Mad in America blogger Dr. Steven Moffic added what I thought is a very compassionate and meaningful post entitled “Resilience in Recovery” to Robert Whitaker’s site. Dr. Moffic is an experienced psychiatrist who relates the key quality of resilience and his personal encounters to recent inspirational stories from our wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Resilience is such a powerful word.
The dictionary defines the meaning as:
Resilience, we see it everywhere in nature, especially where there is a will to survive.
Resilience, is there any better word to describe what it takes to recover from anything?
Psychologists consider our mental resilience and have coined the term “psychological resilience”.
“Psychological resilience” From Wikipedia:
Resilience in psychology refers to the idea of an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” and function better than expected (much like an inoculation gives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure to disease). Resilience is most commonly understood as a process, and not a trait of an individual.
Recently there has also been evidence that resilience can indicate a capacity to resist a sharp decline in functioning even though a person temporarily appears to get worse. A child, for example, may do poorly during critical life transitions (like entering junior high) but experience problems that are less severe than would be expected given the many risks the child faces. Click here to read more.
Resilience and individuals labeled “Mentally Ill”
As chronicled in the book “Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill“, individuals labeled “mentally ill” historically have faced many obstacles and adversities. Our courts systems continue to allow certain individuals labeled “mentally ill” to be among a class of people who are deprived equal protection.
For those labeled with and treated for severe “mentally illness”, both physical and psychological resilience can be important factors for survival, recovery, empowerment, dealing with stigma, finding acceptance and redefining oneself.
While there are many conditions and factors that can be researched and analyzed on what it takes to build “psychological resilience”, there are those of us who rely heavily on a basic foundation rooted on principles of faith, hope and love.
“Psychological resilience” From Psalm 23 and A Prayer to Saint Francis
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.”
Born in May of 2001, Christopher Duffley was a child who really did not have much of a fighting chance to survive. His biological mother’s addiction to Oxycotin and cocaine contributing to a premature birth. Weighing less than two pounds, and born permanently blind from retina detachment, Christopher spent the first seven months of his life hospitalized. He was initially placed in Florida’s foster care until his aunt and uncle adopted him at the age of 2. Christopher didn’t speak in full sentences until the first grade and was later diagnosed with autism.
Despite the challenges, Duffley’s adopted parents (who are devout Christians), didn’t lose hope or waiver in their faith. And as the years passed, they would discover that Christopher displayed tremendous giftings in music. Particularly fond of Christian praise and worship songs, Christopher is now in high demand to perform at churches, sporting events and other venues.
Duffley’s story is an amazing testament that no matter how challenging one’s situation may appear, there will always be silver linings in the midst of the obstacles and pain. In fact, Christopher’s parents have used his story to advocate on behalf of pro-life groups to show that what society would often consider “damaged” or unwanted, is actually something to be considered very special. Click here to read more, or join Christopher’s Facebook Fan page.
Uploaded by yourlivingmanna on Dec 13, 2011
Christopher Duffley moves Teamsters to tears with this a cappella version of “Lean on Me.”
Uploaded by TeamsterPoweron Jul 7, 2011