Coping with sudden blindness

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1981 Oct;169(10):662-5. doi: 10.1097/00005053-198110000-00011.


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 staff's unequivocal acknowledgment of the irreversibility of the injury, and immediate involvement of the 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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Blindness / psychology*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Dreams
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Social Adjustment