Your guide to Post Traumatic growth.
Updated: Jul 28
Resilience After Trauma, Can It Be Taught?
So how do they do it? How is it that some people survive traumatic experiences and are able to move on? Though, yes, moving on may mean taking an extended time in relinquishing vivid memories of what may have been an event that may have cost us our life or another, but some do move on. In some cases, people go through violence and their experience has resulted in physical pain or injury. The physical pain, the body, it heals, but what about the mind? Amidst that, some are able to find ways, an ultimate guide to post-traumatic growth, but then others just can’t? Perhaps you have found yourself in this situation and, to date, are still asking yourself, “why can’t I just move on?”
So What Exactly is Post-Traumatic Growth
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a theory that explains this kind of transformation following trauma. It was developed by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, in the mid-1990s, and holds that people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterwards.
Through PTG, people get to develop a sense of self, a new understanding of the world they move and live in, recommendable ways on how to deal and relate with others, create a path to achieve the kind of future they wish to have and just a better understanding on how to live life without stressing about the little things.
What Are Some Signs of Post-Traumatic Growth?
PTG may at times be considered synonymous with the word, “resilience.” How so? Simply because becoming even more resilient as a direct or indirect result of a struggle with trauma can be a very good reference and/or an example of PTG. However, we must be very careful not to confuse PTG with resilience. Resiliency is someone’s personal attribute, character, ability or innate skill to bounce back. PTG, on the other hand, maybe likened to what can occur when a person who has struggles bouncing back experiences a deep sense of trauma that is based on a horrible/traumatic event that instils challenges against that person’s core beliefs. This may all then result in an enduring psychological struggle and may even lead to mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Getting over such tragic events will take time, endurance and it will require a certain mental health support process that will take a lot of time, energy and, yes, struggle.
A person who may already have an innate sense of resilience, may, with ease, be able to pick up the broken pieces, mend what can be patched and then leave the rest behind. When trauma occurs, a resilient person would more than likely be excused from experiencing PTG because a resilient person would not be the type that would allow problems to rock them to the core, and will not be likely to find some type of solace by picking up on a new life system, or in layman’s term, having the need to change his or her entire life. On the other hand, less resilient people may go through distress, confusion, anxiety and depression as they struggle to understand why such terrible things happen to them. Less resilient people take tragedy and tragic experience very personal to the point that they hold on to the pain because they just cannot get over the question, “why did this have to happen to me?”
It Is Totally Acceptable To Say, “I Am Not Alright.”
For those who feel like they are extremely weighed down by a tragic experience and find the need to sort their thoughts out but are feeling hesitant to go to the mental health clinic, there are options. Since the pandemic, online mental telehealth service has picked up the favour of those who seek help. Help may be classified as assistance from psychiatry through telehealth psychiatrist or just simply a counsellor to talk to through online mental health support. Either way, by seeking help in a hospital or simply by staying home, help is out there. It is best to always seek the advice of your general practitioner as far as the recommendation is concerned. There may even be bulk-billed telehealth service available near your area.
In closing, it is extremely important to have self-awareness. People who have experienced trauma do actually manage to move along, slowly but surely, to not just simply “survive” a hideous and traumatic experience but have also experienced “Post Traumatic Growth”. To have an understanding that this is possible, doable and achievable, is an integral part, a very important element that contributes to fostering hope.