Why you must experience trauma at least once in your lifetime

Psychological trauma is defined as the damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a distressing event. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience.

There seem to be two distinct paths leading from trauma. Those who suffer tremendously like survivors of terrible accidents where the family died, physical abuse victims, prisoners of war and those with debilitating injuries never recover and fall into the abyss of mental issues. 

The other path is one of recovery. They suffer for a while but eventually bounce back from the state that they were in before the trauma. 

Actually, there is a third possibility. They not only bounce back but they “Bounce Up” ie become even better than before. This phenomenon is coined “Post Traumatic Growth” which psychologists define as a positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or traumatic event. 

One such person is a childhood friend of mine named Leonard. He suffered a debilitating car accident, which caused him to be paralyzed from his upper chest downwards. He had to go for extensive speech therapy. He initially progressed from just drawing a straight line to writing full letters and gaining the function of one of his arms. 

He went on to become a motivational speaker and has addressed crowds of many thousands from his wheelchair. After being featured in various newspaper, TV, and radio shows, he won multiple awards including the Asia Golden Dragon Award for Outstanding Community Contribution. 

Challenge is part of life. Often, it comes unexpectedly and smashes your life to pieces. Whether you recover and bounce up depends on your mental toughness. It’s the strength within the mind that determines your destiny, come rain or shine. 

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