How shock can alter your perception of reality.

This is a discussion on How shock can alter your perception of reality. within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I thought it might be good if we shared some stories of "being in shock" and how it affected your judgment and perception of the ...

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Thread: How shock can alter your perception of reality.

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    Senior Member Array nosights's Avatar
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    How shock can alter your perception of reality.

    I thought it might be good if we shared some stories of "being in shock" and how it affected your judgment and perception of the situation you were in.

    *Moderators* Feel free to move, I thought it might be good here so we could keep this in mind if the SHTF and we experiance shock 1st hand.

    I will start with one time that I know for sure I was in shock- This goes way back to senior year of HS. I crashed my friends dirtbike into a parked 1 ton van (yes, a long and embarassing story. Moral- Don't be pulling wheelies at speeds you can't control the bike)...

    Well, I remember screaming loudly at the top of my lungs at my brother to not call 911 as he said he was going to as I ran after him...reality was (I am told) that I was barely whispering and stagering about.

    Turns out I had collapsed a lung, broken a number of ribs, severely ruptured my spleen and poked a rather large hole in my thigh, knicking the bone...not a good deal, but I was in shock and my body was skewing my perception as it went into emergency mode.

    I can't help but think what if I went into shock after a gun fight or ??? You have your gun and your reality is skewed. What do you do?
    Pray for our nations leaders!

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosights View Post
    I thought it might be good if we shared some stories of "being in shock" and how it affected your judgment and perception of the situation you were in.

    *Moderators* Feel free to move, I thought it might be good here so we could keep this in mind if the SHTF and we experiance shock 1st hand.

    I will start with one time that I know for sure I was in shock- This goes way back to senior year of HS. I crashed my friends dirtbike into a parked 1 ton van (yes, a long and embarassing story. Moral- Don't be pulling wheelies at speeds you can't control the bike)...

    Well, I remember screaming loudly at the top of my lungs at my brother to not call 911 as he said he was going to as I ran after him...reality was (I am told) that I was barely whispering and stagering about.

    Turns out I had collapsed a lung, broken a number of ribs, severely ruptured my spleen and poked a rather large hole in my thigh, knicking the bone...not a good deal, but I was in shock and my body was skewing my perception as it went into emergency mode.

    I can't help but think what if I went into shock after a gun fight or ??? You have your gun and your reality is skewed. What do you do?
    If you are in actual shock,or shell shocked you may be totally unable to defend yourself due to your inability to process information,time seems to go slow motion and your hearing is all whacked,it can even affect eyesight.I was injured in a motorcycle accident,broadsided at 40 mph and received a dislocated knee and concussion,I was talking to the cops at the scene and remember absolutely nothing until I got in the emergency room
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Shock has a specific meaning to the medical types. There are are plenty of them posting here to educate us.

    I think your brain automatically lets you do as much as the brain thinks can be done. If it is too bad, the brain makes you unconscious. If not too bad, the brain keeps you going. My opinion is you can't prepare for this. Your natural survival instinct will kick in and you will do as much as you can.

    When I was injured in a fall, I could hear the guys talking and remember answering back. I remember the Master Chief saying turn him over. And I remember saying don't touch me my leg is broken. They turned me over and I have no memories after that. Later everybody swore I didn't say anything to anybody, but they said the things I heard were accurate.

    In another head trauma, the Thai military guys took me to a civilian hospital. In that case, I passed out before I hit the ground. I remember the lights going out while I was still falling. Then nothing until I woke up with these beautiful nurses in all white working on me. Later my Thai counterpart told me they didn't have nearby military hospitals in Northwest Thailand. I didn't know it at the time, but they didn't have a corpsman with us either. Got lucky on that one.

    Paid attention after that. Next time I asked to see the corpsman. Had him show me his Unit 1. It was more like a Unit 0. Our boy scout first aid kits had more stuff. I guess that is why Cpt Sombat didn't worry about having a corpsman around all the time. Mai pen lai.

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    that about sums it up

    Quote Originally Posted by tiwee View Post
    Shock has a specific meaning to the medical types. There are are plenty of them posting here to educate us.

    I think your brain automatically lets you do as much as the brain thinks can be done. If it is too bad, the brain makes you unconscious.
    That about sums it up. Once you black out you no longer have any control.

