real friends, and then we wonder why we're so lonely. “But I have over 500 friends and tons of likes...”
Severe loneliness can cause delirium in elderly people. It can happen in anyone. It's a temporary loss of cognitive ability and a lack of awareness of where they are. Delirium can be caused by poisoning. It can be caused by malnutrition. It can be caused by stress and isolation.
Many people who are severely stressed out will commit impulsive acts to react to their stress. These can be violent to themselves or others. They're called acts of passion, which is bizarre since they may lead to murder their loved ones and friends.
It is true, a lot of mentally ill people will die in a collapse. It's also true that many will not, for in history many people labeled by it were actually among the intelligentsia and the most skilled members of the community. Some sociopathic members of society were actually leaders. They still are today.
If you have mental illness, it would be better to think of it merely as an “illness” plain and simple. You don't feel lesser because you have a sprain. You wrap it up, take pain medication, and exercise it to remove soreness, then strength it so it doesn't happen as often or find ways to prevent it happening.
Do you know what entropy is? It's a physical law that things move from order to disorder. We see disorder all around us, for that is natural for it to occur.
If you're a prepper, then a potential issue is paranoia. We can begin to overact by needlessly spending time, talent, and treasure to purchase one supply over others. Buying a reasonable amount of food to feed our family means rotating it. Otherwise it will rot since it can't be preserved well for long periods of time. The ones that can last a long time usually don't taste good or have good nutritional value or enough calories. We can buy an arsenal to fight the invaders even though it's more helpful to buy some for protection and hunting, and allocate more surplus in seeds and gardening supplies.
If you ever feel overly concerned with one area, then chances are you've developed bad coping strategies. In a collapse you need a calm cool head to respond. No one all tense and hyped up will be helpful in wartime or peacetime post-collapse.