The ''adrenaline dump"

This is a discussion on The ''adrenaline dump" within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We have sorta covered this in some other recent threads. But - this is the one aspect of a stress situation that really bothers me. ...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 34

Thread: The ''adrenaline dump"

  1. #1
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482

    The ''adrenaline dump"

    We have sorta covered this in some other recent threads.

    But - this is the one aspect of a stress situation that really bothers me. I have experienced the breathing restriction - the ''knees'' weakening - etc. But have a feeling that in total extremis - this will probably all kick in big time.

    No amount of practice, that I can dream up - would seem to preclude this potential level of response (or lack of it!).

    So - is there any way at all to be prepared for this? Not too much that I can see. In the unlikely event I will have to deal with an extreme case - I am tho still concerned over ''jello knees'' and a far from steady aim!

    Is there anything that can prepare a guy for this? I hope as most, to never be there but - sure as heck, would like to feel that if - push comes to major shove, I can actually handle it!

    Ok - training - that helps but - a huge adrenaline dump is an awesome phenomenon.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,213
    Everything I've ever read written by guys who have seen the elephant suggests that adrenaline dump occurs right after it all goes down. For somebody like me, the sensation would be pretty strong because well it's never happened to me before. For some of our guys who have been in the service, it won't be nearly as severe.

    The main thing I worry about is not physical symptoms per se. One of my texts suggests that the emotional effects on someone whose experience is limited to personal defense, i.e. someone who doesn't expect to fight every day, are not what one would expect.

    I forget the author, but he reports that in such incidents where civilians who've never engaged in actual combat before, they report feeling a kind of dull sickness or unnatural calm, or in some cases a kind of mild euphoria that they're alive.

    The problem is that in such an emotional state, the police can show up, and find you just standing there somewhat dumbfounded or even in a mildly pleasant mood holding a smoking pistol.

    I have to admit I always thought my reaction to actually shooting somebody would be to cry like a little baby and have horrible nightmares the rest of my life, but after reading that I'm not sure exactly how I would react physically or mentally after it happened.

    I've heard it said from an old patrolman whose pistol was well worn that no one really understands how they're going to react until it actually happens to them, but that's no reason not to try to be prepared. I think he's right. I don't get in real gun fights every day. In fact I try to avoid them at all costs. I have no idea what it's going to be like and hopefully I never will.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Pocatello, Idaho
    Posts
    940
    I'm down to being unnerved and a little jumpy for an hour or so after an incident. It used to linger for a few days.

    I don't know if that's good or bad.

    In the heat of having to use the weapon, either merely brandishing or otherwise, I've never noticed an adrenaline problem. Breathing has been decent, regular, and functional, and extreme clarity has been the rule of thumb.

    The shake like a leaf phase for me was over by the time I was 16.

    One thing I can report is that the basic tolerance and function never really goes away - it's like riding a bike. You won't forget how.

    I suppose I should add that if you're going to try to train for it, do things that get your heart pumping and things stressing. Run a little before shooting - from the car to the bench, or whatever. Do what it takes to get the old adrenaline pumping - sports, training, whatever does it for you.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  5. #4
    Lead Moderator
    Array rocky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    15,673
    To simulate an adrenaline dump, we would run for a mile then go back to the shooting line. It made it harder to shoot, but it is controllable. My big worry is tunnel vision, therfore I train to hopefully negate this condition.

  6. #5
    Administrator
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Off Of The X
    Posts
    34,621

    Exclamation This Is Interesting

    I remember reading that keeping your hand and forearm submerged in a tub of freezing cold ice and water will auto~trigger your body panic response and your body will then start pumping adrenaline into your system.
    This is sometimes done when psychological testers want to evaluate how an individual or test subject will perform certain thought process functions and respond to questions under stress.
    I have absolutely no idea how you could make it work for a tactical shooting situation unless you kept your weak arm in ice for (I guess what would be) an unbearable period of time & then quickly going right into a shooting practice scenario while your adrenaline level was still up high.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  7. #6
    DC Founder
    Array Bumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    20,045
    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    I remember reading that keeping your hand and forearm submerged in a tub of freezing cold ice and water will auto~trigger your body panic response and your body will then start pumping adrenaline into your system.
    This is sometimes done when psychological testers want to evaluate how an individual or test subject will perform certain thought process functions and respond to questions under stress.
    I have absolutely no idea how you could make it work for a tactical shooting situation unless you kept your weak arm in ice for (I guess what would be) an unbearable period of time & then quickly going right into a shooting practice scenario while your adrenaline level was still up high.
    I bet you're right. I took my second scuba certification dive in Lake Carter, just north of Denver, in early March (years ago). The ice had just gone off and the water was at 34 degrees. It triggered a panic in me that I had never experienced and have never experienced since. When we had to remove our mask in 24' of water, put it back on and clear it, it took three tries to get it right. Although I had already been diving for almost 20 years, instead of clearing the mask by blowing air out my nose, I almost emptied the mask by sucking the water in through my nose. I absolutely freaked out my instructor and almost drowned each time. The final time I got it done and I was surprised I did. After it was all over the adrenaline dump I could hardly get out of the water....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  8. #7
    Administrator
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Off Of The X
    Posts
    34,621

