Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • You hear the echoing of a gunshot.

  • People all around you begin to scream in panic.

  • You run and dive for cover.

  • As you breath heavily trying to get your bearings you look down; you've been hit.

  • A pool of blood begins to soak through your shirt.

  • How does getting shot feel?

  • Let's find out.

  • We've all seen someone get shot in movies or television shows, but do these depictions

  • have it right?

  • According to the CDC in 2017 around 40,000 people died from gun related deaths in the

  • United States alone.

  • However, many people also survive being shot, and when they tell their story and what it

  • feels like, there are several commonalities.

  • That being said, everyone is different.

  • Some people have really high tolerances for pain, while others not so much.

  • The sensations felt from being shot are most certainly connected to the location of the

  • bullet wound, the size of the bullet, and the person themselves.

  • But let's look at different accounts and see what most have in common.

  • Many gunshot survivors remember the initial penetration of the bullet.

  • The strange thing is that they don't remember feeling any pain at first.

  • This is surprising since you'd think a searing hot chunk of metal ripping through your skin,

  • muscle, and nerves would be excruciating.

  • However, for the most part, survivors of gun wounds tend not to notice they have been shot

  • until they see blood.

  • One gunshot survivor remembers the impact of the bullet feeling like someone had thrown

  • a small pebble at her.

  • The bullet hit her in the side, and all she remembers was being in shock, but not feeling

  • any initial pain.

  • This may be surprising at first, but this is not uncommon with people who have been

  • shot.

  • Many people recount that within the first few moments of being hit by a bullet, they

  • didn't feel anything at all.

  • Once the brain realizes that the body has been injured, and it could be life threatening,

  • it goes into survival mode.

  • The brain dumps adrenaline into the bloodstream, which causes the body to increase blood pressure

  • and heart rate, expand air passages to the lungs, and maximize energy output.

  • This allows the body to reach superhuman levels and to maintain homeostasis even under intense

  • circumstances.

  • The body obviously can't keep this heightened energy level up forever, but it does allow

  • the body to continue functioning even if it has been mortally wounded.

  • The lack of pain is also connected to the size of the bullet.

  • Larger bullets create larger holes, and tend to inflict more pain.

  • However, you'd think a smaller caliber should still cause severe pain, but the body is able

  • to do amazing things under life or death circumstances.

  • A smaller bullet such as a 9mm that doesn't break apart on entry will cause a lot less

  • pain than a large bullet that tears apart into shrapnel.

  • Bullets that break apart within the body can rip through surrounding tissue and muscle

  • around the initial entry point.

  • This causes widespread damage and pain in the affected area.

  • The more damage caused, the more pain signals will be sent to the brain, the more excruciating

  • the injury will be.

  • Once the initial shock starts to wear off, and the body begins damage control, many gunshot

  • victims remember feeling a burning sensation.

  • This is pretty universal among survivors.

  • Some people describe the burning sensation as feeling sort of like an intense bee-sting.

  • However, the initial burning does not decrease, it just intensifies.

  • So, it feels like being stung by a bee with a never ending stinger, like a needle just

  • continuously being pushed into your body.

  • The burning sensation seems to start the same.

  • When the bullet penetrates the skin the person feels an impact, but the burn doesn't start

  • immediately.

  • In fact, many gunshot survivors remember feeling numb.

  • As the bullet enters their body they can feel pressure, but it doesn't hurt.

  • Then a numbness sweeps across their body, radiating from the point that the bullet entered

  • from.

  • As the numbness and shock begin to fade, it is replaced by the burning sensation.

  • Other than feeling like a never ending bee sting some people have described the burning

  • as being incredibly hot.

  • Like someone was sticking an iron poker that had just come out of a fire into their body.

  • Other gunshot survivors explain that the burning sensation feels like someone is jamming their

  • finger into a raw blister.

  • The burning has also been described as an incredibly intense sunburn that is concentrated

  • on a single point of the body.

  • Or like someone is taking a bunch of needles and sticking them into them, except it's

  • as if each time the needle enters the body, it is just continuously being pushed further

  • and further in with no end to the sensation.

  • The burning seems to begin at the point of entry, but then radiates outward.

  • This may be a small piece of shrapnel ripping through the nerves.

  • But one thing is clear: for most people who have been shot, the burning sensation is what

  • is felt after the brain becomes aware that the bullet has entered the body.

  • Again every person's body is different, and therefore, will react in different ways

  • to intense trauma like being shot.

  • Soldiers that have been shot have recounted that they had a very different experience

  • from a bullet ripping through them.

  • Most agree that when the bullet enters the body there is an initial period of no pain

  • at all, but that doesn't last long.

  • Instead of a slow burning, the bullet wound goes from a slight pressure to excruciating

  • pain.

  • The reason that soldiers may experience a more intense pain is because they most likely

  • have been shot by a higher caliber bullet from a rifle.

  • The ammunition and guns used in military warfare are probably not the same weapons that civilians

  • are shot by during senseless acts of gun violence.

  • This is not always true, but it would seem that being shot by an assault rifle versus

  • a pistol with a smaller caliber bullet, would correlate to a more intense pain.

