One factor that is involved in resilience is having a moral compass, a set of beliefs that few things can shatter.  For example, if you've been physically or sexually abused it's not about you, and that abuse should not take away who you are inside.  Those moral beliefs are all about you and nobody can take that away.  That's an important component of resilience. 

I heard that over and over again whether somebody was a POW or a victim of physical or sexual abuse or they were the victim of a natural disaster or a crime victim.  When you have a set of beliefs that few things can shatter that really helps you become a more resilient person. 

Related to that is religion and spirituality.  For some people, not everybody, religion can be very helpful and we found that in a number of individuals that praying every day was helpful to them and others it wasn't. But if somebody is religious and they're going through a tough time I encourage them to make use of that.

Then for other people a more general spirituality that kind of relates to a moral compass was also found to be helpful, so those are important factors: moral compass, spirituality and in some patients, some individuals, religion.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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