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Do You Carry the Effects
of Intergenerational Trauma?

Being a human being means experiencing trauma in some form at one point or other in your life. Trauma is inevitable, but how do you choose to cope with that trauma? Do you reach for something to numb with, like sugar or alcohol? Do you go on a spending spree? Do you binge watch the newest season of Bridgerton in one day?

Sometimes the ways in which we cope with our trauma seem completely out of our control, like a dissociated response that was predestined to happen, passed down from the lineages that came before us. This is the effect that intergenerational trauma can have when gone untreated and ignored. 

Understanding Intergenerational Trauma

Intergenerational trauma can affect relationships with family members and romantic partners, your sense of worth, communication style, passion and purpose, parenting patterns, mental and physical health and genetic expression. The good news…like all trauma, intergenerational trauma can also be healed.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Intergenerational Trauma

  • A sense of detachment from your feelings and your body. This can also be called dissociation or depersonalization.
  • Difficulty expressing or feeing your emotions.
  • Difficulty forming strong bonds within relationships with romantic partners or connecting with acquaintances and friends.
  • An urge to withdraw or isolate under stress.
  • Low self-worth and quick to feel guilt or shame.
  • Difficulty establishing a sense of self and personal identity.
  • Low emotional resilience and trouble regulating self.
  • Avoidance of certain persons, places, or experiences.
  • Addiction to substances to manage emotions or moods.
  • Automatic intrusive thoughts.
  • A felt sense of vulnerability.
  • Bad dreams and trouble staying asleep.
  • Feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Over reaction to stressful events.
  • A diminished sense of safety and security in life.
  • Thoughts of death and dying or suicide. Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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