  • One soldier who was shot says that the initial shock wore off after a few seconds of a bullet

  • entering his stomach.

  • Then the pain immediately began.

  • He remembers it feeling like being hit by a sledgehammer in the stomach over and over,

  • resulting in the worst incontinence possible.

  • However, with this intense pain, he said that a warm numbness flowed through the rest of

  • his body, and eventually he blacked out.

  • On the other end of the spectrum some people who have been shot say there was no pain at

  • all.

  • They didn't feel a burning sensation, they didn't feel like they had been ripped open,

  • they felt nothing.

  • This could just be based on the person, but there are actually a few accounts of people

  • being shot and saying that they didn't feel much pain.

  • One man who was shot in the calf by a .22 caliber bullet said that it didn't hurt.

  • He chalks this up to the bullet being small.

  • It also probably had to do with where he got shot, as there are no vital organs in the

  • calf.

  • Being shot in different areas of the body seem to account for different sensations.

  • But what about being shot in the head?

  • You may be surprised to find that surviving a gunshot wound to the head is not as uncommon

  • as you might think.

  • You might also expect that being shot in the head would be excruciating, but this isn't

  • necessarily the case either.

  • One man was accidentally shot in the head by his wife while he slept.

  • Now accidentally shooting someone in the head seems unlikely, but that is the story the

  • wife stuck too.

  • Either way, while her husband slept the gun went off, and the bullet ripped through his

  • skull.

  • When the man awoke he didn't even know he had been shot.

  • Instead he complained to his wife of a massive headache.

  • The headache was so bad the man asked his wife to drive him to the hospital, which she

  • did.

  • According to the victim it wasn't until the nurse at the hospital informed him that

  • he had been shot in the head that he realized what had happened.

  • At this point the wife ran out of the hospital to avoid being charged with attempted murder.

  • However, this is not the only account of someone being shot in the head and surviving.

  • There are a few commonalities between survivors of gunshot wounds to the head.

  • The first is the intense headache that accompanies the bullet penetrating the skull.

  • This is not surprising as they now have a piece of metal lodged in their brain.

  • The other commonality is a ringing sound.

  • Most people who have been shot in the head and survive say that they hear a constant

  • ringing in their ears.

  • Some describe the ringing as a unique sound unlike anything they've ever heard before.

  • It is so intense and loud that it drowns out almost all other noise.

  • Other survivors describe it as a really loud buzzing like having bees inside your ears.

  • And yet others describe it like the ringing of a bell in your head.

  • Regardless of the description of the ringing, everyone agrees that it is incredibly loud

  • and persistent.

  • There also seems to be an initialpingsound from being shot in the head.

  • The ping then starts to intensify into the ringing, which lasts anywhere from hours,

  • to days or weeks later.

  • The ringing isn't painful per se, it is just really loud and annoying.

  • Most gunshot survivors say that the most painful part of being shot is the recovery process.

  • The initial gunshot wound for many seems to be a burning sensation, but that is nothing

  • compared to what happens if they survive the gunshot.

  • They are rushed to surgery, and depending on where the bullet entered, the operation

  • to remove the bullet and mend the wound is excruciating.

  • Many gunshot survivors say that the recovery and rehab process after being shot is much

  • worse than getting shot itself.

  • One survivor even described how when she was operated on, the doctors couldn't find the

  • bullet initially.

  • They didn't want to go digging around in her body looking for it, so they decided to

  • leave the bullet in.

  • The survivor had to have multiple surgeries in order to recover from the gunshot, and

  • during one of them, the bullet had actually been pushed close to the surface of the skin.

  • She said the bullet was practically poking out of her body until she convinced one of

  • her surgeons to remove it.

  • Many gunshot wounds take months to heal.

  • This means that for a long period of time survivors are in constant pain from their

  • body healing.

  • And yet, the pain of recovery isn't even the worst part for many gunshot survivors.

  • It's the psychological trauma that haunts them for the rest of their lives that causes

  • the most pain.

  • Most people who are shot end up with PTSD.

  • They are typically sent to counselors and therapists to help them work through the traumatic

  • experience, but this does not always help.

  • Being shot does not just mean they are afraid of being around guns or loud noises, but even

  • things that are unrelated to being shot may set off a sense of fear and terror.

  • For many, with the help of medical professionals and counselors, the PTSD can go away.

  • But for some it doesn't, and they have to live the rest of their lives with the disorder.

  • Getting shot is never pleasant.

  • Whether it is a burning sensation, intense pain, or psychological trauma it is something

  • that stays with you for the rest of your life.

  • The sensations associated with being shot depends on the person, the type of bullet,

  • and where the bullet entered.

  • Many people who survive being shot never fully recover.

  • Now watchHow To Actually Survive Getting Shot.”

  • Or check outHow To Stop Any Pain In Minutes.”

You hear the echoing of a gunshot.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 bullet shot gunshot pain body burning

What Does it Actually Feel Like to be Shot

  • 11 0
    Summer posted on 2021/09/17
Video vocabulary