“Many people who experience traumas [like terrorism or war] don’t develop PTSD or other illnesses. So the question is, what keeps those people from getting sick? What creates resilience?
The psychological research suggests that personality is a major factor.
Resilience seems to be associated with mild manic symptoms, but you can’t develop resilience unless you’ve already experienced trauma.
Many of these leaders faced adversity in their childhood and adulthood, and that seemed to make them better able to handle crises. It’s like a vaccine.
You get exposed to a little bit of a bacteria then you can handle major infections and I think trauma and resilience and hyperthymic personality seem to follow a similar path.”