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Poll How do you feel about the way Resilience is thrown around?

How do you feel about the way resilience is used in the psychiatric community

  • Hate it!

    Votes: 6 31.6%
  • Love the concept.

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Depends on where my head is.

    Votes: 9 47.4%
  • Don’t know.

    Votes: 3 15.8%

  • Total voters
Not open for further replies.
I like the way you framed it too @Mee . You have been very resilient!

I think you bring up a good point, support or ability to access it before, or during, or reframing/debriefing just post it is critically helpful.

I think post traumatic growth has a lot to do with perspective, reframing and attitude. Like Victor Frankl.
Umm did you read my Ts mind? He’s having me read Viktor Frankl.
He’s having me read Viktor Frankl
His story is a powerful one, and I think it illuminates the complexity and power of post-traumatic growth.

Also, worth considering whether someone who did not have his background (or interests) would have been able to see things as he did.

When I think of resilience, I think of the difference between bending and breaking. Resilience is the capacity to withstand pressure by accepting it, adjusting to it, and coming out the other side - not unscathed, but able to ride the next challenge when it comes along. I think it's related to the body's survival instinct - resilience is like the survival instinct, but for the self, or the soul.

And it can be cultivated so that it's strengthened. Sometimes, it fails. Trying to deny the realities of one's life, needing to grip so hard to a life that denies the bad shit because it's just too big or too much...eventually, that person will crack, and start to come apart. But if you believe that people are innately resilient, then it becomes possible for them to rebuild their self/psyche.

I don't know how resilient I am. There was a time I'd have said I was. But I'd never call it strength. I think it's a complex concept. I do think it's invoked by discussions about PTSD, trauma, etc. But it's easy for it to get reduced to something more like 'strength' - and I don't think that's quite it. (not that you're saying that, @Charbella).
I love that perspective @joeylittle . And funny you should link it to a survival instinct, because I remember one particular time (though there have been a few) needing a survival instinct to kick in, and it just simply didn't. And I remember noticing that specifically and thinking "Now's the time I 'should' have a survival instinct, but I don't" , and feeling kind of disgusted with myself, and thinking "So it's come to this, pitiful".

I also agree with the rest of the post. I almost changed my username to Willow before, just in hopes I could learn to bend. 😊

I think too it may be the sort of thing that involves 1000's of deposits of 'something', what I'm not entirely sure, but people just see a withdrawl and call it strength. I don't think it's strength either.

did you read my Ts mind? He’s having me read Viktor Frankl.
Actually, the 1st time I read (actually listened to because I can't get through a book any more) Frankl it didn't sit well with me. I mean I tried hard because I give him the credit he obviously is an authority on it after what he's been through. But i wasn't in the headspace. Maybe because he speaks matter-of-factly and directly about things or attitudes I couldn't relate to (or didn't see a way to adopt, or to give up), or what I didn't want to listen to.
My T is suggesting Frankl’s book because he’d like me to find meaning in life so I will want to live. He’s hoping it will help the SI but I’m unconvinced. I’ve only read the first chapter which I’ve enjoyed, but then I have a fascination with the holocaust so it’s not surprising. Much to my T’S chagrin I’m finding that if having a reason to live keeps you alive and the opposite is true, there’s no real motivation. He didn’t see that one coming, but he admits he should’ve.

I don’t have an issue with the concept of resilience as I would use it, as I would teach it to my students. I have an issue with the way I perceive the psychiatric community uses it. Like most on here have said, they find themselves to be resilient because we’ve all been through a lot and we’re still here, and fighting to varying degrees.
I’m finding that if having a reason to live keeps you alive and the opposite is true, there’s no real motivation.
I felt that reading it too. ^^ Actually solidified it (so I turned it off) since I do not have family or kids. For me it seems rather a moot point even to me now when it would not cause grief, or some would feel relieved, actually.

And yet, ultimately, whether we give up or focus on others or choose to be happy, or choose to feed the same thoughts , it simply is our choice. In a way I think that's what he meant. we can have self-pity, or gratitude (that rewires the brain) , we can have whatever we choose. We will have whatever we choose. But I guess I suppose I never thought I'd have to fight so hard, or so long, against such a thing. In a way it's burn out I think (for me). I suppose it's hard to find the motivation to fight for yourself when you're not on your own Top 10 list of priorities.

