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Multigenerational Trauma

It's possible that factors other than one's upbringing and genetics contribute to the wide variety of emotional, physical, and psychiatric problems that cause people to feel alienated from their bodies, their energy, and one another. Recent epigenetic research show that the consequences of trauma can be passed down down the generations.

The trauma of one generation is often experienced by the next. Your trauma symptoms and challenges may have their roots in experiences with your parents or grandparents, or even further back in collective traumas like enslavement, racism, homophobia, or war-related brutality and genocide. Both the epigenetic (to be explained) and psychological inheritance of the memory is possible. You may inherit the symptoms of developmental trauma if there is unresolved trauma in your family tree.

The pattern of DNA that determines your physical traits and how your body grows is passed down from your parents. Even the trauma experienced by moms and fathers can be different. The offspring of mothers with PTSD are more likely to develop the disorder themselves, while the offspring of men with PTSD are more likely to have major depressive disorder. 10

All humans have a genetic blueprint that determines how our brains will grow. The chromosomes in your DNA undergo epigenetic alterations as a result of your experience and environment, altering the expression of your genes. It's possible to make progress toward favorable adaptations while also experiencing some drawbacks as a result of these shifts. Negative experiences, such as neglect or abuse, can have long-lasting consequences on an individual's health and development, as well as their epigenome. The ability to self-regulate is epigenetically regulated, and studies demonstrate that maternal care—or lack thereof—can alter this.11 Your progress toward self-regulation is a vital and empowering facet of your ability to heal. Recovering from a traumatic experience will have far-reaching effects on you, your family, and future generations. Your efforts will help ensure that we all have brighter days ahead.

The Horrors Experienced by Your Parents and Grandparents

Think on your family history and what you know about your parents and grandparents. Consider any terrible experiences you're aware they've been through. Child loss, abortion, surviving the Holocaust, surgery, war-related brutality, racism, natural disasters, and other traumatic experiences may qualify.


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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