Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

by Laurence Gonzales | Nonfiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0393354210 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingFiregirlwing of Tucson, Arizona USA on 6/24/2019
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingFiregirlwing from Tucson, Arizona USA on Monday, June 24, 2019
This has been on my wishlist for some time, so of course I had to grab it when I saw it at The Book Thing.

Journal Entry 2 by wingResQgeekwing at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Monday, February 17, 2020
Even though I don't need to add any more books to my TBR mountain range, but this was recommended to me at today's BC-in-DC meeting, so it came home with me.

Journal Entry 3 by wingResQgeekwing at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Thursday, September 30, 2021
This is a fascinating examination of how our brains work in survival situations. The first half of the book explains how our subconscious brain reacts under stress, and shows how what might appear to be irrational behavior to an outside observer might actually appear to be a completely normal response to the individual experiencing it. Because our subconscious brain reacts more quickly to stimuli, and because of the powerful influence it has on our physical responses, these subconscious processes can take over and are primed to react based on our previous experiences. The problem is that survival situations are often far outside our previous experience, so that these learned responses can be inappropriate and can make the situation worse.

In the second half of the book, the author examines the response of people who have survived such extreme dangers, and describes the mental skills it takes to do so. It requires a strong will to live, coupled with a willingness to accept the reality of the situation and an understanding that you need a very delicate balance of emotional and cognitive response to manage the situation.

The descriptions of the neurological responses are mixed with real life stories of people who find themselves in life-or-death struggles, so of whom survive and others who don't. This combination makes the book very compelling and readable. I recognized myself in some of the descriptions in here, and see how the processes described here have happened to me. Luckily, my experiences weren't quite as extreme as those in this book, and I don't think that I was ever in any extreme danger, but it is illuminating to recognize what is describe here in myself, and it would serve me well to remember that my previous experiences might not be good models for my responses in the future.

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