I know he says we need a purpose ; SI researchers say it comes from a lack of purpose, a lack of a sense of belonging, and reduced fear of pain. I would add little sleep (a great way to reduce resilience to anything and everything.)

I'm not sure how the psychiatric community defines resilience but getting out of bed and facing the day, or your family, or your own face in the mirror might require the same resilience another person has climbing a mountain, IMHO.
Interesting discussion about the Frankl book. 30 years ago when I was in high school a Social Studies teacher assigned that book. Oddly around that time was when I first became actively suicidal. It was a coincidence though. I had some kind of reading disability and could not read books, with some exceptions. It was probably related to the PTSD but I don’t know—seemed like ADHD or dyslexia. At the time I was being groomed by my neighbor, had been groomed by a teacher the year before, and had been sexually assaulted by my doctor, but was unaware that they were doing those things to me because all of that kind of behavior from adults felt familiar, so in hindsight it’s just a coincidence that I had to read that book. I remember nothing of it other than the description of the men lying in their bunks. I can picture the way the book looked but nothing else. Might be worth revisiting, in a kind if integrative way.

SI researchers say it comes from a lack of purpose, a lack of a sense of belonging, and reduced fear of pain
This is interesting. I’d be curious to know if you have any links to this? Not to derail the topic, but this is intriguing. I know for me there was such a split in my personality that I all the times I had SI there were parts of me very focused on goals (college or career) and then the rotten SI part which emerged in the loneliness of night, and claimed to be the “real me” and tried to prove that I actually had no attachment to anyone.

Bringing it back to resilience… I think lack of belonging is related. When I was reading about PTSD and social support the research presses the term “perceived lack of support”. It’s hard to know if that’s a cognitive distortion because speaking from experience I literally could. Not. See it! Like that part of my brain was not developed. Which reminds me of the vagus nerve theory.

Anyway, my brain is jumping all over the place, sorry.
I recently heard a term “potentially traumatic event” versus “traumatic event”. Because of how the same event may not lead to trauma for different people. Trauma is what comes after the event not the event itself, according to that line of thinking.

I like your description that PTSD arises from a lack of support. That makes a lot of sense and I can’t think of any logical counter-argument for it.
No, trauma is the initial ocurrence. Today it's defined real broadly (as it probably should be) but in terms of medical science, it's some sort of physical blow or severe injury. The PTSD is when it repeats in your head or effects you negativity in a different way.

EDIT: it's always used to refer to the way the events live on inside of us.

The topic of "resilience":

I think people in general put too much emphasis on getting over things and not being "negative". Resilience and strength are things people tend to want, and strive for, but in the end everyone can only deal with so much.
The way the psychiatric community treats that word. It’s like they weaponized it. “You have PTSD because you aren’t resilient.” “Therapists should build their clients resilience.”
I’m a little wacky.

90-80% of my trauma history happened BEFORE I had any education in the field. Yep. That percentage is backwards for a reason.

My actual education (I hold a degree or three) completely avoided any trauma specialization. (Because that’s very possible, and very much a thing; I simply “common sensed” the answers on tests, and never sat through a single lecture, much less took a class, that focused on trauma).

EDIT : Autocorrect just attempted to fix my missspelling of ‘traumas’ as ‘frauds’. Which is cracking me the hell up. For many reasons. Not the least of which being the massive flood of undereducated/underspecialized McTherapists who list “trauma” as one of their (many!) specialties on sites like PsychToday. Pfft. Look for things like EMDR, or TF-CBT, or CPT, if your actually looking for a trauma therapist.


I LOVE, heart, adore “resilience” .

Because it’s amazing.

It can take any of over half a dozen disorders -that form in response to trauma- and STOP them. In their tracks. Including PTSD. Which is tremendous.

That it isn’t what happened in my case? I hold no grudge over.

That it’s simply POSSIBLE? Is fireworks. And swimming with mermaids. And fighting with pirates. So. f*cking. Cool.
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