Why No One Can Shatter Your Moral Compass
One factor that is involved in resilience is having a moral compass, a set of beliefs that few things can shatter.
Dennis S. Charney, MD, is the Dean of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and a world expert in the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. He has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of neural circuits and neurochemistry related to human anxiety, fear, mood and discovery of new treatment for mood and anxiety disorders. He later expanded this area into pioneering research related to the psychobiological mechanisms of human resilience to stress. He's a professor of neuroscience at Mt. Sinai.
A prolific author, Dr. Charney has written more than 700 publications, including groundbreaking scientific papers, chapters, and books. He has authored a many books, including Neurobiology of Mental Illness (Oxford University Press, USA, Third Edition, 2009); The Peace of Mind Prescription: An Authoritative Guide to Finding the Most Effective Treatment for Anxiety and Depression (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004); The Physicians Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorders (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006), and Resilience and Mental Health: Challenges Across the Lifespan (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Dr. Charney’s most recent book is Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges (Cambridge University Press).
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.
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