For some who’ve endured life-changing trauma, the experience can yield something surprising: positive personal growth.
Research shows that these people develop a greater appreciation of life, closeness with others, optimism about new possibilities, increased sense of personal strength, and spiritual changes. Studies estimate that about half of people affected by trauma go on to experience what’s known as post-traumatic growth.
Now, a major survey conducted in the last year suggests that’s happening to people who’ve felt traumatic stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research published Thursday in JAMA Open Network found post-traumatic growth in more than 40 percent of 3,000 people surveyed. Led by Dr. Robert H. Pietrzak, professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, the researchers asked the thousands of military veterans a series of questions about personal changes they’d experienced during the pandemic, like if they appreciated life more, became closer with friends and loved ones, developed a better understanding of “spiritual matters,” and felt capable of doing “better things” with their life. Read more…