What is a trans-generational trauma?

What is a trans-generational trauma? Trans-generational trauma is an impact, a transference for which the emotional, physical or social pain a person suffers at a given moment is transmitted to new generations in such a way that it goes beyond mere acquired behaviour.

The subject is not new, in fact the trans-generational or inter-generational trauma was first recognized to the decades after the Second World War. It was during this period that various works were able to demonstrate that generations descended from Holocaust survivors adopted specific behaviours (nightmares, emotional problems and behavioural problems) that highlighted the fact that the grandparents’ original trauma continued to be experienced differently in grandchildren.

We could certainly say that all this can be determined by the style of education, without forgetting the weight of memory and this conscious or unconscious narration which includes all family dynamics. On the other hand, it is also something that goes beyond, something that can occur at a genetic level.

Generations that follow to the person who has suffered from the original trauma do not necessarily develop these same disorders, but they will certainly be more vulnerable than others to anxiety, stress and depression.

The impression of the trauma, the wound, remained buried in the person and is expressed by various means: anxiety, eating disorders, low self-esteem, hyper-vigilance, depression, insomnia, etc. To this, we add a fragile immune system, with weak defences that make this person vulnerable to infections, flu, allergies, etc. This person eventually gives birth to a child. We can not forget, for example, that high levels of cortisol in the blood during pregnancy affect the development of the fetus. This impact reaches our DNA, altering it, so that our descendants are unknowingly trapped in a sort of collective and unconscious solidarity with this original trauma.


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