    Exclamation Bumper ~ Panic Under 24' Of Freezing Water

    That would sure shake me up big time & enough to wet the inside of a wet suit.
    I was always a good swimmer. I got caught in a river undertow once just "bathing suit" swimming/diving (not scuba) and was getting swirled head over heels and pulled down. Only for (I'm guessing now) maybe 20 or 25 seconds of being violently forced down before I was able to get to a point where I could start getting back up toward the surface. I really got tossed around like a rag doll.
    Old Man River was nice enough "let me back up" because...I sure could not either fight nor swim my way back up.
    Fast moving river water is mighty powerful stuff.
    I was 15 years old and I learned that lesson quick and early and it really kinda shook me up.

  9. #8
    Member Array LPguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brockton, MA
    Posts
    185
    So - is there any way at all to be prepared for this? Not too much that I can see. In the unlikely event I will have to deal with an extreme case - I am tho still concerned over ''jello knees'' and a far from steady aim!

    Is there anything that can prepare a guy for this? I hope as most, to never be there but - sure as heck, would like to feel that if - push comes to major shove, I can actually handle it!
    After years of catching shoplifters I'm all too familiar with the "dump" There have been times I've been asked to give details on a shoplifter like what was he wearing? and I wasn't able to do it. Fine motor skills are also right out the window so aim for the center of mass!

    How do we prepare? "Reality training"

    I once prepared a student of mine for a trip to the olympics by teaching him how to negotiate his way through a crowd. I told him that a few of my black belt students were stationed in the crowd to do things like get in his way, bump into him and even exchange a few words with him. He knew they would be there so he expected trouble going in and was nervous from the get go. In reality, there was nobody there to deliberately cause him any trouble. But, the physological effect was priceless!

    I did something similar with a group of new managers in the store. I pretended to be a shoplifter while my boss "caught" me. We rehearsed everything I would steal, say and do and where.

    When he stopped me outside, I've never seen a group of young people look so scared!

    The results? Realistic senarios under carefully controlled conditions.

    Get a few of your friends to get a few of their friends together with you and have them get in your face,( including swearing, shoving you, provoking you in any way ) Mind you, this can't be a live fire exercise but the adrenaline dump you get from somebody you don't know and your mind doesn't trust will do the trick. This works for weapons and empty hand training alike.

    It also couldn't hurt to have a few things under your feet that might be there in the alley you find yourself cornered in like trash cans and their contents.

    Play with different lighting conditions, temperatures and clothing too. Trust me, all those things play a factor in your success. Ask anyone who has had to fight in a snowbank, at night while wearing nothing but a T shirt. Yep, I had to do that once!

    let me know how you make out.

    Mike

  10. #9
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    LP - thx ... as with so many threads - every morcel of input can be useful - it is food for thought every time. I have some stressful situations in mind already - to simulate and practice.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Posts
    1,068
    In my experience as an EMT, handling the adrenaline rush depends in large part on mental preparation. Adrenaline is a response to stress. The best way to deal with the stress is to be confident in your preparation to deal with the situation. The better your preparation, the less you will feel stress about your ability to handle things. This is not to say that you won't still feel stress, but it won't be amplified by worry that you aren't up to the task.

    I found that I was more affected by calls that required skills I didn't get to use everyday. For instance, I ran mostly inner city and suburban calls for the majority of my time. The carnage of an interstate or highway wreck usually left me with shaky knees, afterwards, because I rarely got to practice giving medical care in the middle of a vehicle extrication. I was fine during the call, but would shake afterwards. On the other hand, I had no problem with labor and delivery in the field, gunshot wounds, stabbings, seizures, or chest pains - things I dealt with everyday.

    So, I would say that, yes, there are ways to prepare for the adrenaline rush and dump, and I think the best way is to train as best you can, so that you are confident of your skills and ability. This doesn't mean you won't still get the shakes, but I'm sure they won't be as bad.

    LFI actually (or used to) administers adrenaline by IV during one of its advanced courses, so the students can get an idea of what it's like to try to operate under the adrenaline rush of extreme stress, and to learn what the dump feels like afterwards.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

  12. #11
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    Thx Tom - you have probably seen about everything I reckon - and a lot of it colored red!!

    I have few concerns re post stress dump effects (oops - badly phrased - sorry!) .......... it is the early onset stuff I find disconcerting, assuming that a sudden confrontation and immediate need for drastic action is what I would be handling.

    Maybe tho - if things are sudden - then action will preceed any marked effect - but thinking of a slow build scenario where perhaps one is trapped and under threat of incoming - not so sure there. It is that situation that I guess many guys in combat can experience.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  13. #12
    Member Array LPguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brockton, MA
    Posts
    185
    P95,

    Let me know how you make out with your training!

