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Titles About Inherited Family Trauma

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Just as we inherit our eye color and blood type, we also inherit the residue from traumatic events that have taken place in our family. While our physical traits are easily discernible, this emotional legacy is often hidden from us. Anxiety, fear, financial worries, depression, illness and unhappy relationships can all be forms of our unconscious inheritance.

Unresolved traumas, some going back two or three generations, can ensnare us in feelings and situations that don’t even belong to us. They can forge a blueprint for our life, and can even pass onto our children. It doesn’t have to continue. It can end here.

Mark Woylnn – How Trauma is Passed Down to Our Children: “When a trauma occurs it changes us. Literally it causes a chemical reaction in our DNA and this can change the way our genes function, sometimes for generations. So when we go to have kids, our kids are not born with a ‘clean hard drive’. There’s an ‘operating system’ that’s already in place, an operating system that contains the fallout from our traumas, and sometimes our parents’ traumas, sometimes even our grandparents’, maybe even our great-grandparents’ traumas. And our kids can be born with fears and feelings that don’t always belong to them. That’s why I wrote this book so we can make these links and we can break this cycle.”

Annie Murphy Paul – What We Learn Before We’re Born: “At 8:46 a.m. on September 11th, 2001, there were tens of thousands of people in the vicinity of the World Trade Center in New York — commuters spilling off trains, waitresses setting tables for the morning rush, brokers already working the phones on Wall Street. 1,700 of these people were pregnant women. When the planes struck and the towers collapsed, many of these women experienced the same horrors inflicted on other survivors of the disaster — the overwhelming chaos and confusion, the rolling clouds of potentially toxic dust and debris, the heart-pounding fear for their lives. About a year after 9/11, researchers examined a group of women who were pregnant when they were exposed to the World Trade Center attack. In the babies of those women who developed post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD, following their ordeal, researchers discovered a biological marker of susceptibility to PTSD — an effect that was most pronounced in infants whose mothers experienced the catastrophe in their third trimester. In other words, the mothers with post-traumatic stress syndrome had passed on a vulnerability to the condition to their children while they were still in utero.”
Nadine Burke Harris – How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime: Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.
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