Resilience in tree form

Dear Neil:  Is there a way to measure how resilient a person is?  My girlfriend walked out on me the same week I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  I’m handling things okay, but it got me to wondering if being resilient is something I could cultivate or develop.  Any ideas?

Holding On In San Francisco

Dear Holding On:  Resilience is the capacity to face, overcome, be strengthened by and even be transformed by experiences of adversity.  All humans have the capacity to become resilient.  Here is the measure of resilience you requested:

Think about how much each of the following statements describes you, and choose a number from 1-10, with 10 representing “Describes me the most.”

This quiz contains 21 multiple choice questions and takes about 7 minutes to complete. Your responses are confidential.

I have one or more persons within my family I can trust and who love me without reservation.
I have one or more persons outside my family I can trust without reservation.
I have limits to my behavior.
I have people who encourage me to be independent.
I have good role models.
I have access to health, education and the social and security services I need.
I have a stable family and community.
I am a person most people like.
I am generally calm and good-natured.
I am an achiever who plans for the future.
I am a person who respects myself and others.
I am empathetic and caring of others.
I am responsible for my own behavior and accepting of the consequences.
I am a confident, optimistic, hopeful person.
I can generate new ideas or new ways to do things.
I can stay with the task until it is finished.
I can see the humor in life and use it to reduce tensions.
I can express my thoughts and feelings in communications with others.
I can solve problems in various settings—academic, job-related, personal and social.
I can manage my behavior—my feelings and impulses.
I can reach out for help when I need it.

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