Updated: Dec 5, 2020
This week I would like to discuss Veteran Resilience. We have all seen or experienced it in our lives, whether we knew it or not. Resilience is defined as the ability or capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. According to Litz (2014), resilience, like the constructs of stress and trauma, signifies a process and an outcome. As a process, resilience entails a relatively unspecified and under-researched transaction between personality traits, resources, and the environment. These transactions involve hard-wired, psychological, biological, behavioral, social, and spiritual processes that mediate outcomes. The second concerns the complex interplay of the post-traumatic experience and personal coping assets. The result of these transactions depends on the individual’s lived experience and their ability to adapt. This outcome is highly dependent on the degree of exposure, whether maliciousness was involved, the age and development of the person, and the social, cultural, and economic resources that are available. As adults, we learn to become more resilient throughout our lives as we are introduced and more exposed to stressful events such as the life-threatening situations encountered by military service members in combat. This resiliency helps us to maintain healthy psychological, emotional, and physical functioning. Research has shown that crucial resilience factors in veterans are emotional hardiness, social support, and mind-body practices to protect them from mental health problems and even enhancing post-military employment, stable housing, and other aspects of community reintegration.