In an acute catastrophic situation, the mind tries to cling to that which is familiar. It tries escapism, distractions, tranquilizers, drugs and alcohol, and various other ways of trying to ameliorate the situation rather than face it directly and work through it.
The essence of a catastrophic situation is total surrender to the discovery of that which is greater than the personal self. The experiencing through completely of a catastrophe brings us into a connection and a realization that there is something within ourselves that has the power to sustain, no matter how catastrophic the experience appears to be. As a result, we come out on the other side of it as a greater person with the awareness that there is something within, that there is a Presence, a quality, or an aspect of life within that has the power to sustain us through the most seemingly impossible situations.