Over and over again—in natural disasters, after the SARS epidemic, following the loss of a child or spouse—Bonanno’s longitudinal studies on loss and trauma revealed the exact same pattern at the population level. No matter how bad the trauma, rates of PTSD never exceeded one-third, and rates of resilience were always found in at least one-third and never more than two-thirds of the population.
“This pattern of response is so ubiquitous, and so consistent, it begs the question: Why are we, as a species, designed this way?” asks Bonanno.
One possible answer is that the design ensures that there is always at least a sizable minority, or even a majority, to take care of those deeply affected by a trauma. [Read more…] about Understanding, and Nurturing, Resilience and Adaptability