Sorry to break the "Week of Reviews" trend we had going. I tend to leave the gear side of prepping to my fellow authors, although I may post reviews of books (if I ever find time to read again) in the future.
Parasites of the spirit are those things that will tear away at you feeling of peace. These little monsters can do just as much damage to your physical and mental health as any of the insects or traits mentioned in my earlier posts.
InsecurityNot being sure of your surroundings is natural after a disaster, your world has just changed drastically and things aren't the way they used to be. That's being "unsure", whereas being "insecure" is the state of not doing anything (or very little) because you're not sure of your own abilities. If you are afraid of failure and the thought of trying something has you terrified, you're dealing with insecurity.
The cure for insecurity is experience. Get out and try new things, learn new things, see new things. As you learn more about what you're capable of doing the insecurity will fade and you'll be better able to deal with the unknown.
If one of your tribe or team members is feeling insecure (children, hipsters, etc.), lead them in exercises of their abilities until they gain some confidence. After that you'll need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't exceed their limits. A newly freed spirit can often get into trouble by pushing the envelope too far, too fast.
Negative ThoughtsNegative thinking becomes a real problem when it gets personal. If you consider someone else in a "bad" way it can slowly influence how you view other people, but if you think negatively of yourself you will poison every interaction you have.
There are very few truly evil people in this world (and even Hitler liked dogs), so don't be afraid of facing your faults and failures while being aware that we all have them. It can be hard to like yourself sometimes, especially if you've done things that you're not proud of, but don't let that take over your life. Find something positive about yourself to focus on to help ward off the negative thoughts. Find a friend or, if there are none around, find a dog. Being accepted for who you are is the best antidote for a negative self-image and having someone else to focus on will make it easier to avoid self-criticism.
Helping others deal with a negative self-image can be as simple as reminding them of the good things about them or it can be a nearly impossible task of dragging them out of a well of self-loathing that probably took years to get into. Teenagers can be particularly difficult to deal with if they have been told that they are "worthless" by someone they admire. Rejection is a hard lesson to learn, and raging hormones don't make it any easier to deal with.
Negative peopleEveryone knows at least one. The person who will always find the worst in any situation and fixate on it. They have the ability to ruin parties, make meetings (more) miserable, and make a bad situation even worse. Some people are raised to be negative, others learn it on their own. The real professionals take pride in seeing the bad side of everything.
The trick to dealing with negative people is to use them as a "Devil's Advocate" when you are doing any planning. Having someone point out possible flaws in a plan can help make the plan more likely to succeed, and may help you avoid pitfalls that you wouldn't have seen on your own. Keep them away from leadership positions and small groups, as they can rapidly "infect" others with their negative attitude and breed a "what's the use" view of the world, leading to slow or no action when it's needed.
DespairI covered despair in one of my first posts, in response to a comment from a reader who thought she had nothing to offer is a survival situation and would be a drag on anyone who found her. That post is here.
TL:DR version- nobody is worthless, everybody has a talent or skill that will be of use once it has been found.
The GrindThe activities that make up our daily lives can easily become our lives. Getting "stuck in a rut" where every day is the same as the one before it can bore a person into becoming a drone, a non-entity that simply exists instead of actually living. With the changes in the work environment, this is less of a problem than it used to be (I worked the same job for 18 years - how many people under 30 can look forward to that?), but in a crisis situation the daily requirements of finding food, water, and shelter could rapidly change into a routine that becomes monotonous. Food choices will be drastically narrowed, entertainment and other forms of distraction will fall way down the list of priorities when you're hungry, and "spare" time can be available in feast or famine quantities.
Find ways to break up the monotony. Pack away a few decks of cards to provide entertainment and distraction. Make sure you have included "treats" in your preps to reward yourself and your tribe with (hard candies, coffee, chocolate, real toilet paper, etc.) Put at least one book in your BOB. I don't care if it's a Bible, a collection of poems, a manual on knot tying, or a basic foreign language textbook- pack something that will keep your mind active and shoo away the boredom.