The legacy of intergenerational trauma has always been a serious issue that impacts thousands of people across the globe. Generational trauma is commonly shared amongst several families from third and second-world countries, which can be rooted back to traumatic circumstances. However, as an Arlington Family Lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC explains, intergenerational trauma is not only limited to families from developing countries but has been found to impact people in several ways.
What is Intergenerational Trauma?
Intergenerational trauma is defined as trauma that gets passed down from the individuals who were directly affected by the traumatic experience to the subsequent generations. Studies conducted by the organization Health reveal that generational trauma can cause genetic changes in a person. In any event, when an individual is mentally and physically abused, it can deteriorate their mental capacities, resulting from scenarios like being exploited and enduring constant abuse and racism. Hence, permanent genetic changes in families. The statement given by Dr. DeSlivia depicts generational trauma as a crisis that negatively influences mental growth and stability in people, causing high numbers of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and hate crimes.
What does Intergenerational trauma look like?
Based on an article released to the public by Verywell Mind, Those affected by generational trauma can experience post-traumatic stress disorder, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, and mood disregulation. In addition to the article, Dr. Desilvia reported that other symptoms affected by generational trauma can cause someone to suffer from the dread of shortened life span, develop an issue with trusting others, depression, panic attacks, nightmares, and a sensitive fight or flight response. This issue can eventually involve someone losing their ability to regain self-esteem and self-confidence. Of course, families dealing with loved ones handling trauma will begin to experience generational trauma.
Ensemble Therapy states that generation trauma will appear in families in several ways, like how relatives can be numb to discussing their feelings or sensitive topics and view expressing feelings as unreasonable or weak. Therefore, the families affected by generational trauma will become aggressive towards others they don’t trust. They can start showing signs of being overprotective over their children, even when there’s no danger around. Studies show that children with parents struggling with trauma will model themselves after their parent’s behavior and relationship. Generational trauma can influence children to develop a coping mechanism in order to fix their parent’s abusive behavior, anger, depression, and neglect.
But how can the issue be resolved?
The simple answer is there is no clear solution to solve intergenerational trauma. However, don’t be discouraged; there are still ways to heal and cope with generational trauma. For example, an article issued by Verywell Mind states that people handling generational trauma can be fully recovered by building an environment where any trauma can be prevented and break the cycle for future generations. In addition, the Administration for Children & Families, a division of the health and Human service departments, noted that another form of treatment is the standard healing process methods and ceremonial practices amongst their communities. Therefore, building a healthy and understanding environment amongst many generations and victims is a very effective treatment for generational trauma.
Additionally, providing public resources for those affected can start the first steps in the healing process. Educating people about trauma, providing healthy coping mechanisms, and establishing a support system can slow the effects of generational trauma. This includes providers in trauma response centers and teachers, counselors, and families. As well as address the systemic issues that perpetuate trauma in minority communities.
Finally, addressing the issue educates the public about how generational trauma seriously impacts communities and people who are not directly affected by it. Ultimately, Intergenerational trauma is a sensitive topic, especially amongst the communities mainly affected by it. However, any form of treatment to stop this crisis is a huge step. Understanding the causes of intergenerational trauma and its effects on society can make the crisis decline. This is why we must try to get as much knowledge about this severe issue and provide a resource to people affected to break the cycle.