From Aeon: The finding that only one in five people avoid any kind of mental health problems or psychiatric diagnoses through their lives has prompted many researchers to assess what factors might make these individuals so “temperamentally blessed.” However, other researchers and thinkers question whether being “temperamentally blessed” — i.e. experiencing the absence of mental disorders — is a worthy goal.
“…While people’s genetic vulnerability to mental disorder differs, most of us are at higher risk when life heads south in one way or another. The temperamentally blessed seem unusually immune to circumstance; either they do not feel the sting of defeat as acutely, or they have found reliable ways to blunt it. They look strong to others because they do not react intensely to calamity. But it’s worth asking whether that very lack of intense reaction might betray a covert psychological weakness – a tendency to stand still when dramatic movement is called for.
In fact, the burgeoning field of post-traumatic growth research suggests that people reap profound benefits when they risk dramatic movement in the face of mental anguish. ‘I think you do see that,’ Schaefer says. ‘Tackling a particular problem, and then having navigated that successfully – that can be a big thing.’ In a study at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, earthquake survivors who suffered moderate depression in the disaster’s wake reported significant post-traumatic flowering. They forged stronger relationships with others, professed more faith in their personal strength, and attained a clearer sense of their life’s mission.”