What does not kill us makes us stronger. For some people, these words are the mantra at difficult times, while for others this is the motto of life. According to Stephen Joseph, a professor at the University of Nottingham, from 30% to 70% of survivors of traumatic events, notice their positive impact on their lives. And it is no coincidence, but a psychological phenomenon of post-traumatic growth recognized by scientists.
A writer and journalist David Kushner published an article, in which he talks about the unexpected consequences of a tragedy experienced by his family. His older brother was kidnapped and killed at age 11 when David was only four. He later described everything his family experienced in the book Alligator Candy. Kushner said that for many years he was wondering how his parents had managed to go through the loss and had been able to bring up other children without trying to completely control their lives, and giving them all the necessary freedom. Moreover, his parents began a new activity – they were actively helping other victims of tragedies to cope with grief.
Some people after experiencing a tragedy, instead of falling into a deep depression, experience the influx of vitality, which helps them to go further and develop. This is the so-called post-traumatic growth.
George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist, also believes that, although the death of a loved one is an undeniable grief, it can teach something positive. For example, such a loss can motivate to learn more about the disease or get close with other people. It is not the event, but our attitude towards it.
In 2004 article Post-traumatic Growth: a New Look at Psychotraumatology, Tedeschi and Calhoun noted that a minority of traumatized people later suffer out of the deep frustration. Post-traumatic growth, according to the observations of psychologists, is a phenomenon based on the paradox, when the pain and the feeling of vulnerability make a person stronger.
The phenomenon of post-traumatic growth can be developed in people who have suffered injuries of various kinds: those who have lost a loved one or witnessed his or her injuries; the one who found out about the deadly disease, survived the disaster, violence, war, and other horrors. It is important that these people want to change something in their morale.
No one can promise that post-traumatic growth will definitely happen. Scientists do not also claim that in order to recover from the psychological trauma one must experience personal growth. Tedeschi and Calhoun also say that in order to begin to develop as a person and change your lives for the better, it is not necessary to experience traumatic events.
What does not kill us makes us stronger. For some people, these words are the mantra at difficult times, while for others this is the motto of life. According to Stephen Joseph, a professor at the University of Nottingham, from 30% to 70% of survivors of traumatic events, notice their positive impact on their lives.