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The Mental Hug Room: How To Be Safe & Prepared w/o Paranoia & Panic:

Maybe it's just me, but I'm starting to think that society really needs something like a mental hug room. And by society, I mean me. I get really stinking scared by end-of-the-world stuff (most recently, it's been EMP that's gotten me into a panic). I'm a nervous person by nature. In combination with lots of end-of-the-world, you're-gonna-die talk, that leads to an obsessive, petrified wreck curled up in the corner (I'm 22, just starting on a new job, and don't have the resources to prepare for half of this crap yet).

That's why I think we as a society should create a special mental hug room where all my fellow petrified wrecks can retreat to every so often to put probabilities into perspective and provide some reassurance that, you know, the world probably isn't going to end tomorrow. If paired up with a special safety-first coaching system, it could lead to improved safety and public health across the board as people stop doing crazy stuff because Television Is Trying to Kill Us and focus on small, helpful actions to prepare for disasters while preserving their sanity.

Well, what do you think?

edited 28th Dec '11 10:15:57 PM by Clevomon

 
Basically, a Crazy House, but for people who aren't crazy, but just incredibly anxious and worried.

I think I could get behind that.

Also, we could have classes which teach people how to deal with this stress and anxiety.
Added something to my sig. Sad, I know...

Texan Troper Coven
 3 Aceof Spades, Wed, 28th Dec '11 9:40:23 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
That seems far more like a personal problem that you can deal with within your own home rather than something that everyone should do. I don't suffer from paranoia about the end of the world, after all, and I don't always enjoy even real hugs. Why would I need a room in public space for that? You can designate your own mental hug room within your own house or apartment.

Also, we have therapists and psychologists for a reason.

edited 28th Dec '11 9:40:51 PM by AceofSpades

 4 Flyboy, Wed, 28th Dec '11 9:40:29 PM from the United States
Decemberist
If by EMP you mean the classic "one strat nuke over Kansas sinks the whole US" scenario found in such shit as Homefront, it actually is kind of comically absurd. All the important counterstrike elements of US defenses are EMP hardened, so whoever tried it would promptly receive a reply salvo of nuclear weapons in return, and thus by the theory of MAD (which as of now is still good), it isn't going to happen, as the only reason to do it would be if you can win, and, well, you can't.

You should be afraid of anti-missile systems. But that's not helping.

Otherwise, I'm not really sure what you're asking for, exactly...
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
@Ace of Spades

It's more than that. I was trying to use my own life as a personal example (probably didn't do a good job of framing that - sorry), but there are plenty of cases of safety paranoia on a societal level that causes bizarre and sometimes counter-productive reactions. See: anti-vaccine movement, many things the TSA's done since 2001, current penitentiary system...

@Flyboy

Eh, just to clarify, I've been most worried about solar EMP. But we'd probably want to talk about this on another thread.

edited 28th Dec '11 9:51:17 PM by Clevomon

 
Three-Puppet Saluter
Statistics alone won't cut it. May I recommend Made To Stick as a resource to make perspicacity on danger, well, stick?
Hail Martin Septim!
 7 Aceof Spades, Wed, 28th Dec '11 10:01:37 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
The anti-vaccine movement isn't going to be taken care of by a "mental hug room" but by actually educating people in what vaccines do instead of just letting misinformation get spread around willy nilly. And in the end, if they still decide not to get vaccinated or their children vaccinated... well, that's their right.
@Doma Doma

Ooh, good reading recommendation. Thank you. Hm, so then, in a flawed metaphor, what we'd need in a room is some sort of water to wash off the velcro along with the statistics. Since I haven't had time to read this book yet, does it offer any suggestions?
 
Three-Puppet Saluter
I actually thought that was what the OP was going for. Only couched in the terms favored by exclusively young, probably left-leaning web communities.

[up] Not so much about unlearning things, IIRC; more about making sure that the new memes are just as arresting. Like: In this animation, every point of light is a flight that went off without a hitch, over the course of a single day.

edited 28th Dec '11 10:08:05 PM by DomaDoma

Hail Martin Septim!
@Ace of Spades

But education is part of it! But even with education, these things still cause paranoia. You're assuming people are completely rational, when we know they aren't. That's why I think a safe, secure environment every so often could be beneficial. Like, usually, I personally tend to use the Scare 'Em Straight and You Can Panic Now pages here to calm myself down because they put things into perspective (to a certain extent), but also because they use humor to do so, which is more calming than raw statistics and makes me feel better. I think we need some sort of societal version of that.
 
 11 Aceof Spades, Wed, 28th Dec '11 10:16:49 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
No, Clevomon. I am not assuming people are always rational. DO NOT assume what I think like that. I have NEVER said anything like that.

We already have mental institutions, and help centers for those in need. Could we use a little more charity? Yes. But we don't have the time to be spending on anyone who just feels fear and is not in actual material need. There are professional therapists who are already providing their services for that sort of thing. But we can't stop or sooth everyone's fears one hundred percent of the time. There has to be a certain amount of self sufficiency, or all the help in the world doesn't mean jack shit.
@Ace of Spades

Ah, understood. My apologies. Should not have made that assumption.

