Self-Care: The POW Model - Shaking the Foundations

Militaries around the world have established some effective methods for breaking down prisoners of war to induce anxiety and depression and extract information about the enemy.

Are You Treating Yourself Like a Prisoner of War?

Human beings require some basic conditions in order to maintain emotional and mental stability, but in these camps, captors have intentionally deprived their prisoners of these basic necessities:

  1. Sleep
  2. Nutrition 
  3. Exercise
  4. Fresh Air/Sunlight/Access to Nature
  5. Healthy Social Contact

In the harsh conditions of a POW (Prisoner of War) camp, a prisoner might be subjected to the following:

Sleep Deprivation

  • lack of regular sleep schedule
  • uncomfortable sleep conditions
  • being woken at odd hours
  • continual deprivation of sufficient rest
  • crowded, unhygienic sleeping quarters

Poor Nutrition

  • lack of adequate sustenance
  • unpredictable meal schedules
  • foods of poor quality
  • dehydration
  • exposure to toxins

Lack of Exercise

  • being confined to a small cell
  • being required to stay in one place for hours at a time
  • muscle atrophy due to lack of movement

Lack of Sunlight, Fresh Air, and Access to Nature

  • artificial light, if any
  • stale air in unhygienic conditions
  • harsh, man-made environments devoid of any signs of the natural world 

Lack of Healthy Social Contact

  • being placed in solitary confinement
  • being denied conversation with other prisoners
  • being left alone to ruminate and contend only with one’s own thoughts
  • being deprived of healthy touch and physical affection from other people

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