Can you train soldiers to be more optimistic in the face of traumatic events, and can that help to prevent them from developing PTSD?
Researchers from Michigan State University asked those questions as they examined the data from a 2004 study of Iraq veterans.
According to a report on their work, the researchers "found that soldiers who are trained to be more optimistic in traumatic situations are less likely to develop mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD."
"There is evidence that if we can train people to be more psychologically resilient — that is, less catastrophic in their thinking and more optimistic and more hopeful — then they function better when they encounter traumatic situations," said John Schaubroeck, lead author of the study.
Their work will be published in the January issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, which is not yet online.
According to the report in "Personal Liberty Digest" (an "ultra-conservative" publication), "Schaubroeck added that military leaders play an important role in sending a message of hope and optimism to their troops. He said it is important for officials to provide immediate support for an individual who experiences trauma because by the time they consult a health professional, mental problems may already escalate to severe levels."
What say you to this theory?