The theory that stood out to me the most during this week’s reading was the Disgust Theory. This was interesting to me, because I disagree with it. According to the reading, an individual that has a greater sense of their impending death tends to have a greater Disgust Response. This leads them to avoid situations that would place them into harm’s way or create the inevitability of their doom.
I disagree with this, because it has been my experience that those who are truly aware of their mortality, and have accepted it, tend to act less disgusted and are generally more apt to put themselves into situations wrought with peril. Sometimes, to the detriment of themselves and those around them. It is the members of the community who are less accepting of their mortality, those who do not accept that they can die at any moment, and those who do not know the reality of the dangers that surround them; who tend to have greater reactions to the possibility of danger.
I do not disagree with the concept of Disgust Response, just the theory that those who are more aware having greater reactions. I believe these are the ones that have little to no reactions. Some of the most nonchalant individuals that I have ever met, when it comes to death, disarm explosive devices for a living.
Information Gathering and Safety and Comfort should be deployed in the case of the Disgust Response. As this response is often irrational and or excessive as well as unhelpful, (not words to be used when deploying the Core Actions) it is a good idea to find out the actual level of trauma that has occurred and assist with providing comfort. As the issue of mortality has caused this response, it is important to help the individual realize that they have made it and will survive.
Part 1: Since the forum deals with “after” a disaster, the Therapeutic Approaches stood out to me as the potential to help the most. In the lesson we read about how generally speaking, people today are exposed to danger as much, so our brain reacts to trauma differently than say people who have more exposure. I this in the reaction of our young aircrew guys/gals when they were shot at for the first time on deployment. Those who had a relatively ‘sheltered’ upbringing had a more emotional reaction to the event, than those that didn’t. We worked with psychologists to develop screening questions for those returning from a mission where they were shot at or some other high event occurred. If it was needed, we had a psychologist or chaplain chat with the member. At locations where a psychologists was available, we were able to set up a video chat or phone call. Based on my recollection of the techniques they taught us about, I would classify them as therapeutic approaches. Therapeutic approaches are new and still evolving to effectively help people today and in the future.
Part 2: When I first saw the Core Actions of Psychological First Aid (PFA) it reminded me of the checklist we used for aircrews who were engaged on a mission or had some other high stress/emotional event happen during their mission (VA, 2006). I remember my leadership checking on me when I returned from my first mission carrying a fallen Air Force Security Forces member (my first career field before I became aircrew). When we learned the name of the the fallen airman, I quickly realized that I knew him from my time in Security Forces. Upon our base, I learned that the pilot had called ahead to our leadership to let them know and a chaplain was there to meet our aircraft. He basically used the Core Actions of PFA that day. I think all eight steps are appropriate for the therapeutic approaches.
The psychological coping approach that most stood out to me was the Therapeutic approach. I feel that would help the most in a disaster scenario, because the disaster had already happened and is over with. The time to start rebuilding has come and mentally rebuilding as well as physically is of high importance. Everyone reacts to a trauma or disaster differently. People live in different environments every day and can become almost immune to bad things happening around them, but being involved in a disaster can shake the strongest to their core. Being able to talk to someone that has just went through a disaster and survived can go a long way into helping them recover from it. It’s a slow process and but eventually they can become who they were once again.
I feel that all the methods being used would be appropriate. Disasters have been happening for a long time, both man made and natural, and there are always survivors that need help physically and mentally. So, I feel that the reason that all these methods are used during or after a disaster are needed in one way or the other. Someone has come up with these methods because they work, and if they are meant to work then they should be trying whatever they can to help those that were affected by the disaster.