Coping with sudden blindness

Rudolf Hoehn-Saric, Elizabeth Frank, Lawrence W. Hirst, Charlotte G. Seltser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The case of a college student totally blinded in an accidental shooting who achieved a remarkably rapid and effective adjustment presented a rare opportunity to study the adaptive capacity of a previously well adjusted person to sudden disaster. Important factors included the patient’s extroverted, optimistic personality, the support of a cohesive family, strongly united by shared beliefs and values, the hospital staffs unequivocal acknowledgment of the irreversibility of the injury, and immediate involvement of a rehabilitation counselor. The ability to find meaning and purpose in adversity, shared by successfully rehabilitated prisoners of war or war-injured soldiers and by survivors of concentration camps, appeared to be the most crucial factor of all in the readjustment process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-665
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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