ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Post Traumatic Growth: The Dawn after Night

Updated on December 26, 2017

There is the old saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Most people do not believe this as they go through a divorce, survive a terrible illness, watch a family member go through incarceration, have a close relative die, or go through anything that people find to be traumatic. They feel emotionally fragile and weak. Are there really any benefits to what they are going through when at the time for them it feels like they are suffering for no reason?

There is a such thing as post traumatic growth. It is seen when people who face a major struggle see new opportunities arise out of a struggle, experience closer relationships with people or experience a huge connection to the suffering, and/ or just have a larger sense of gratitude for life in general.

The term post traumatic growth was coined in the 1990's by two pioneering scholars: Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun. When studies were done of people who experienced negative events despite all the distress and suffering thirty to seventy percent eventually report some kind of positive change. The reason people are focusing on post traumatic growth is because it alters the way we view trauma and how it is treated. It leads people to believe that trauma not only has great destructive effects but may give rise to growth in other areas as well.

"experience of individuals whose development at least in some areas has surpassed what was present before the struggle with crises occurred. The individual has not only survived, but has experienced changes that are viewed as important, and that go beyond the status quo"--Tedeschi and Calhoun, 2004

Everyone has a right to have a present and a future that are not completely dominated and dictated by the past."---Karen Saakvitine

Dr. Linda Laubenstein

How does any of this apply to real life? A perfect example is Dr. Linda Laubenstein who was a Manhatten physician who in the early 1980's treated what became known as the AID's epidemic. She contracted polio as a child and had three operations that left her a paraplegic at only five years old. At the time the HIV virus was discovered, no one wanted to treat those people for fear of the disease. She not only was a huge pioneer in treating people with the disease she was a huge advocate for people with HIV. She helped found "Multitasking" which is a non profit organization that sold office services to businesses that employed people with HIV as many of them had a hard time finding work. It is my belief as it is the belief of many that she drew from her past experiences of also living with a disease that was stigmatized, polio. It was because of her experiences with polio that she connected with these people and advocated for them.

Dr. Linda Laubenstein

Post Traumatic Growth in Fiction

Another example is the character in the fiction novel "Anne of Green Gables". Anne is portrayed as being an emotionally and psychologically disturbed young girl who is an orphan who was adopted into a home during what appears to be the 1800's. Despite the fact that she had a very hard upbringing up to the point in which she is adopted, she draws from having traumatic prior experiences and uses the knowledge she has to help other people in her community. For instance, when the younger sister of her friend comes down with whooping cough or croup, she knows exactly how to treat the disease as she had seen it before.

Anne of Green Gables

Life Changes

Not all individuals who experience trauma experience any kind of post traumatic growth. Even those that do are sometimes still vulnerable and fragile because of the trauma. The point in studying this phenomenon is to try to maintain hope that people who are going through trauma or who survived trauma can experience positive life changes as an outcome and not just negative ones.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)