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What Is Generational Trauma?

child sitting on couch turned away in fear from parents who are do not understand what is generational trauma and are perpetuating it

Generational trauma is a type of emotional and psychological pain passed down through families from one generation to another. This type of trauma is not just limited to individuals but can also affect entire groups or communities subjected to long-term oppression. Generational trauma is not limited to a particular type of trauma. Examples of generational trauma might include the following:

  • Historical trauma resulting from genocide, war, slavery, or other forms of oppression
  • Intergenerational transmission of post-traumatic stress due to traumatic events such as natural disasters, major accidents, or abuse
  • Cultural disruption caused by displacement and relocation due to colonization and cultural assimilation

Regardless of the type of trauma, generational trauma is a painful, unhealed wound that continues to impact people in subsequent generations. Imagine Omaha understands this pain and offers a trauma therapy program in Omaha, Nebraska for teens and adolescents. If you or someone you know is experiencing generational trauma, call 888.306.2681 to get help today.

How Does Generational Trauma Work?

Generational trauma can work in a couple of different ways. On a biological level, traumatic experiences can alter certain genes, making individuals more susceptible to anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. This means that the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those who experienced trauma can become genetically predisposed to respond to certain traumatic situations in specific ways.

Additionally, generational trauma also exists on a cultural and social level. For example, if one generation experiences trauma due to racism or oppression, they might pass down certain coping mechanisms to the next generation.

These coping mechanisms could include:

  • Mistrust of authority figures
  • Resentment or anger towards specific races or groups
  • A heightened sense of vigilance or paranoia

Trauma experienced by a community can affect the members of that community both individually and collectively.

The Signs of Generational Trauma

Generational trauma can manifest itself in a wide variety of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • A lack of trust towards others
  • A deep sense of shame or guilt
  • A feeling of being lost or disconnected from one’s identity
  • Difficulty forming meaningful relationships

It’s important to remember that generational trauma might not be apparent at first. Fears, prejudices, and negative attitudes can result from generational trauma rather than direct experience. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to one’s emotional and mental health and be open to exploring the root cause of any unresolved issues.

Overcoming Generational Trauma

Overcoming generational trauma is not an easy task, but it is entirely possible. One of the most effective ways to overcome generational trauma is by seeking a professional trauma therapy program. A counselor or therapist can help identify the root causes of one’s trauma and provide support and guidance throughout the healing process.

Another effective method of overcoming generational trauma is by engaging in educational or community-based programs. Participating in these types of programs can help individuals learn more about the causes and effects of their trauma and connect with others who have had similar experiences.

It’s also essential to practice self-care when dealing with generational trauma. Self-care can include things like exercise, taking time for oneself, and practicing mindfulness or other relaxation techniques. Practicing self-care helps individuals stay grounded and focused on their healing journey.

The Importance of Generational Healing

Generational trauma is a challenging issue, but it’s important to remember that healing is possible. Healing from generational trauma can open up a whole new world of possibilities for individuals and families. It can also help future generations live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

In addition, healing from generational trauma is critical for societal progress. When people heal from their trauma, they can work towards creating a better world for everyone. They can help break the cycle of trauma that exists within certain groups and work towards building more understanding and more empathetic communities.

Reach Out to Imagine Omaha Today

Ultimately, generational trauma is a challenging issue that requires attention and care. If you feel like you might be experiencing generational trauma, it’s essential to take the time to explore the root causes of your pain and seek out support in your healing journey.

Imagine Omaha offers teens and adolescents a comprehensive range of behavioral health services. Our trauma therapy program can help address generational trauma. Remember, healing is possible, and with the right tools, you can overcome the pain and generational trauma passed down in your family for generations. Call us today at 888.306.2681 or reach out online.