Voici ce que j'ai trouvé sur le Net à propos de la notion de résilience à la maladie, en particulier la maladie de Parkinson. Le livre "How one man conquered Parkinson's disease" ne peut être acheté que par les américains ou les canadiens . Dommage pour les autres !
How One Man Conquered Parkinson’s Disease
William Paul Hansen
By Peter Ubel
Peter Ubel, M.D., is a U-M professor of medicine and psychology. Along with a team of scientists, he has spent several years studying the nature of happiness and emotional resilience. This year, he published some of his findings in You're Stronger Than You Think: Tapping into the Secrets of Emotionally Resilient People.
Winner of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and other prizes, and recognized internationally for his work, Ubel shows here that even under the most arduous and painful circumstances, it's natural for people not just to survive, but to thrive. And he describes some of the things that can make everyone happier and more resilient.
Greg Hughes woke up and got out of bed, and before he even had a chance to drag a comb across his head, a sharp pain grabbed hold of his right leg. The pain increased, and within an hour Greg was whisked to the local emergency room, where he slipped into a coma. He was flown by air ambulance to U-M Hospital, where the doctors discovered that he had lost blood supply to both legs. They had no choice but to amputate Greg's legs.
Forty-five years old at the time, Greg lived in Dansville, Michigan, where he worked 70 hours a week as an auto mechanic and spent his free time camping and fishing.
What would it be like to wake up one morning and lose your legs, your job, and your favorite hobbies? Many people say they would rather die than live without legs. Most cannot fathom finding happiness again. What about Greg, then? What kind of life could he expect? Would he be able to find happiness?
In the 1970s, a trio of psychologists led by U-M professor Philip Brickman measured the happiness of lottery winners, motor vehicle accident victims who were living with paraplegia, and healthy people. They found surprisingly small differences, leading many psychologists to conclude that people live their lives on a "hedonic treadmill," with happiness determined more by genetics than by circumstances.
But can we believe Brickman's accident victims, or Greg Hughes for that matter, when they tell us they are happy?
Five years ago, as part of my research into the psychology of resilience, I began conducting studies designed to determine, among other things, whether we could trust patients when they tell us how happy they are. It's not that I thought patients were lying. Instead, I was worried that when researchers asked them questions like, "On a 0-100 scale, how happy are you these days?" their answers would be distorted by subconscious forces.
For example, U-M professor Norbert Schwarz has shown that people report being happier overall on sunny days, or after finding a dime—the sunshine and the dime elevating their moods and, thereby, distorting their answers.
When researchers ask people how happy they are, people reflect on whatever comes to mind. And when they feel happy, they remember more of the good stuff going on in their lives, and therefore report an exaggeratedly high level of well-being. The implications of this phenomenon are staggering for medical researchers like me. By paying patients to answer our surveys, by training our research assistants to establish rapport with potential participants, we might be causing patients to unconsciously exaggerate how happy they are!
Concerned about the possibility, my colleagues and I tried to uncover any factors that could be causing people to subconsciously exaggerate their well-being. Sometimes we identified ourselves as health researchers and other times we did not, in order to see whether mentioning patients' illnesses caused them to exaggerate their well-being: "Given my Parkinson's disease, I am doing quite well, actually." In another study, we sent patients home with Palm Pilots programmed to beep every 90 minutes throughout the week to assess their mood, thereby avoiding the short-term, sunny-day/find-a-dime bias that distorts people's reports of overall happiness. In yet another study we developed a new way to test whether people's happiness reports were merely a result of redefining the numbers on the 0-100 happiness scale.
Across our studies, we discovered many subtle distortions in people's self-reports. Nevertheless, our main finding was not subtle at all. Patients with a wide range of chronic illnesses and disabilities turned out, basically, to be just about as happy as they had been telling us they were. In fact, many of them—despite experiencing kidney failure or colostomies or, like Greg Hughes, leg amputations—were almost as happy as perfectly healthy people.
I'm convinced that it is possible, and even normal, to thrive in the face of adversity. In my own research and that of others, several factors that affect happiness and emotional resilience become apparent. For instance:
• Social support is helpful, but not as important as you might think. In fact, a study by my colleague Stephanie Brown indicates that people are actually happier when they give support and help to others than when they receive it!
• Uncertainty is harder to live with than even the worst bad news. In the 1980s, for instance, when HIV infection was a death sentence, a survey showed that men were happier after receiving HIV test results—even if their tests were positive.
• Religion is an important aid. Helped by the social aspects of a religious community, by the practice of prayer, and by the confidence that life is meaningful and ultimately just, people who are religious tend to be more resilient.
Other factors are also important—from the personality you inherit to your ability to recall positive experiences.
Even so, it can be hard to believe anyone could really be so resilient. I visited Greg Hughes after he had read several chapters of my book, You're Stronger than You Think, in which I tell his story. He had circulated the chapters among his family members, and most of his relatives concluded, despite my clear explanations of emotional resilience, that they would rather be dead than be in Greg's situation.
Greg's wife, Ruth, teared up a bit as she told me her family's views, admitting that even she had reached the same conclusion. Greg sat on the other side of the room petting a cat and looking unperturbed.
"It's not as bad as all that," he said.
"But honey," she replied, "you've had so much taken away."
"But you get it back," Greg answered. "You find other things."