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What sets apart those driven by failure and trauma and those destroyed by it?

I'm not sure if this can be considered a question or a debate but: What sets apart people who are driven forwards by failure or traumatic events and those that collapse in on themselves when presented with similar circumstances?

Is it a chance event that swings their lives into a categorically driven state of mind, eg Aimee Mullins and her doctor bribing her with 100 dollars to stick with her physio at age 5 or is it more grey than that with subconscious factors that can't be accounted for?

I'd really like to hear your thoughts on what makes a someone into a strong, motivated person or a psychological mess in the wake of a failure or traumatic event in their lives.

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    Aug 2 2011: No easy task providing a general answer. One of the common factors that leads to psychological trauma maintenance is the avoidance of the emotional response triggered by the traumatic memories. One tends to avoid the memories, speaking of the subject, anything that remembers the traumatic memory. As the normal course of the emotions is not fulfilled they remain triggering high states of anxiety what leads to more avoidance. As noted, one feeds on each other. There is the cognitive bias to, and many times unrealistic believe that one has total responsibility for what happened, but for other side, don´t acknowledge any responsibility in the maintenance of the psychological condition. We have two dimensions of trauma effect : A cognitive bias and a emotional lack of integration, that is, as a person try´s to erase the bad feelings they remain apart of ones personality or at least they see it as something set apart from what they are and don´t fully process it normally. If something bad happens its normal to hurt and suffer, that is a part of the process of moving on. This is a very short resume of what cognitive psychotherapy as documented during decades and social - cognitive theories had hypothesized. Barlow and Horowitz are psychologists, psychotherapists that have to be considered. So we have a re-experiencing of intrusive traumatic symptoms followed by the avoidance behavior to attempt to keep the distance of the negative emotions.Also considering the previous hypothesis emerged an attempt of merging these two dimensions adding the concept of memory disruption where persons may have trouble intentionally accessing their memory of the event but have involuntary intrusions of parts of the event. Its proposed that because memory encoded at the time of the trauma is poorly elaborated and integrated with other memories with regard to details, context of time, sequence, and so forth. Look for concepts of sam´s and vam´s (verbally and situationally accessible memory's)
  • Jul 28 2011: That is not an easy answer, but I'm sure several theories in psychologists research might explain what really makes a difference. And i guess it all comes down to realize that each person has a different mental set-up which perceives the world in totally different ways. One person may be deeply hurt by one embarrasing moment which will prevent him from doing anything else related to that expirience, while for another person, that embarrasing moment means very little and will not affect him in any way. Many factors involved... The way he was brought up, hormonal imbalance... It is a good question that should be answered by a psychologist.
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    Jul 30 2011: Those who believe in act will not get destroyed due to failure. One should know that it is your act which is important and it creates success and failure, infact two aspects in the eyes of onlooker. There is nothing like success or failure in actual term! Just act and leave aspiration of fruits of the act!