People can bounce back from traumatic experiences like 9/11: Study


Washington : People who live through an extreme traumatic experience such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks or an airplane crash often have the capacity to bounce back, says a new study.

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most of them recover from devastating events, and even those who struggle with the experience can find some benefit from the experience despite the negative effects of the event in their lives.

“Even when people go through a horrible life threatening event, or endure huge losses and very difficult circumstances, many of them actually find some positive aspects to the experience and are able to grow from it,” says Lisa D. Butler, associate professor at the University of Buffalo’s (UB) School of Social Work.

Her multiple studies on the trauma following 9/11 and other severely disruptive life events have been published in numerous professional journals, including the April issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, says an UB release.

“That does not negate the pain of what they have been through or the lingering effects in their lives, by any means,” Butler says. “But there is room for some positive changes as well.”

Butler’s research has found that the qualities that are common to people who are the most resilient include:

Less emotional control. Those able to recover well shared a willingness to express sadness or pain in a reasonable way. Those who tamped their emotions down inside were less able to get beyond the toxic effects of their tragedy.

Less catastrophic views of the world. Those who avoided interpreting the tragedy as confirmation of a bleak and unforgiving world were less distressed in the both immediate and longer term by the experience.

Less media exposure. Those who watched repeated images of the same monstrous calamity over time, such as the World Trade Centre attacks, tended to have higher feelings of distress than those who watched fewer.