Monday, September 20, 2010

Adversity Makes us Tougher

Researchers gave 396 adults who suffer from chronic back pain a standard questionnaire designed to measure how much "adversity" they had suffered in life,
including one’s own or a loved one’s illness/injury, sexual and non-sexual violence, bereavement, social or environmental stress, disaster, and various relationship stresses.
They found that people with high "adversity" scores were better able to deal with their back pain as measured in a variety of ways, including how many pain pills they took and whether they were still working. Says the lead researcher:

It appears that adversity may promote the development of psychological and social resources that help one tolerate adversity, which in this case leads to better CBP-related outcomes. It may be that the experience of prior, low-levels of adversity may cause sufferers to reappraise stressful and potentially debilitating symptoms of CBP as minor annoyances that do not substantially interfere with life.

Or, as Nietzsche put it, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

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