This article from Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine [LINK HERE] has an interesting take on the concept of resilience. I hear this phrase often, "resilience trumps ACE's." Here is what they say:
"The good news is resilience—self-regulation of emotions, optimism and hope—can trump ACEs. (In fact, regardless of ACE status, children lacking resilience fare worse.) Children with ACEs who also have resilience had one-fifth the odds of having mental or emotional problems like ADHD or depression."
I would like to believe the solution is that simple, but I have been involved in this discussion for too long, and I believe we are coalescing around an idealistic viewpoint that might prevent discussion other theories, like the one I present.
ACE's focused on Negative Outcomes. That's a good focus because it opened our awareness to the sometimes tragic impact of childhood trauma. But many children raised with trauma appear to do well, and when that happens, we refer to their achievement as resilience. I happen to believe that we also need to look at other protocols that heal. Some traumatized adults might actually learn the healing protocols because of their achievement.
We know that negative behaviors help us cope. Smokers feel relief from the feelings of trauma almost instantly with their first puff. Methamphetamine was actually an antidepressant in the 1930's. Other drugs and alcohol make some forget their pain for a short time and the temporary relief it brings might well be the cause of addiction. But neutral behaviors (behaviors that don't cause damage) and positive behaviors can also contribute relief.
There has to be some actions to promote that actually help people heal. This article promotes mediation and mindfulness, which I do believe can be effective if taught in a way that gradually educates sufferers about their trauma, and helps them eliminate symptoms.
If we assume that the successful but traumatized adults among us don't need help, then they run the risk of health issues later in life. Maybe even earlier.