Fear as a risk factor in an emergency and in an autonomous existence.

Fear is a natural reaction of a person to any real or imaginary situation that threatens life or health. It cannot be stated unequivocally that in an emergency, fear only harms or only benefits. 

Fear as a risk factor in an emergency and in an autonomous existence.

It all depends on the specific circumstances in which the person found himself. The same action, performed under the influence of a sense of fear, in one case can save a person, in another – fear will accelerate his death. Fear not only accompanies an emergency, but often anticipates it. An impulse to instilling a feeling of fear can be any unexpected event – weather deterioration, vehicle breakdown, loss of orientation, and the like.

The arisen state of anxiety, anxiety with a successful outcome of the incident is forgotten, and with a further increase in the threat, a person begins to predict the development of events. And then anxiety can develop into a lasting sense of fear. With explosions, earthquakes, vehicle collisions and other unexpected dangers, a sense of fear can occur instantly. In any case, at the time of the accident or the recognition of the accident as a fait accompli, the feeling of fear reaches its climax.

in “dissimilar”, poorly trained tourist groups, one of the most dangerous manifestations of fear can be observed – mass panic. It is dangerous primarily “hurricane” the growth of collective fear, eliminating the possibility of a rational assessment of the situation.

It should be remembered: the smaller the cohesion of the group, the lower the authority of its leaders, the more unclear to each member of the group the common goals and the specific work entrusted to him, the easier and more panic is. Panic is also aided by anxiety experienced for a long time by group members, anticipation of the catastrophic consequences of the accident, lack of information about specific sources of danger and plans of group leaders, hunger, overwork, intoxication and the like.

With long-term survival, fear can be expressed in the form of a depressed state or constant tension. In the first case, a person, having lost faith in the possibility of salvation, becomes passive, loses interest in what is happening. Reacts to threatening situations sluggishly, often incorrectly. Sometimes it can sit for hours, staring at one point. Under pressure from the outside, he is able to perform simple work, but without initiative and interest in the final result. With the further development of depression, hysterical reactions and even suicide attempts are possible.

When a neuropsychic tension arises, a person, on the contrary, is extremely concerned about saving his life. He is afraid to drink from unusual sources, to use unconventional food, so as not to poison himself, to sleep in snow shelters, so as not to freeze. When crossing the desert every moment he expects to meet with poisonous snakes or spiders, in the tundra and taiga he fears the pursuit of wolves. In every unfamiliar object, in every natural phenomenon, he searches for a threat hidden to himself. This condition virtually eliminates proper rest, leads to rapid exhaustion, mental breakdowns, numerous errors.

In conclusion, a few words should be said in favor of fear. Feeling of fear is a reliable controller of danger. If it weren’t for him, the risk of making erroneous decisions, the senseless “stunt” on the route and, as a result of this, the number of victims and injuries in the group would increase many times over. When making a responsible decision, especially when it comes to people’s lives, it is necessary to “consult” with fear!

“Dueling courage” in an emergency is unacceptable. Neglect of danger, ostentatious bravado are equal to crime! You can’t force a person to overcome his fear in the event of an emergency. For example, if a group member is afraid of heights, you should not lay a route along the tops of the ridges, steep rocks. This will avoid injuries, mental stress, conflicts in the group.

Based on materials from the School of Survival in Natural Conditions.
Andrey Ilyin.

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