Forums Home

Lived Experience Forum

Acceptance, connection, support. Share the journey.

Safe, anonymous discussion for people living with mental illness, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.

Read the community guidelines
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Special Events

Highlighted
Community Manager

Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

LE Topic Tuesday banner.jpg

Join @suzanne from 7pm AEDT discussing and exploring Post Traumatic Growth, a theory 'that people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterward.' - Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1996

To receive an email reminder on the night, hit the 'Like' button below.

166 REPLIES 166

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

Hello @Blaise @Bowiejones @VeraM @Dogman @Elllsee @Inneressence13 @Nosey @healthyhealing @Shane1 @Sherry @Lennox17 @babydoll @KangaRue @CSM @9524215 @soul @Former-Member @pikablu93 @Ccfish @nicstuff @Joyful @Sans911 @Puredarkstar85 @Vykky @Shaz51 @Dots @Pepsimax @girl99 @Mercedes74 @Former-Member @Snowie @Danniibee @Disney17 @Adge @eth @Former-Member @greenspace @BlueBay @Bubbles3 @CheerBear @Determined @Zoe7 @Mazarita 

Welcome! Without further adue I shall pass you on to @suzanne, SANE Psychologist who shall be taking us through tonight's Topic Tuesday Smiley Happy

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

Hello everyone

Thanks for joining Lauz and me for Topic Tuesday tonight. We’re talking about post-traumatic growth. It’s both an incredibly old concept and an area of relatively recent academic study. The Greeks and Romans liked to tell stories of ‘heroes’ who survived a terrible event and returned home with new insights and greater wisdom to share with their community. Modern day research began, less poetically, through investigating the experiences Vietnam veterans.

One of the earliest studies in the 80’s found that 61% of returned soldiers who had been prisoners of war reported some beneficial changes from their experience. Somewhat surprising. Research has since extended out to include many other populations and types of traumatic experience. These include victims of crime, refugees escaping civil war and communities who survived bushfires. People who we would expect to really understand loss and the impact of trauma.

The findings tell us that a significant number of people who experience a traumatic event go on to report positive changes in their lives. These positive changes have been called ‘post-traumatic growth’ or PTG.

 

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

We don’t know exactly how many people experience post-traumatic growth as some studies report it as low as 30% and other as high as 90%. But when you consider that the lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder sits at around 7%, you can see that PTG is a more likely outcome.

Tonight I’m hoping that we can chew this idea over and share our views and experiences with post-traumatic growth. I’ve got some info to share but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

Thanks @Lauz @NikNik. And hello @suzanne.  Looking forward to the evening.  However I may need to come and go a bit, got dinner happening right now.  But if I miss anything, I will be back to catch up when I can.  Thank you.

Sherry

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

Hi @suzanne 

I am interested to know - I am suffering two complex PSTD and wondering how do i turn that into a positive. I don't understand

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

@suzanne I read about post traumatic growth in a book about PTSD that my clinical psych lent me to read a couple of years ago as I was undergoing a guelling series of exposure therapy.  I found it very interesting, although I have forgotten a lot of what I read now.

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

Hey @Sherry and @BlueBay, thanks for joining us.  Bluebay, that's a really good point.  I'm going to clear that one up in a sec so let me know if the answer makes sense to you.  

Re: Topic Tuesday // PTSD & Post Traumatic Growth // Tues 20 Feb, 7pm AEDT

So, hitching a ride on @BlueBay's point, before we start I think it’s important to note that PTG can be a challenging concept. At first glance, it might seem to be seeking to minimise genuine experiences of suffering. To help clear this up, here are a few things that post-traumatic growth isn’t:

- A denial of the impact of traumatic events. PTG happens IN ADDITION to expected trauma reactions not as an alternative to them.

- The same thing as resilience. PTG is not about a return to some version of your previous level of health or functioning but to growth beyond that.

- The opposite of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivors can, and do, experience both. In fact some studies indicate that ‘intermediate’ levels of PTSD are associated with the highest level of post-traumatic growth. One does not rule out the other.

- A reflection of superiority in some way. We still don’t fully understand the circumstances in which PTG occurs. It is slowly being unravelled but we know that factors like genetics and the availability of good support, are likely to be connected. These are beyond, or only partially within, our control. So there’s never any room for judgement, towards ourselves or others, about who does or doesn’t experience PTG.

- Wishful thinking on behalf of mental health professionals and academics. The studies are mostly based on self-reports which means that the survivors themselves report these changes. There’s probably room for argument about bias in phrasing the questions or interpreting the results but the weight of evidence is sitting pretty firmly on the side of PTG at this point.

 

For urgent assistance, call: