Thursday, October 17, 2013

How to Survive

Question: What do all of the following have in common?

1. 85% of adult children of alcoholic parents are able to resist drinking alcohol.

2. 90% of the children who grow up with a schizophrenic parent do not become schizophrenic.

3. 70% of children who were abused do not become abusive to others.

Answer: Each of the above shows the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. The same is true for the children of parents with substance abuse problems, other forms of mental illness, chronic marital difficulties, obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoia, depression, as well as those who were victims of racial discrimination and anti-semitism. An overwhelming majority of people who were exposed to even these major life challenges somehow managed to survive and become normally functioning successful people. 

Unfortunately people are told that if they were exposed to a particular trauma or to one of the above conditions that there is a high likelihood that they will "get it" too. This is simply not true. This is why it's critically important to only seek help from someone who looks for what is right about you and not G-d forbid the opposite. 

There are large cultural and societal forces that actively work to prevent people from knowing their true strength and ability to bounce back from adversity. Don't them them fool you. G-d has given you everything that you need to creatively cope and deal with any situation that arises be it large or small. You'll get much further in life by learning to be proud of what you do that's right rather than just focusing on "what's wrong." 

G-d bless,
Dr. Zev Ballen