Fighting trauma with happy thoughts

Fighting trauma with happy thoughts

Over the course of the past decade, we have sadly experienced a number of terrorist attacks that have left way too many victims traumatised. However, what we often don’t think about is how this trauma can effect their life with their spouses and family.

Even if at a lower level, families of the victims still show trauma symptoms. On the bright side though, their often resilient and motivational behaviour has shown to have a huge impact on the victim’s symptoms!

A recent study tested the relationship between optimism and hope, and trauma related symptoms, both on the victims and their spouses.

The study involved 105 Israelis who had been injured in terrorist attacks and their spouses. Their hope, optimism and social support were measured. They then further assessed their PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms.

As one would expect, the victims had higher trauma symptoms than their spouses in general, however accompanied by more hope and optimism in the latter. The most important result, however was that the spouses’ optimism was negatively associated with the victim’s symptoms!

This means that the more optimistic and hopeful the spouse was, the less trauma symptoms the victim had!

So it’s now clear to see how important hope and optimism are as a support system not only for ourselves, but also for those around us, who are clearly also effected by our well being.

Source: Weinberg M., Besser A., Zeigler-Hill V., Neria Y. (2015). Bidirectional associations between hope, optimism and social support, and trauma-related symptoms among survivors of terrorism and their spouses, 29-38

S.M, group 4

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