    Best of luck,

    Mike

  14. #13
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    LP - well - I reckon in some small way, every day is ''training'' - way I think, awareness etc - and dry fire practice. Oh goody - IDPA this Saturday too.

    I guess what I need to add to it, is someone to come at intervals and scare the crap outa me - so I get a regular high of adrenaline - so much so that when it's for real, I shrug it off.

    Bad side of that might be - someone get a lead sandwich! LOL.

    Must be careful! J/K.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    3,468
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357
    In my experience as an EMT, handling the adrenaline rush depends in large part on mental preparation.

    I found that I was more affected by calls that required skills I didn't get to use everyday.

    So, I would say that, yes, there are ways to prepare for the adrenaline rush and dump, and I think the best way is to train as best you can, so that you are confident of your skills and ability. This doesn't mean you won't still get the shakes, but I'm sure they won't be as bad.

    LFI actually (or used to) administers adrenaline by IV during one of its advanced courses, so the students can get an idea of what it's like to try to operate under the adrenaline rush of extreme stress, and to learn what the dump feels like afterwards.
    Hi. +1 above. I too was an EMT (Wichita, KS) for several years, and found much the same. Be familiar with what you carry, the motions to access it, and most importantly, learn to use your peripheral vision and hearing . Good practice is focusing your ears to catch various sounds at varying distances; you'll learn to judge how far away that "yell" is (squealing tires, etc..) It may sound corny, but you can also use reflection on the inside of you eye- or sunglasses lense to catch "not-normal" motions around you, at least enough to cue you to blade yourself for better response/awareness. Pretty much everyone I know, EMS, PD, back-from-Iraq, agree that training does away with most of the mid-incident shakes, but you will have the PTS afterward.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Thx Tom - you have probably seen about everything I reckon - and a lot of it colored red!!
    Not really. I've seen some things, but far less than many, here. Inner city EMT's do see a lot of red, but not the kind of trauma that rural squads and squads covering highways and interstates do. I've been held at gunpoint several times, but only been in one fight and that was hand-to-hand. I don't remember having time to think about shaking.
    I have few concerns re post stress dump effects (oops - badly phrased - sorry!) .......... it is the early onset stuff I find disconcerting, assuming that a sudden confrontation and immediate need for drastic action is what I would be handling.
    This is where the training and drill come into play. You don't shake as much when you have something to do. It's when you stop having something to do that the shakes take over. I'm probably expressing this poorly, but when you are well-drilled and are taking action in a situation, your focus is outward on what you have to do and getting it done, not inward on what you don't know or can't do. When you stop having a way to use up the adrenaline is when you start to shake.
    Maybe tho - if things are sudden - then action will preceed any marked effect - but thinking of a slow build scenario where perhaps one is trapped and under threat of incoming - not so sure there. It is that situation that I guess many guys in combat can experience.
    There is, perhaps, a difference between training for specific skills, like drawing, aiming and firing, and planning a sequence of events, like how you would respond to a home invasion. I think that developing skills helps you deal with the sudden situations, and developing plans helps you deal with the drawn out scenarios. In each case, I think that as long as you have something to do with the adrenaline, by knowing what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, and having plans for various scenarios, so that you have a whole sequence of actions planned, so that you have confidence in yourself, you won't have to worry so much about the shakes.

    Chris, I really like the way you think about all this kind of stuff, and aren't afraid to bring it up for discussion. I do think it is possible to overthink something, and think yourself into a corner. You know the answer: train, train and train some more. Vary the drill. Vary the scenarios. Have a plan. Know your rig. Be confident in what you know. That's how you give yourself the best chance.
    Last edited by Tom357; May 18th, 2005 at 05:54 PM. Reason: stoopid typos
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Keep or Dump???
    By Dragman in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: December 14th, 2010, 08:16 PM
  2. adrenaline
    By Rayz in forum Defensive Carry & Tactical Training
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: June 15th, 2010, 09:27 PM
  3. "Adrenaline" workout
    By Paymeister in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 3rd, 2008, 09:48 AM
  4. Adrenaline???
    By Beees in forum Defensive Carry & Tactical Training
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: December 6th, 2006, 11:14 PM
  5. Dump the U.N.
    By Sheldon J in forum The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: May 7th, 2006, 04:55 PM

Search tags for this page

adenaline dump running
,
adrenaline dump
,
adrenaline dump afterwards
,
adrenaline dump and dealing with it
,
adrenaline dump effects with pistols
,

adrenaline dump symptoms

,
adrenaline rush/dump symptoms
,
dealing with adrenaline dump
,
handling adrenaline dump
,
is there any way to stop so much adrenline
,
psychological aspects of adrenaline dump
,
symptoms adrenaline dump
Click on a term to search for related topics.