Buffalo, Matthews Sharps, U.S. discussed on Bear Grease
To reality. I get to point, I didn't want to come home. This is where things get interesting and taken unexpected turn. What I appreciate most about RT is how open he is about his struggles. It's pretty rare to find a person willing to be as honest about himself as RT. At the time, there wasn't much known about the psychological effects of living a double life, but it turns out RT's experience of having difficulty going back and forth between reality and his undercover work is a common issue. Doctor Matthews sharps wrote a book called processing under pressure, stress, memory, and decision making in law enforcement. He's worked a lot with undercover agents, but it's an under researched area. I want to see what he says about this. We now know that brain cells, if a brain cell is active, when other brain cells are talking to it, these synapses, the connections tend to be strengthened. So if you're in the field for a long time, pretending to be a mafia pretending to be a drug dealer, what have you. If you're going to stows in this habit pattern, start to become a relatively automatic in you, okay? So when you go back home to your spouse, your family. Lots of times undercover people, will emerge back into the word emerge back into their undercover persona, and they don't know they're doing it. This is usually problematic an awful lot of our life is dealing in terms of automated behaviors. It's possible to be so deep undercover for so long that the functional mechanisms of our identity begin to become scrambled. And when you think about it, it's really an odd place for a human to occupy. Normal human existence is based on us functioning honestly in a state of reality, but people who work deep undercover have to live a life, which as it turns out, exerts an extreme amount of chronic stress on the body that we weren't designed for. If you think about our ancient ancestors, they were hunters, and hunting presents tremendous acute stress, especially if you're doing it with a spear or a spear as a magazine capacity of one. So that's pretty damn stressful. But it's two or three days of a persistence hunt or the 5 minutes of jumping up and taking out a deer or back in the day at Ira shell. Cute. Now we had to be able to deal with acute stress because if you couldn't, you couldn't survive long enough to reproduce. But chronic stress, the second socratic chronic stress don't kill you until you're in middle age or for them was old age. And so we don't seem to have a good way of dealing with chronic stress. It gets us. One thing is that when you're under stress, you're in the human fight or flight response. And that ups your blood pressure, it ups your heart rate at up your breathing rate all the stuff is wearing on the body. It also produces aside from those three major chemicals involved, aldosterone, which is to do a salt balance, cortisol that gives you more energy, but it also has a erosive quality on some structures. There is research that indicates that cortisol can have some corrosive agency on a structure in the brain called the hippocampus where you actually process your memories. But then you have adrenaline, and that's what it puts your body into this higher state of being. It's just very, very expensive. And because you're using all of these really all of this high stress stuff, you tend to shut down the systems you don't need. Humans weren't designed for chronic or constant stress. Were equipped for short term stress, and it all goes back to our hunter gatherer roots. It's easy to listen to RT's stories and feel the excitement and James Bond style and intrigue of undercover work. But all things come with a cost and it certainly did for RT. 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