I attended a meeting today - a colloquium - where health science researchers came together to share what they are currently studying in an effort to pool resources (experience, expertise, funding, etc).
One of the guests was a PhD psychologist who works on individual level programs or research. One of her grant funded projects gave me a "-huh-" moment.
It does make sense for someone to look into this matter and several of the women in my own family would be great people to study. Okay - I am going to tell you....
The researcher is looking into Post Traumatic Growth. Yes you caught that correctly. Not the disorder that sometimes occurs after people experience extreme duress (e.g, battle, life threatening conditions and loss)- not PTSD - post traumatic stress disorder - but PT - GROWTH.
Some people experience a trauma and come out of it with better emotional stability, sense of purpose, relationships, engagement, health, quality of life etc. IF researchers knew what it was about THOSE people, maybe they could use the knowledge to help more people come out on the positive side of a negative experience.
The woman I met today (from WFU - SOM) is working specifically with breast cancer patients/survivors. When she said this, I had NO doubt that she was on to something because my sister emerged from a breast cancer crisis and absolutely re-embraced life and made positive changes.
I, having some trauma related to relationships, also turned my life around for the positive and my mother, widowed suddenly in her late years, found independence, health and an active lifestyle that had in many ways eluded her before her great loss.
The field of post traumatic growth research is definitely something to keep an eye on.