Lets face it, there is at least a small portion of the population that believes preppers are complete nutcases – in fact some of them are. Most of us, however, are level headed, vigilant, realistic individuals who are able to take care of their families and themselves should an unexpected event arise that would leave them vulnerable. But when do you cross the line? At what point do you cross over from planning ahead prepper to just paranoid?
Preparation is driven by logic; paranoia is driven by fear
What are the motivations behind your prepping? Do you feel like it is a smart move to be prepared for the worst? Or is fear that motivates you to get ready? Take an honest look and see what, if any, parts of your prepping are driven by fear. Look for signs of anxiety or worry, especially when you are thinking or talking about prepping. If you find yourself stressing then you need to look at the issue from a different direction so that you can get a more clear, reasonable handle on the situation.
Level of readiness
Experts say we should have three days’ worth of food on hand in case there is a disaster. Preppers who have been through significant events like Hurricane Katrina say that having a couple of weeks’ worth of food is more realistic. However, if you have a thousand cans of beans stockpiled and you only have four people in your family then you might be a bit paranoid. There’s nothing wrong with being ready for a major event, but there is a point where it not only stops being helpful, but also starts to hinder your prepping efforts. Examine your level of readiness and give an honest appraisal of its degree of paranoia.
Degree you give yourself over to the preparation
Another way to weed out the paranoia is to look how much you change for your prepping. For instance, some people say that you need to change your style of dress when you start carrying a firearm. In other words, dress around the gun. That may be taking it a little overboard, though. The more sensible, rational approach would be to find a way to carry your firearm that works for your own personal style. Some people have completely altered their lives to take on a prepping lifestyle. It is one thing to be focused and ready. It is quite another to live like it has already happened.
Level of obsession
A little obsession is not necessarily a bad thing. It only becomes bad when it dominates your life and negatively impacts how you function in society. If you find yourself constantly thinking about prepping or, worse, constantly worrying about what is going to happen that would probably qualify as obsessed.
If it is causing you to lose sleep, have anxious thoughts, or if it is keeping you from leaving your home then you have a problem. Vigilance and a desire to protect your family from the next tornado or terrorist attack is more along the lines of prepping. It is really important to keep your life in perspective and make sure that you enjoy the life you live.
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