I was’t expecting that the new series on Netflix about preppers, would get me this hooked on. I sometimes can’t get myself off, watching the screen. The series are not presenting anything spectacular, just a bunch of people preparing for some very improbable, catastrophic events.
What is prepping? It is a primarily American movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who actively prepare for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. Survivalism also encompasses preparation for personal emergencies, such as job loss or being stranded in the wild or under adverse weather conditions (quoting Wikipedia).
It seems to me it can also be made into an extremely interesting TV series.
Given the profiles of preppers, I have seen so far, they have a few things in common. Food supply, that can last at least a year (number of people varies from one family to even hundreds). They stockpile on their guns and thousands of rounds of live ammo (with some exceptions). They also use bug-out, bug-in bags and look for cars that can run on anything. They also believe the dangers they prep for are real and imminent.
And they got me into watching them in pure disbelief, but total fascination.
Majority of preppers I have seen, are white-Caucasian males. There are exceptions, but this is the general rule. I started to think, maybe there is some defect in human bodies that makes this part of our population more susceptible to fear. Their repetitive routines would be a placebo, that is actually allowing them to function within the society. AKA it is not an emotional state, but actually an environmental-biological-emotional connection.
The first thing that came into my focus, was a study showing decreased levels of testosterone having impact on level of anxiety. There are no specific studies made among preppers, to create a link here, that they have low testosterone levels. However there is one characteristic they share – their prepping is ‘passive-aggresive’ and purely defensive. Their reaction to aggression is not to face it, but to prepare first and run, when it gets risky. This can be loosely coupled to low levels of testosterone or any other endocrine system disruption.
The endocrine system disruptors that get very interesting in this scope, are the flame retardants. They are in common use in American houses. At the same time banned for example in EU (not to mention rest of the world).
The other trace evidence, I have found was with antimony residue and the effect of gunshot (most of the preppers own a lot of guns and practice a lot). I had to reach to non-‘scientifically’-approved sourced though, to look how trace amounts of gunshot residue-antimony, could have a potential effect on the mind. The key would be Much concerned about his fate (following this source).
It was really hard to find studies, which would show a link between biological markers and psychological behaviour. One of the other links, I have found, points at hormones […] like Cortisol, adrenalin and testosterone. The body tries to remove excess hormones if there is not any action following on fear. If the human body is not able to remove all the hormones, the result will be hyperactive behaviour. This reaction “burns“ the excess hormones.
My fascination on how this can be linked further ended here. There is scarce evidence. I personally do not believe extreme prepping will help anyone to survive a massive disaster. I would rather classify it to one of many biological-emotional disorders.
My beliefs are closer to the wisdom of one of the episodes. There is a Cambodian wife, to a white-Caucasian husband. She lived through Khmer Rouge regime. An actual apocalyptic event, where close to 2 million people had been killed, including her whole family. She puts things simple. If you wan’t to survive, you will survive (if you get lucky); you will eat plants, bugs, robins, steal and hide. She was definitely against what her husband is doing and appeared, as she merely compromises to his ‘originality’.
Overview of prepping, can be found in the episode below: