Emotional Stressors During A Societal Collapse
By Campcritter

As determined men and women of yesteryear made their way west to
make for a better life, pioneer women often kept journals of their life on
the great prairies or sent letters home to their sisters back East. In those
letters they described the silence as the most unwelcome guest. These brave
women wrote about being left for weeks on end alone, lost in an endless sea
of grass with only the wind for company while the men hunted or went for
supplies. In some cases the quiet was so severe that it became unbearable
and the women developed mental problems. One young mother in 1853 wrote,
"Silence is an evil creature, it stalks you by day, watching, waiting, ever
vigilant. By the dark of the moon it strangles your thoughts and slips away
with your sanity."

Imagine now, that we are about six weeks into a societal collapse. Shouldn't
be hard, because WE ARE. You are sure you have prepared yourself
fairly well. You've made all the plans and stocked all that needs to be
stocked and you feel pretty confident that you and yours
can weather whatever comes, right? After all, you have
given lots of time and energy to making sure that you have everything that
you need. You have provided for your physical well being, but have you taken
the time to consider what happens to the family's emotional stability when
life as we know it suddenly takes a turn south?

In all the preparedness information out there, there seems to be an
expectation that ones emotional response to real world stressors are somehow
less important than the physical. Or maybe people are not wanting to deal
with that which is yet unknown and frankly, just too scary for most of us to
comprehend. What happens to the emotional intellect when forced to shoot
another human being for the first time or watch helplessly while a loved one
dies of an illness or a massive wound. How about dealing with feral pigs,
dogs and any other typically domesticated animals? Can you let your children
out of your sight to play in the yard or do you live with constant fear they
may become a meal for a once beloved family pet or the zoo animal that
hasn't eaten in a week? These are real life situations that need to be
discussed along with beans, bullets and band aids. Even Tom Brown, "The
Tracker", writes of feral dogs of his youth while living in New Jersey.

Now that the stores are not being stocked you have used up all that
was in the cupboard and freezer and have broken into your stored rice and
beans. Everyone in your household has been about four weeks without
McDonald's, potato chips, Spaghetti-Os, wine, beer and cigarettes. The
family complains of being gassy and bloated and by now the cravings are so
bad that even the neighbors lawn ornament is beginning to look tasty. Tempers
are just one spark away from ignition within the family unit. Depression
sets in as Sissy hysterically cries, "I'm never ever going to use a flush
toilet ever again!" It becomes apparent that holding this unit together is
going to be a real challenge. Isn't it is amazing how a change in diet can
trash the family dynamics?

My field of study for the past 25 years has been in Holistic
Nutritional Sciences. This field is centered around the whole body and
everything that goes into it, air, water, plants, the soil plants are grown
in and the health of animals that are used for food. Current research
indicates there are definite changes in body chemistry when one gets off the
processed and junk food hamster wheel. As chemicals, heavy metals and other
toxic particles leave the body there is what has been described as a healing
crisis and it can be all too real for the ones that suffer through it. Think
for a moment, you have suddenly been forced to do without coffee or
cigarettes, a real nightmare for some. What will you feel like in a few
days? Your children have been forced to do without their favorite French
fries or soft drinks. What will be their mood in a week or so? If you have
ever been witness to a loved ones kicking of the habit you will appreciate
that it is not always a pleasant happening. These are a few of the more
obvious, lets take a look at some lesser known problems with our modern

Currently, there are about 3,000 substances added to food that are
on the FDA's generally regarded as safe (GRAS) list but the GRAS can not
guarantee that an additive is 100% safe for every human because not every
human has the same biochemistry. Food colors seem to be most problematic for
young children in that they can be toxic to the nervous system, kidneys or
liver. And don't get me started on genetically modified foodstuffs, it makes
me screaming mad. I can't say anything good about altering the perfection of
the natural world. The fact that this brand new life form was not studied
long term and released into the unsuspecting publics food supply makes me
nuts. Were humans really meant to eat a corn plant with say, a petunia's
DNA? Of course, that's a much simplified version but I believe there are
some things that we just weren't meant to ingest. Genetically modified
ingredients in infant formula being number one on my list to scream about.
My list to scream about on the subject of GMOs just scratches the surface
here ,but that rant is for another day. ( hint: get as many open pollinated
seeds as you can ASAP. That means yesterday. If you don't have a garden get
open pollinated vegetable seeds anyway, they will make great barter in the
near future. Most seeds are viable between 2 and 5 years.)

An application of malefic hydrazide is routinely sprayed on potatoes
and onions to keep them from sprouting but did you know that this
potentially toxic chemical is sprayed on tobacco products in the U.S., and
some chemicals such as propylene glycol, glycerin, or sorbitol are not
always listed on a label. Aspartame as in Nutrasweet and Equal has been
shown to be a precursor to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. What
happens to the body when it doesn't get it's daily dose of acrylamide (a
carcinogenic chemical created when potatoes and corn chips are baked or
fried at high temperatures) or when the body is deprived of high fructose
  corn syrup from soft drinks? For some people they can have the same painful
withdrawal symptoms as from coffee, cigarettes or drugs. I have seen people
become depressed, angry, foggy in the head, sluggish and almost manic when
taken off processed foods. Raw foods do an excellent job of cleaning out
lots of toxins that accumulate in our fat. (See Power Foods by Stephanie
Beling, M.D. and Rawsome by Brigitte Mars)

More and more young people are becoming diabetic, something very
rare at the turn of the century. My neighbors eight year old child has to be
monitored for high cholesterol, it's just shocking.
Students are under much more stress these days than ever before
which can result in emotional eating and behavioral problems. More cravings
with less food available could be overwhelming to children who aren't
understanding why they can't have a second helping. Even my own
grandchildren are such fussy eaters, what happens when they no longer have
access to their junk foods and are forced to eat "real food"? And by the
way, their idea of what real food ( pull it out of the freezer and pop it
into the microwave) is and my knowledge of whole real food doesn't line up.
Where as there lies the problem. When at Grams house you need to adapt or go
without. (wink, wink, I have been know to bend just a little, sometimes.)
Also, eating a constant diet of freeze dried storable foods and garden
produce can have an undesirable set of problems all it's own. Much more
water needs to be taken in or the system seems to get painfully backed up.

What about those pioneer women? They didn't have GMOs or cell
phones. They certainly didn't need a good detox diet but many did keep
journals to help insure some sanity. Writing stuff down is almost like
talking to a friend. If our world does the "Patriots"? thing, we all will be
pioneers in our own right. Picture a world of teens without their cell
phones, blackberries, computers, music or anything else that makes them
tick. The withdrawal symptoms from the "NEED" to communicate alone surely
should scare even the hardiest amongst us. Taking care of the emotional
person is very personal and challenging. Learn what you can about the food
you have been eating and the world around your retreat and take charge now.
The mental health you save may be your own!

A note to Grandparents: You are hereby requested to help keep our
history alive. Talk to your Grandchildren about your history, our country's
history and how we got to this point in the world. Get the JOY HAKIM series
of HISTORY books for children/ teens, young Adults. How to get used books
for a dollar each online? READ "USE ABE BOOKS"

Write down the family history to motivate and inspire them. Teach them
all the skills that they will need in their future stating carefully, this is how
my grandma did it. Plant the seed early, grandchildren seen to respond
to grandparents easily. Their world will be inherently different than the one
we lived in. Teaching them how to garden, fix a roof, sew a shirt, harvest
and save seeds, cook a stew, etc., everything that you know.
What you don't already know how it do, learn it together.
They are going to need all the advantages that we can give them.