How do we define resilience?

Proposed definitions included a stable trajectory of healthy functioning after a highly adverse event; a conscious effort to move forward in an insightful and integrated positive manner as a result of lessons learned from an adverse experience; the capacity of a dynamic system to adapt successfully to disturbances that threaten the viability, function, and development of that system; and a process to harness resources in order to sustain well-being. A number of these definitions bring into question the notion that resilience is characterized by the absence of functional impairment or psychopathology following highly adverse events. For example, should we classify a trauma survivor as resilient if that person develops chronic symptoms of PTSD but also functions at a high level, because they have succeeded in seeking out and using ample personal, material and social resources?

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