For a long time the standard view of tragedy is that it only takes time for most people to get over it. The phrase "moving on" or "time to heal" is seen as the proper way to view a situation where someone is affected by personal loss or life-altering physical status. The loss of a spouse, of a limb, or of a child is something that we just need to go through and heal from like a cut or bruise.
New information from Arizona State University shows that this perception may not actually apply in the majority of cases. Up till now we thought of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic/Prolonged Grief, or life status adjustment disorders to be the result when someone doesn't bounce back as they should. Now there is evidence that the majority of people that face large life changes actually continue to be affected by these tragedies for a lot longer and to be more affected by smaller life changes, such as unemployment.
The research article, appearing in Perspectives in Psychological Science, may not be the end of the conversation, but it does appear to look at the same data that has been used before and draw significantly different conclusions. In fact it draws these conclusions by not looking for expected results. Whereas many of the previous studies assumed that there was not a large group that were not resilient and instead looked for why or how they were or were not resilient, this study instead simply looked at how many of the people appear to be continually affected by what happened.
What this also means is that for the many people who feel that they just aren't good enough to overcome what happened, they are not in the minority. Losing a job or losing a husband both come with severe consequences for most of the people it happens to. This also means that the benefit of group and individual therapy is increased as it has been shown to reduce the negative impact from these events. For those of us who are friends or family to someone who returned from deployment, lost a job or maybe has a child in foster care, it is important for us to realize that there is a good chance that time alone will not heal these wounds and that helping them find a way to unstick themselves and create meaning from it is better seen as a natural response to all such events instead of only necessary in a few severe cases.
Building resilience is possible and it is not like eye color or height. We can change how effective people are at facing and growing from life changes. Our brains continue to be malleable throughout our lives, and we have developed a Neuroplasticity Retraining and Enhancement program that can help every single person through life's struggles.
Stop by or call to find out how getting to your preferred cognitive reality can help you break free from the negative habits and non-resilience your brain has learned.