See, trauma often has a ripple effect, impacting our children the most. They witness our pain firsthand and then, trauma is passed down through generations – literally transforming the way our children experience the world.
A study done by economist Dora Costa, on the children of prisoners of war (POW) from Confederate camps, showed the prisoners’ children and grandchildren faced significant health challenges like cancer and higher mortality rates.
Another study done on the children of the survivors of the Holocaust found there were epigenetic differences in the way their bodies released the stress chemical, cortisol.
Similarly, Black Americans today are disproportionally more impacted by major health concerns, with higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, asthma and more severe incidences of mental health disorders.
Just like the children of POWs from the Confederate camps and Holocaust survivors have seen changes to their DNA because of trauma, Black Americans also show signs of illness due in part to centuries of slavery and racism.
Look, the mental health effects of trauma run deep. Not just in the way we show up and experience the world every single day, but in the way our children will, too.
We may not have had the right toolkits in the past to contend with trauma, but today we do. Therapy.
If you are reading this and struggling with painful challenges and historic traumas of your own and your ancestors, we owe it to future generations to begin a new cycle of healing.
As a Black woman and licensed therapist, I know all too well how devastating the impact of trauma can be on your life.
But with professional therapy, you can begin to write a new narrative – one where trauma is no longer the main character of your life.
While we can’t go back and change the past, we have the power to write a new future.
Therapy is the pen that can help us do that. Schedule a session here to take the first step.
Trauma can be debilitating – whether your own or someone else’s. But you never have to deal with trauma alone. Even if you feel powerless in this moment to change – you don’t have to do it all in one day. Therapy can give you the tools and ways of thinking you need to experience the world differently. Schedule a session now so I can show you how.