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(en) DAF, Meydan #53 - Either Donakal, Run or Battle (tr) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 21 May 2020 10:49:46 +0300

Due to the corona crisis and the subsequent quarantine application, new articles, determinations, things to do and things not needed are scattered every day. Our days pass by listening and reading conspiracy theories and applications that will not provide any benefit. Many people stopped counting on the day of quarantine. In which month were we really? Is March taking too long? While the winter is not ending, the suggestions for protecting mental health began to be lined up one after another while the days were mixed together at night. ---- Almost everyone is trying to make a promise of our own psychiatric and psychological process. This article aims to look at the arguments of the system from a different place, considering all these psychological / psychiatric facts.
First Encounter with Danger; Can I Escape This?
According to psychology, in its simplest terms, trauma is the event or situation that threatens the physical and mental integrity of the individual and it continues to be triggered for various reasons and turns into continuity. Social trauma can be described as the common suffering of society, a living organism. War, exile, massacre, accident, disaster, epidemic disease; Conditions such as ethnic identity, sexual identity and orientation-based bullying and violence can be described as social trauma. In other words, what is called social trauma especially for people living in this geography is not that foreign feeling or it is not the first time that it has entered our lives with quarantine. However, the big difference should not be overlooked. This time, a larger part of the society is experiencing this trauma and social traumas are growing on top of each other.

For those who are directly or indirectly involved in this situation, all emotions that may be called negative, such as terror, helplessness, pain, anger, dullness, loneliness, spread to the society. While the lives of some of them continue without much change, some's lives are turned upside down. Even more negative of all this is that the state, which claims to hold the regulation of our lives, constantly triggers this trauma in an organized manner due to its existence. On-the-spot sampling to trigger an announcement that there will be a curfew with two hours remaining, and that the healthcare system appears to be functioning "smoothly". On the other hand, fascist rhetoric, unfortunately we are accustomed to, the detentions against critics, the prohibition of various solidarity campaigns,

You Can Do Nothing: Freezing

Each individual is subjected to a series of recommendations in order to sustain their home life in their own traumatized area. "Spending quality time", which is constantly spinning, especially on social media, is launched as if it should be "what it should be". It is talked about "turning the crisis into an opportunity" with discourses such as "Here is the expected time for those who say I cannot find time to do anything". Making good meals, listening to music, drawing, sculpting, playing games with children, doing yoga and meditation, reading books that have been delayed for a long time to read, watching movies and more...

The concept of "spending quality time" is absolutely unfair. First of all, the workers such as cargo workers, market workers, municipal cleaning workers, construction workers, who have to work in quarantine, of course, also work much more than before, so they are more exploited. While the problems experienced by the "people who cannot stay at home" in order to ensure the continuity of the economy that can sustain their lives in the capitalist system, their anxiety to become a patient / carrier is added. "Why are you outside?" or "Why aren't you taking the necessary action?" are exposed to the judgmental attitude that started, they are excluded. It is not possible for these individuals to spend the time mentioned in high quality. On the other hand, The individual, whose workplace has been closed due to quarantine and thus unemployed, will undoubtedly fall into the trouble of nutrition and shelter, which is the most vital need. In such conditions, "quality time" suggestions to individuals who have already been sufficiently traumatized will be even more triggering about trauma.

Those who are lucky and can stay at home somehow do not have to be included in the "quality time". Known for his collaboration with psychiatrists, writer David Kessler describes the corona crisis and quarantine process as a kind of mourning. In other words, after losing someone, the same emotional state may show its presence. According to Kessler, this situation consists of five steps. Primary level denial: "The virus does not affect us." Then anger comes: "You make me stay at home and take my activities away." The third step is bargaining: "If I stay at home for a few times, everything will be the same, right?" The subsequent depression usually manifests itself by not knowing when this situation will end. And the final acceptance: "This event is happening and I have to discover how to proceed."

Being able to come to the acceptance part of the job is of course a very long process and includes many different equations. It cannot be said that a woman, child or LGBTI who is experiencing violence accepts the psychologically existing situation. The same goes for the individual who is unemployed, does not have regular income and is worried about what to eat in the evening. However, there are still some clues about acceptance for those who can be found in a somewhat safe, albeit partial, home environment.

There are many people who spend all day in front of the television, maybe on the phone, empty and dull without doing anything.

Don-run-fight or fight!

The deer grazing in the woodland is caught by the lion, who suddenly appears before him, despite all his efforts to escape. The lion deer begins to teeth; the deer flutters a bit first, then their gaze is completely frozen. There are no signs of breathing. Soon a few hyenas arrive and the lion deer, who is afraid to clash with them, leaves on the spot and moves away. The deer's eyes are dull, there is not the slightest expression of life in his body. A period of ten minutes passes and breathing becomes visible. It starts to tremble a little first, stands up after five minutes and the full speed begins to run with all its strength. It runs and runs so that the cameras can't follow it... It's a nervous system response: frost-run-war.

According to the Polyvigal theory, our nervous system responds with three different reactions during an attack that threatens our lives; fight, run or freeze in the face of an attack. Faced with the feeling of insecurity that we have felt since the corona crisis started, being in a situation that does not know what to do now is actually a warning of our nervous system. So "not to do anything" - for this very reason - is a very usual reaction that is always present in life, just as the deer imitates dead. On the other hand, it seems that escaping is not a reaction that can happen. Is it possible to fight or in other words to fight?

If it is said that sociality, which is one of the greatest vital needs of the individual, and the way of communication and relationship with people other than himself, is somehow turned into danger, how can it be dealt with? Undoubtedly, the answer is in solidarity. Physical distance never requires social distance.

The concept of social distance used by everyone from government officials to experts in capitalism is quite wrong because the process we are in requires only physical distance. It is social solidarity, not social distance, required to survive. Social solidarity is the solidarity of states and private companies, not just "aid campaigns" that are just a demonstration of the body. Empathy is not what Cola Cola writes on billboards; to meet the food exchange of the neighbor who has no economic income. The one who will save us from this danger (!) Is to be "us" who will support protecting our mental health.

Ece Uzun

This article was published in the 53rd issue of Meydan Newspaper.

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