Confronted with some of life’s upsetting experiences – marriage breakdown, unemployment, bereavement, failure of any kind – many people become depressed. But others don’t. Why is this?

A person who goes through experiences like that and does not get depressed has a measure of what in the psychiatric trade is known as “resilience”.

According to Manchester University psychologist Dr Rebecca Elliott, we are all situated somewhere on a slidling scale.

“At one end you have people who are very vulnerable. In the face of quite low stress, or none at all, they’ll develop a mental health problem,” she says.

“At the other end, you have people who life has dealt a quite appalling hand with all sorts of stressful experiences, and yet they remain positive and optimistic.” Most of us, she thinks, are somewhere in the middle….

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