If I might make a book suggestion that is somewhat related. 'Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why' by Laurence Gonzales. This is an excellent book about people that live or die in extreme situations. Early in the book he goes into a good deal of medical detail concerning adrenaline and other chemicals in the body. One of the biggest affects for survival is the ability for a person to see the world the way it really is, not they way they wish it to be. This means the individual must be totally honest and totally accepting of the situation, which is not easy. Gonzales gives a number of fascinating case studies to illustrate this point. If you a chance pick up a copy.