When Trauma is Passed on through Generations

Pernille Bülow

Affiliation: PernilleBülow (Private Enterprise), Boston, United States of America

Keywords: Mental Health, Brain and Behaviour, Trauma, Transgenerational Trauma, Pathology, Psychological Triggers, Epigenetics, World War II, WW 2

Categories: News and Views, Life Sciences, Medicine

DOI: 10.17160/josha.9.5.848

Languages: English

Transgenerational trauma is the transmission of the effects of traumatic experiences through generations via genetic inheritance. In other words, a father’s trauma can change his genetic profile which is inherited by his son and grandson. This phenomenon has been well-document since World War II (WW2) where the Holocaust and the Dutch Hunger crises led to transgenerational trauma in millions of families. This article discusses the transgenerational trauma aftermath of WW2, and dives into the new neuroscientific results that uncover how these trauma induced epigenetic changes affect the brain and behavior of human beings. The article finishes with a discussion of what types of experiences can trigger transgenerational trauma, and reflects how the COVID-19 pandemic may be the source of a new wave of transgenerational trauma. The article was first published in ‘Subkit’ on August 01, 2022 (https://www.subkit.com/pernillebuelow/posts/when-trauma-is-passed-on-through-generations).

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