The difference between adaptability and resiliency has occupied my mind lately as I look around my family, my community, and beyond and see a large increase in mental health issues shown by the 64% increase in prescriptions for anti-depressants from 1999 to 2014. Why? Study after study says our level of resiliency is very low. It is a problem world wide and obvious in the political world as emotions have taken over leaving reality behind.
But first I feel the need to tell the difference between resiliency and adaptability as when I listened to mental health professionals on Youtube and read through research studies, I noted that some mental health professionals showed a tendency to confuse the two where as the studies made it clear.
“Adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.”
“Resiliency is the human capacity to adapt swiftly and successfully to stressful/traumatic events and manage to revert to a positive state.”
Adaptability is being able to change and resiliency is the ability to do it quickly toward a positive end. I’ve seen soldiers come home from war with severe P.T.S.D. from one event while other’s careers in the military bring them continually into similar scenes and yet they manage well. There is of course a breaking point for us all. But why such a large distance apart? The answer has become clear, levels of resiliency.
A person with a Controlling Abusive Personality is someone at the extreme end of refusal to adapt and has close to zero resiliency skills. This personality is at epidemic levels in our society. You are surrounded by them.
1. They refuse to change.
2. They must stifle other’s growth in order to control them.
3. They create their own mental world with its own rules. Ones that would make life easier on them if it would only cooperate. When reality contrasts with their self-created world, (and it often does), their explosive temper blows in serious contrast to the seriousness of the situation. Something as small as the heat in a room is turned up higher than is within their personal comfort level will with some do.
4. In their mind, “It isn’t how it should be!” They must fix it or you even if that means by verbal, mental, or physical abuse. Beware!!! Extremely few ever choose to leave this state of mind. Psychologist I’ve read who specialize in treating this personality say, they are not insane. They know perfectly well what they are doing. They just think it is right.
P.T.S.D., I was told by a psychologist is the refusal to face reality and move on. Once again, ” It isn’t how it’s suppose to be.” Controlling Abusive Personality can result from P.T.S.D. or from being the victim of close association. In my experience, Controlling Abusive Personality rubs off in different measures even if it is only displayed in the quiet of their own homes.
Many forms but not all of depression have the same basis? Life didn’t come in the form of what was wanted or expected? The inability to except, change, and move on keeps them locked in sadness. This is different from mourning which is a progressive movement through stages to wellness. In contrast, depression likes to stick around.
Substance abuse and addictions are poor quality escapes from a world that isn’t up to their imagined standards.
Humans naturally like patterns and control. It makes thing less complicated and easier on us – but life wasn’t meant to be easy. Life is a series of difficulties meant to push us toward growth we would not otherwise choose. Life is about changing, building strength to overcome –resiliency.
Life wasn’t meant to be controlled. Life was meant to be lived.
Laugh more, it brings sunshine
Life was meant to be learned from, to look at the positive qualities of, and build something better inside ourselves, and hopefully spread that to the lives around us.
My life has become more and more challenging. This has pointed out the weaknesses in my character and in the shakiness in the patterns of how I live. It has brought me to my knees, and pushed me to hone what has worked in the past to a whole new level – change it, transform how I use it. And look for new ways of doing things. To look for joy!
My rock through it all is our marriage. It is the most sacred and precious relationship I have beyond the one with my Heavenly Father. We can not make it alone. We need social support, great friends, family, and others who will help lift us up and push us forward.
There are those we can’t leave behind without doing all we should do, which is far different than all we can do. All we can do at times leads to destruction of us and them. Sometimes what is best is for them to fall in order to find bottom to get a good footing to stand up once more. Some simply refuse to stand no matter what. We’ve learned that sometimes we are given tasks that are insurmountable so that we can learn from them, do what’s best, and be satisfied in that. The Lord rewards us for our efforts, not just successes.
The greater our level of resiliency, the greater we can lift another. It doesn’t help much to push from below. There just isn’t enough strength financially, physically, and mentally to get far.
I’ve learned for the most part to quit asking, “Why me?”, and “This isn’t fair.” which is a judgement call I have not the knowledge to make. When my daughter once asked me this I replied,”Why do you think you should be so privileged to not to have to suffer while others do?” I was not a popular guest at her pity party. We all have pity parties, just don’t wallow in them. I look around me and give thanks for my own set of problems. So many other’s look so much worse than mine.
Sometimes I just have to sit and count my blessings. It is so much better view than focusing on the negative. With practice you will see they always outweigh the sorrows.
I liked this study and encourage you to ponder upon it. I especially like the part about acceptance of self and life. We aren’t perfect! We need to quit expecting it. The tortoise, not the hare won the race. As long as we are still running, we haven’t lost. How resilient are you? I need some work.
Wagnild and Young’s Resilience Scale measures the level of resilience as a positive personality characteristic in terms of a personal resource that enhances individual adaptation (13). The items can be attributed to the two underlying factors “personal competence“ and „acceptance of self and life“ (13). The following items are attributed to the first factor:
The second factor is described by the items:
Flexibility and balanced perspective of life
Let me know what you think.