For survival in Antarctic conditions polar explorers develop “psychological anabiosis”

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<pre>For survival in Antarctic conditions polar explorers develop “psychological anabiosis”

If you do not take into account the depths of the sea, the most difficult habitat, and at the same time, a serene place on Earth – this is the Antarctic. Over the past half century, people have learned not only to survive there, but also to stay for the winter in conditions where the most simple, everyday activities are associated with a deadly risk. It is difficult and at the same time very interesting – scientists from the University of Manchester uncovered the unusual protective mechanism of polar explorers.

People are social creatures, it is difficult for us without society, therefore a group of polar explorers, isolated from civilization for six months or more, is an excellent object for research. The study was based on psychometric surveys of members of the French-Italian base “Concordia”. And the first thing it turned out was that the polar explorers do not have time to worry, doubt and self-digging, because in the most severe conditions of the Antarctic winter every person’s working day is written for almost every minute.

Scientists expected to see an extreme form of occupational therapy when readiness for quick problem solving is supported by constant small successes. After all, even chop up the ice and heat the water in a 60-degree frost – a small feat to be proud of. But instead they saw in the polar explorers the rapid extinction of all emotions, aspirations and desires, people fell into a kind of psychological hibernation. In extreme cases, it took the form of emotional hibernation, anabiosis, when a person became like a robot.

The reasons lie on the surface – polar explorers lead a constant but deliberately losing battle with the elements. Their task ultimately boils down not to victory, but to survival until the summer comes and the living conditions inevitably improve. A change will come, supplies will be brought in, the weather will get better and everything will be fine – so why waste energy now? At the same time, they maintain clarity of thinking and perform not only work at the station, but also planned research.

This discovery makes it necessary to take another look at the organization of autonomous expeditions as a whole. For example, how to organize a psychological relief for future colonists of the Moon and Mars, who will most likely end up in similar conditions? Or, on the contrary, you can fully rely on our instincts, which will allow a person to survive in the conditions of the most severe stress?

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