    I broke an arm one time. Thought I was fine and would just get into the back seat of the car and have my wife drive me to the hospital.
    I felt no pain. I was feeling confident. I wasn't concerned that this was a big deal.

    When I tried to stand to get in the car I passed out. Woke to hear the ambulance sirens.

    Lesson, you don't have to be in severe pain (or perceive the pain) to go down. You might think you are fine but your brain will decide and do what it decides needs doing. You won't have control.

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    Senior Member Array nosights's Avatar
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    Remember that "shock"does not mean that you blacked out. I never have, even after a gunshot and that motorcycle crash. The Docs were quite suprised that I never did. We all react differently. I know that when I was shot I handed my weapon over to a friend as I felt unable to properly handle it. I was thankful that he asked for it...anyway, different story.
    Pray for our nations leaders!

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    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    at 55 mph i slammed into the side of a pickup truck that ran a stop sign hwile i was on my motorcycle. he came out of nowhere at a fantastic rate of speed at 6:30 in the morning assuming there was nobody on the road he was intersecting. i hit the ground dead and was revived by emts who were stationed less than a 10th of a mile away...

    when they brought me back i apparently repeatedly asked what happened and they thought i was a head case (my non dot beanie helmet was mangled and i had a severe laceration on the back of my head)...when i remember coming to i immediately asked for quiet and started describing what i could and could not feel...that i could feel and wiggle my toes and fingers (i read a lot about injury and accidents and knew the possiblity of a spinal injury was high in my case)...i was quite lucid but there was a lot of clouding of thoughts...i spent the entire day in and out of consciouness while being subjected to lots of scans tests after being airlifted 40 miles to a large trauma center...

    i was actually shocked at the ability to think my way through the injuries and instruct the emts on who to contact (my family was still in ny selling our home while had come ahead to florida to work)...i think a lot of it had to do with mental preparation in the form of all of the reading i had done regarding what happens to people in these types of situations...

    thats one of the reasons i believe these forums are so valuable...there are countless situations we can end up in and no way to prepare for all of them...but by posting what has happened and what actions were taken...along with crtique regarding what actions may have been better we all better prepare ourselves for a situation we could be involved in...

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    I rolled an 82 caddie and destroyed my left arm (still have a seven inch steel plate holding it together). I remember the whole crash in slow motion. When I got out of the car I ran (or thought I ran) to the passenger side and pulled the guy that was with me out. The EMTS showed up about thirty min later and as soon as they arrived I passed out. They told me when I woke up in the ambulance that I was in shock and that I was running on pure adrenalin right after the crash. The feeling of not being in control was far worse then the injury itself.

    P.S. 20 mins before the crash I told my mom it was impossible to roll a car that big. I was wrong!

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    I am no doctor or expert in how people react in trauatic situations. I can only go off of what i have seen or experienced myself in combination with the stories I have heard about or read about. It appears to me that for the most part, when people are in "shock" or "acting on adrenaline" it is similar to sleep walking. They don't do things that go against what they would with a lucid mind for the most part. They mostly act out of sheer instinct or behavior that has been deeply patterned in their sub-conscious (not unconscious) mind. That is why defensive training and running through scenarios and defensive strategies in your mind, over and over, is so important. When stuff happens, you will act off of instinct and most likely not realize what you did until after you did it.

    So that is my .02. If you are worrying that perhaps in a state of shock you may go temporarily insane and start shooting good guys, I wouldn't worry about that happening. I think the biggest risk we all face is "freezing" and doing nothing. That risk is minimized the more we train and prepare.

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    I know a guy who as a teen was shot in the face, more or less point blank, with a .44 magnum. The particulars as to why aren’t important to this post, but the story he tells about “after” being shot is strange indeed….

    He recalls in vivid detail, the gunman (his friend at the time) leveling the gun at him, trying to talk rationally to the guy, wrestling for control of the gun, breaking away and diving behind a couch for cover under a hail of bullets, and some other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten since hearing the story.

    The strange thing was, none of those events took place. The gunman simply produced the gun and “BANG”. Everything else he remembers was a fairy-tale construction of his shocked/traumatized brain.

    Crazy, huh?

