How To!

How To Survive a Shark Attack

Fighting off a massive shark isn’t the hardest part—it’s what comes after.

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Episode Notes

David was in the ocean in Hawaii when the unthinkable happened—a shark attacked him and bit off his leg. “I don’t think you’re gonna make it,” a medic told the 25-year-old on the helicopter ride to the hospital. But David did make it, and soon he learned that surviving the shark wasn’t the hardest part—it was what came after. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, psychiatrist and author of The Body Keeps the Score, to help David understand and deal with the lasting psychological trauma of the attack. For anyone suffering from severe trauma, Bessel says, it’s okay to grieve the person you were before. Accepting the loss of the “old you” will allow you to better embrace who you are now, both in your mind and body.

Do you need help overcoming life’s many challenges? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.

About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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