The number of civilians affected by post-traumatic stress disorder is 13 times larger than with military personnel. Trauma is occurring on a consistent basis everywhere and to everyone, including average, everyday Americans. Social scientists who study how trauma impacts people have determined risk and resilience factors may predispose or protect people from effects of trauma. All of the different kinds of trauma (childhood, ongoing, physical, emotional, etc) and other factors affect how a person responds and whether subsequent behavior will be adaptive or unhealthy.
Growth from Trauma
Following traumatic events, some people experience distress while others grow stronger from it all. Some experience a mixture of both. Distress often shifts to growth over time under certain conditions such as abstinence from drugs and alcohol and adequate social support. In the mass media, post-traumatic stress disorder is disproportionately seen as negative and impacting mostly military personnel. Research conducted in Atlanta demonstrated how focusing on traumatic events which occur and negative consequences can have narrow focus which inhibits awareness of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resilience and recovery. Better outcomes may happen as a result of allowing people to discover the human capacity for resilience in the face of trauma.
From a positivity standpoint, trauma, like scar tissue, can result in building a stronger, more resilient, defense against future stress and trauma. In its own way, trauma helps us grow stronger. While a physical wound heals, the scar tissue which grows is stronger than the injured tissue, often with additional protection against future injury. Mental scars also provide growth and protection from future injury.
Psychosis and Resilience
Research explores patient’s outcomes after the first episode of psychosis. The first episode can be very traumatic and result in great suffering. Authors of the research discovered post-traumatic growth may also occur as positive outcomes resulted from the episode. Some people were inspired to develop positive traits and make healthy lifestyle changes. Other individuals developed stronger connections with others, appreciated life more and experienced positive spiritual effects.
Areas of Growth
Post-traumatic growth research and education has outlined five general areas positively impacted by traumatic events. The following are included:
- New opportunities and possibilities
- Closer relationships
- Sense of mastery over adversity and increased inner strength
- Feelings of gratitude and appreciation for life, general growth
- Deepened Spirituality and religious beliefs
Sometimes thoughts and feelings which result from traumatic experiences may be overwhelming to a person’s ability to function. Other times alcohol, food, drugs or other unhealthy activities soothe traumatic symptoms and turn into addictions. New treatments are available to truly make a difference for trauma survivors and families. Conventional therapeutic support can also help bridge the gap between distress and resilience or growth.
Traumatic situations can be overcome with support and help from trained professionals. Hired Power offers an individualized approach to healing the heart of addiction. Call us for more information on how we can support your recovery journey.