How Parents Trauma leaves biological traces in Children
Devastated by decades of war, political violence & instability – poverty & mental health problems affect every household. Trauma impacts families long after the active conflict ceases as we have witnessed with the children of widowed mothers in Iraq 🇮🇶
Uncertainty for the future & the loss of a way of life can lead to mental health illnesses. As the health system is being pushed to the brink of collapse due to the loss of funding from international donors, access to mental healthcare has been severely cut off.
All of this means that offspring are not always passive recipients of their parents’ scars. Just as a parent was able to survive trauma by means of biological adaptations, offspring can sometimes adapt to the biological impact of their parents’ trauma. How traumatized parents interact with their children, of course, also influences their development.
Moreover, some of these stress-related and intergenerational changes may be reversible.
That’s where LFT comes in. All too often mothers & their children are expected to get on with life following hugely traumatic events w/o any support from either their families or the wider society. Our work in mental health across these counties includes:
– Building robust & holistic support services in the partner organisations we work with through training in mental health support for front-line care providers
– Empowering mothers to understand the impact of their mental health on their overall wellbeing by building simple self-reflection tools into our program
Mothernomics programme in Iraq 🇮🇶 & effective emotional wellbeing support to parents of deaf children & those with long-term medical needs such as diabetes in Gaza 🇵🇸
The hope is that as we learn more about the ways catastrophic experiences have shaped both those who lived through those horrors & their descendants, we will become better equipped to deal with dangers now & in the future, facing them w/ resolution & resilience
This post is hugely influenced by Rachel Yehuda’s article in the Scientific American. Read More.
🔗 Credit: Nick Higgins