No one said it needed to be 100%. I think you're assuming (please correct me if I'm wrong) I mean a concrete-and-wood building. Am I wrong on this?
 
 13 Aceof Spades, Wed, 28th Dec '11 10:47:15 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
That's certainly what you seemed to suggest with "a place my and my fellow wrecks can retreat to and feel safe". As for outreach programs; we already have those, which I've said. They're being crippled by Republicans trying to cut everything. Certainly anything you seem to be suggesting would need government money because it couldn't last very long on donations. Or some sort of non profit thing that participants pay into in order to keep it going.
Somewhere we could retreat could be a website. Or a television program. I retreat to TV Tropes. I apologize. My similes and metaphors aren't always apt. That's why I appreciate knowing where the miscommunication hangups are.

Some funding's needed in order to do anything, but it doesn't need to be such a large amount. The coaching aspect would probably need some sort of govt subsidy, and I understand objections to that (although I do think it would pay its own way with more safe and healthy citizens who are economically more effective), but just a site - perhaps with a public service ad campaign - could be maintained by a non-profit for more money than an individual citizen might have, but a relatively modest amount, compared to some other efforts.

Something like the "Pass-It-On" campaign (BTW, I love those ads).
 
 15 Barkey, Wed, 28th Dec '11 11:11:23 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I'm excited about the end of the world, the people who panic are the first ones that'll get plundered. tongue
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Gunpla is amazing!
Well thanks for cheering up those of us who aren't soldiers and making those who are more paranoid and worried even more so.

edited 29th Dec '11 1:08:23 AM by Thorn14

 17 Flyboy, Thu, 29th Dec '11 1:40:43 AM from the United States
Decemberist
Ah, but we know to exploit your left side. tongue
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
@Barkey

Well, that's very nice that you aren't interested in helping out other people, particularly when they have skills that could probably help you in a worst-case scenario. But they need to be able to survive to do that. That's in a worst-case scenario. In a best-case one, you have a bunch of people expending effort in unproductive ways (be it by doing stuff that's counter-productive or by psycho-somatic illness), hindering society's capability to improve the standard of living for everyone, including you.
 
 19 Inverurie Jones, Sat, 31st Dec '11 12:33:59 AM from Station 78 Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
'80s TV Action Hero
Panicky people are a liability, not an asset. When total economic collapse comes (around August, maybe? How the Yanks have avoided it these last two years is a mystery) whatever skills they might imagine they have are outweighed by their inability to handle stress.

I say we eat the fuckers.

edited 31st Dec '11 12:37:55 AM by InverurieJones

'Our hope's with you, rider in the blue.'

'...Day and night, they're always firemen.
 20 Barkey, Sat, 31st Dec '11 10:34:28 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I never said I wouldn't collaborate with others, I just don't collaborate with the useless. Natural survivors and skilled individuals are always welcome in my company. Barring that, people with a sound mind, a strong back, and a willingness to help do the work.

You know, maybe 20 percent of America, the ones who wouldn't just flop over like a dying fish and wait for somebody to save them.

Oh, and nobody named Lori. My friends and I agreed on this as a term of our post-apocalyptic partnership.

If you're afraid of something or panicking about something, do something about it. Either find a way to fix it, or prepare for a way to cope with it. Lamenting how useless you are if society falls down the shitter is useless, learning how to hunt and skin small game, basic first aid, water purification, and which local plants are safe to eat, is. Shit, even a 3 day bag with some food, water, important documents, etc, is a step in the right direction in case something unfortunate happens. The reason I don't panic is because I know I can roll out to any of several points in the county where I can get out into the wilderness and survive with a sleeping bag, a bow and arrow, and a few bottles of water.

edited 31st Dec '11 10:41:44 AM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Gunpla is amazing!
You know, this thread was about how to help people who are feeling paranoid and instead you're talking about how people like them are going to be useless food in the apocalypse.

REAL tactful guys.

 22 Barkey, Sat, 31st Dec '11 11:03:10 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Helping people doesn't always involve a soft touch.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 23 Aondeug, Sat, 31st Dec '11 11:08:34 AM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Sometimes it can involve scaring the fuck out of them and grinding them into the dirt until they get fucking sick of it and stand up tall and strong. And show you that they're not shit.

But that doesn't work with everyone. Sometimes nicer things work better and the above just ruins people.

The trick is trying to find out what works best. But that's hard. And this my friends is why you can't find a therapist who can fix everyone!
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 24 Drunk Girlfriend, Sat, 31st Dec '11 12:41:32 PM from Castle Geekhaven
@Barkey: Living near a river ftw. There's plenty of fresh water, fish, edible plants, and the deer around here are so stupid you could hunt them with a hammer.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 25 Aondeug, Sat, 31st Dec '11 1:09:48 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Really? Those deer are just begging to become dinner...
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
Total posts: 28
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