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Looked at objectively, the use of will-power mechanisms to ignore a signal which is a warning of overload of the nervous system, would seem foolish, and expensive. It is. However, some people make a habit of doing just that. They have been trained to ignore body feelings of tension and anxiety, and to suppress open display of emotion.
Many different cultures set out deliberately to train young people to do this, placing great value on keeping a stiff upper hp. During World War II, the personality characteristic of being able to endure stressful circumstances, feeling fear and anxiety but not outwardly showing it, was considered a desirable quality for selecting people for aircraft crew. However, an undesirable side-effect of selecting unflappable people to fly aircraft and drop bombs in situations of great peril, was the selection of a number of people who had the potential to break down quite suddenly.
My understanding of the case histories of pilots and other air crew, who broke down under combat stress, is that these men habitually kept their emotions in check until they ran right out of inhibitory reserve and then, quite unexpectedly, they broke down. This is not to say that these people were any more or any less capable of carrying out their duties while under severe life-threatening stress than others who tended instead to express their anxiety and fear.
The airmen, who were able to suppress displays of emotion, gave their superiors no hint of warning before their breakdowns. On the other hand, those who displayed their feelings of anxiety readily tended to be grounded because their superiors felt they might break down and become unreliable and inefficient under further stress. For this reason, the men with stoic personalities were over- used and put at risk for sudden breakdown. On the other hand, the anxious worriers were not over-used and tended therefore to be less susceptible to breakdown under stress.

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