Intergenerational Trauma Definition: Some Traumas may travel from one generation to another and here’s how that can happen.
The term intergenerational trauma refers to a situation where traumas are passed from one generation to the next generation and exist in them. The impacts of trauma do not stay in one generation but can affect the next generation. It is really important to break this vicious cycle of moving traumas from generation to generation.
How does that happen?
Usually, intergenerational traumas can be seen when parents have bad experiences. They may have faced biased behaviors, colonization, immigration, child abuse, patriarchism, racism, financial crisis, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, harassment, wars, poverty, natural disasters, joblessness, psychiatric issues, and other compromised unhealthy situations.
These events happened generation after generation and had different impacts on each generation.
The first generation was our grandparents. They had to face Wars, Natural disasters, Colonization, Poverty, Patriarchism, Cultural offenses, Immigration, Physical torture, and Domestic abuses.
The second generation, that was of our parents. They faced immigration, racism, their parents’s loss, racism, financial crisis, undiagnosed psychiatric conditions, bad behavior, and losing their identity.
The third generation is ours. We are sad, anxious, depressed, jealous, perfectionists, people pleasers, restless, gender ambiguous, sexually frustrated having psychiatric issues, insecure, aimless lives, and a constant sense of competition.
Effects of Generational traumas:
The traumas have drastic and different effects on lives as these are discussed below.
They have unclear and disturbed thoughts and unresolved emotions about certain traumatic events.
They are emotionally distanced from their parents. They have less attachment to each other.
They have complicated personalities, strange moods and mood swings, personality disorders, and anxiety.
It is done at three levels:
- Individual level
- Institutional level
This process of healing involves following steps.
At this level, learning for the person itself and teaching others for the same purpose is done.
Acknowledgment of a person’s personal biases is done.
Mindful strategies are used on that person to combat his microaggressions and control his mood.
At this level following strategies are adopted.
Learning and teaching about the path of transmission of Transgenerational traumas.
Studying the impacts of Historical traumas is done. Their origin is understood.
In this, calling out Racist and oppressor practices is done. The demand for justice for survivors or victims and demand for change is done.
The following stages are involved in this type of healing process.
At this level, the Inventory of the Generational Legacy of Traumas is done. Different centers for their betterment are developed.
Different policies are made for them and continuous assurance of their application is checked.
In this, the importance of cultural competency is understood.
Treatment of Traumas:
There are some methods that can be used for the treatment of transgenerational traumas.
- Intergenerational Trauma Treatment Model (ITTM)
- Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Scientists are still working and researching. They want to find out the possible and most accurate path for the transmission of Transgenerational Traumas. They want to understand if it is linked with genes or not and if so, then which genes are involved in transmission. Once they find out, they will find more accurate and best treatments for these traumas.
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Bad behaviors, Traumas, Offences, Abuses, Wars, and other such bad events do not affect one person or even one generation. They can impact the next generations badly and if left untreated next generations are assumed to suffer more badly and show more aggressive and negative behavioral patterns.