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    I broke my lower leg, fibula, at work one day. I walked about 50 yrds uphill with assistance. Got to the other counselor and instructed him and the kids how to splint and immobilize my leg. Really wasn't that painful. But I knew that I was the only one with real first aid training so I had to keep it together.

    In my teens I rolled a car 3 times. I actually counted the thumps as the roof hit. Unbuckled myself and walked to a nearby house.

    I think your overall mindset is important before the incident. If you are a take charge type I think it comes to the surface during an incident. If you prefer to let others do it for you then that takes over as well. I did ski patrol for a while and you would be surprised who would stand around and watch and who would jump in and take charge. Cops, EMT, fire, medic, they all experience folks who lock up when it counts. It's not 100% by any means, but I think some folks are more likely to work through a situation or get involved when it all goes bad. And a site like this probably attracts those types too.

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    Member Array skot's Avatar
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    I don't have any first hand experience with shock, but I did have something interesting happen when running on adreniline once.

    As a teen I got into a fight with a guy with a knife. During the fight I sustained cuts to my right hand both on the outside of my hand and the underside of my fingers (from grabbing the blade). When the fight was over I wrapped my hand in a rag, threw on a black sweatshirt, hopped in a friends car and got the heck out of dodge.

    The strange part is that it wasn't until quite a while later when we got to his house that I took off the sweatshirt and noticed my t-shirt was also cut and bloodied. I had no clue that I had also been cut on the shoulder until seeing it. I never felt it at all.

    The lesson I take from this is that if you are involved in an altercation with a person with a weapon as soon as you can get yourself to a safe location you need to check for other injuries. You would imagine that if you were injured somewhere else you would know, but that might not be the case.

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    I had a very very serious concussion a few years back. It was more brain trauma then shock, but it was a pretty funny situation... looking back.

    I blacked out off and on. I remember it as if I had just kept falling asleep and then waking up utterly confused.

    One memory, I had just shaved by knee for physically therapy (maybe an hour prior to the blow) and kept asking perfect strangers who had shaved my leg. The worst "come to" was when the nurses had loaded me into the cat scan. I was strapped down (terrifying to "wake up" to) and had no recollection of being loaded up into the machine. I honestly thought I had been abducted by aliens and was about to be experimented on!!!

    I remember being wheeled down a hallway, which must have been in or near the children's ward, and seeing a picture of winnie the poo and piglet. "I know them! I know who you are!," I exclaimed.

    My poor mother thought I was going to be messed up for the rest of my life. FIY... turns out that post-concussion syndrome is a whole lot like menopause... mood swings and hot flashes for weeks!
    Sorry 'bout that... He's trained to attack shopping carts for some reason.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    When I broke my neck,8 days later they operated and fused my C-7 T1,as I was coming out of post op,I thought they had sent me to recover at somebodys house and thought I could hear the kids coming home from school etc.I had lots of other images,but I think it was mainly due to all the morphine they were pumping in me to keep me from moving around
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    Member Array jimtem's Avatar
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    I dont know if you call this shock but it proved to me that I could not trust my senses 100%

    I was 17 and at a crazy rave party when I heard a shot fired. I ran outside and was headed to the neighbors to call the police and I saw my girl friend walking towards me from 30 feet away. I saw her clearly as we closed the distance together. I saw her familiar hair, the shape and features of her face which I know very well. As she got within 5 feet the color of her eyes,,, everything,, it was my girlfriend. By now 5 full seconds have passed since I had quickly exited the house. As i reached for her and began to frantically say, "there was a shot fired", she had an odd expression. Before my very eyes in a way similar to some shape shifter movie my girlfriends face changed into some one I didn't know. And I could see she was trying to decide if she knew me.

    I was so freaked out hearing a gun fire and running out of the party that I wasnt precieving reality correctly.

    End result of the gun fire: The police show up in 5 minutes and I later find that a teen and his girl friend were arguing and he shot a hole in the floor.

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    Member Array Agent47's Avatar
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    yeah you probably should say "how adrenaline alters your perception of reality," shock is when not enough oxygen/blood is getting to tissues of your body, most likely caused by a freakishly low blood pressure - if you're bleeding profusely that is (and I hope no one experiences that...)
    Medical College of Virginia School of Medicine Class of 2013

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