Mental Illness in the Post-Apocalypse

Panic-attack
Panic-attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi there. I am a crazy person. My mental illness impacts every part of my life. Specifically, I am a person with severe depression and a panic disorder. It’s possible (undiagnosed, but confirmed as very likely by a psychiatrist) that I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I am medicated in order to control this, taking a regular dose of Citalopram, and I am in therapy.
Obviously, none of these things will be available to me post-apocalypse. This could be a problem.
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Hunger.

Let’s talk about hunger. You probably think you know what it is to be hungry, right? Your stomach growls, and you get more and more obsessed with food the longer you are unable to eat. But chances are (if our stats are correct) that you’re a person from a western, industrialised country who has never really expereinced proper hunger. You may have eaten crap for a day or two, or a week or two, or a month or two. You lived on beans while in university. You only have one or two proper meals a day while you’re on the dole. These all suck and leave you hungry.
But the thing is, that’s not proper hunger. Thats ‘wealthy, powerful country’ hunger. That’s not the hunger of having NO meals for the last week, of being forced into eating rubbish or rats or weeds from the garden. You’d turn your nose up at those, because even though you may be poor, there is still food available for you that isn’t that awful.
There won’t be when the end happens. Finding food will become more unlikely and fraught. Fussyness will not happen. Thee’ll come a point where you kill a rat and eat it – maybe even raw, because your hunger is now so intense that something that foul doesn’t matter to you.
I don’t say these things to scold or scare you, but to prepare you. Start letting go of your rich-country food prejudices. I’d still say avoid eating dogs and cats, because they’re invaluable for killing vermin and protecting you, but if feral dogs attack you, don’t waste the meat. Most things are edible, even if they taste bad, just remember that. Don’t let hunger drive you to it, accept it early on and it’ll be more easy to deal with.
See, the problem with not knowing what is actually edible and what isn’t, and allowing squeamishness to make your food decisions for you, is that in desperate situations you are then completely ignorant as to waht you can eat or not. Hunger my then drive you to poisonous berries and mushrooms, because you don’t know that dandelion leaves are perfectly fine (if bitter). It might drive you to eat your shoe leather because you can’t let go of the idea that, psot-apocalypse, your pet bunny is better as a source of meat than as something to cuddle.
Hunger. Don’t let it win.