Most People Exhibit Resilience After Suffering Loss
By Michelle Armstrong
According to Professor George Bonanno's research findings, "The vast majority of people get over traumatic events, and get over them remarkably well." The professor of clinical psychology followed a large group of individuals who had recently lost a spouse to study their responses. While some underwent long grieving processes and others suffered from depression, the majority experienced a relatively brief period of depression before returning to normal behavior.
"The idea was that everybody exposed to these kinds of events will have to go through the same kind of process if they are to recover. And if you don't do this, if you have somehow inhibited or buried the experience, the assumption was that you would pay in the long run." Despite these widely held beliefs, Bonanno found that "most people just plain cope well. Only a small subset--five to fifteen percent--struggle in a way that says they need help."
The article, entitled "Getting Over It," appeared in the November 8 edition of The New Yorker.previous page