We know all about posttraumatic stress disorder. We hear about it often. The pain is deep, far-reaching, life-altering, and for some people, lasts a long time.

Bad things are guaranteed to happen, even to good people.

What do you do after a catastrophic event hits you?

A lot of people will spiral into posttraumatic stress disorder. The catastrophe hits them hard, and their minds can’t handle it. And that’s very unfortunate. No one can blame them for it.

But something that we have known for as long as human history has been recorded is the phenomenon that is now called post-traumatic growth. It’s not a new thing. It just has a new name. And scientists are studying it more and more in a formal way.

Post-Traumatic Growth

If you look throughout history, you will find that many great people suffered from traumatic events early in their lives. When many of these people look back at their lives, they don’t simply acknowledge having to deal with the traumatic event. No, they say that the traumatic event is the very thing that made them great. They will never trade their trauma for anything else. In fact, a lot of them believe that without their trauma, they will never have achieved their full potential.

The trauma–as devastating as it was made them better. Their lives were burned down to the ashes. But out of those ashes grew a new person, much stronger, more compassionate, more sensitive, more passionate, more loving, with a resolute vision for a better life that impacts many. Somehow, they capitalized on their posttraumatic growth.

As the darkness of posttraumatic stress disorder continues to rage and threaten to tear down the fabric of our lives, perhaps, we can gain a renewed hope and a confidence that the light of posttraumatic growth may be kindled in us. And that light will cast out darkness.