-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- New research finds some
truth in the old saying that whatever doesn't kill you will make
While extremely harrowing experiences such as being assaulted or
surviving a hurricane can cause psychological damage, less drastic
life challenges can help you develop psychological resilience,
according to Mark Seery of the University at Buffalo.
In one study, he and his colleagues found that people who
suffered many traumatic events were more distressed in general, but
they also found similar problems in people who had not experienced
any such adversity.
People who had experienced some negative life events had the
highest level of mental toughness.
In another study, the researchers looked at people with chronic
back pain and found that those who had experienced some serious
life challenges had better mobility than those who'd faced a lot of
adversity or none at all.
The findings appear in the December issue of the journal
Current Directions in Psychological Science.
People who have been through difficult experiences have had an
opportunity to develop their ability to cope and to learn how to
get help from family and friends when they need it, Seery said.
But he stressed that parents shouldn't intentionally make life
difficult for their children in the belief that it will help them
grow up to be well-adjusted adults.
"Negative events have negative effects," Seery said in a journal news release. "I really look at this as being a silver lining. Just because something bad has happened to someone doesn't mean they're doomed to be damaged from that point on."
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
coping with traumatic events.
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