Monday, August 5, 2013

Resilience, 2003-2013

I was talking with someone at a festival a few weeks ago and was thinking while we were talking that this is a tough, resilient person. Unrelated to that thought, yesterday I was looking for a chapter I’d written on another topic to send to that person, and happened across some article abstracts on resilience (written by other authors). Some are abbreviated and copied below. These relate specifically to the elderly, a population of great personal interest to me; but of course they also relate to everyone. Resilience, toughness - essential attributes…
Our front walk at dusk - 4 o'clocks blooming into the night, fragrant
This ain’t no party,
This ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no foolin’ around (Talking Heads, Life During Wartime)

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
She can laugh at the days to come (Proverbs 31: 25)


Resilience as a Protective Personality Characteristic in the Elderly.

In a sample of elderly from the general population aged 60 years and older (N = 599, 53.6 % female; mean age 69.6 years) resilience was assessed as a protective personality factor for physical well-being by means of the resilience scale (RS; Wagnild and Young, 1993). The elderly reported lower subjective body complaints, when the amount of resilience was higher.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of a regression analysis showed that resilience was a significant predictive variable for physical well-being besides age and sex. The amount of resilience was lower in women as in men. An age-related effect could not be found.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Nov;61(11):1126-35
Old Route 66 in New Mexico - empty road

Dispositional optimism and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in a prospective cohort of elderly Dutch men and women.

BACKGROUND: Major depression is known to be related to higher cardiovascular mortality. However, epidemiological data regarding dispositional optimism in relation to mortality are scanty.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide support for a graded and independent protective relationship between dispositional optimism and all-cause mortality in old age. Prevention of cardiovascular mortality accounted for much of the effect.

Association between depressive symptoms and mortality in older women. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group.

My campsite at Unify. Neighbors were Luke, Stephanie, and Drewva.
Some of the Austin crew were a few tents away.
Archives of Internal Medicine

CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptoms are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular and noncancer, noncardiovascular mortality but not cancer mortality in older women. Whether depressive symptoms are a marker for, or a cause of, life-threatening conditions remains to be determined.

Aging Ment Health. 2005 Jul;9(4):354-62.

What influences self-perception of health in the elderly? The role of objective health condition, subjective well-being and sense of coherence.

CONCLUSIONS: Subjective evaluation of health correlated highly with the self-evaluation scales that recorded subjective well-being (life satisfaction, anxiety, and depression), and with the sense of coherence, but not substantially with objective health-related variables.


Some things that happened 2003-2013
David graduated from St. Marks (Salutatorian)
David went to Rice
I was teaching at Baylor, working at Agape Clinic and in the community, still in the same men’s Bible study
Phillip Anthony (inertg) - psychedelic music in an aspen grove
David, Jeff, and I spent two months in SE Asia in 2005
Though the Infectious and Tropical Diseases book came out in 2006, I was pretty much finished writing for publication
Leslie became Agape Clinic Director – and had a distinguished tenure characterized by growth and prosperity for la clinica
David graduated from Rice (3 years)
Leslie took care of her Dad, before he got sick and after
David and Chris went to Europe for two months
David got a fellowship to work in Cambodia for a year; traveled in Cambodia, Thailand, New Zealand
Leslie retired
I started going to festivals, several with Jeff; now I'm involved in co-creating gatherings (click link in photo above for some music)
I retired
David and Leslie near Hue. This is my story 
We traveled to Southeast Asia multiple times

I spent 11 days in the hospital - critical care, vent, touch and go. Jeff said, "Well the worst thing that can happen is you'll die."

I started backpacking (including an epic Wind Rivers trek)
David graduated from Berkeley Law
David got a good job and moved to San Francisco
Leslie and I took many trips to SF
Leslie and I helped Tom and Sylvia through Sylvia’s pancreatic cancer (as did Eloise and John)
And of course all sorts of personal/interpersonal experiences

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