Uncharted Path Productions presents: "Let's Talk About It" Weekly Mental Digest
Updated: Jun 22, 2022
Spotlighting Mental Health Awareness
by Shari Wilson, Psy. M. on June 12, 2022
When some think of mental health, there is a quick sense of a negative disposition that is only a result of some sort of severe trauma. This misconception then stems from the fact that to be mentally healthy, one must start by being completely broken. Now, this can be an option for needing to get one’s mental health on track, but it can also be a need from other issues that may be a roadblock to furthering success in one’s life. Pretty much being mentally healthy does not matter who or what you are, it benefits ALL!
THIS WEEK’S TOPIC -
There are many reasons to seek help but a very common reason for doing so would be a term called, Intergenerational Trauma. So that I’m not seeming like I am coming straight out of the DCM-5; pretty much intergenerational trauma is when there is something that has impacted someone in a way that also impacted you. This is a trauma that can come from witnessing an ordeal that caused those affected in a secondary manner (those who viewed the trauma) to develop a form of mental issue that was passed down.
An upcoming episodic series called Hidden District™ ©, has a character in it named Cassandra "Zandra" Boucher who is an example of what "Intergenerational Trauma" is and how it affects someone. Her mother passed down quite a few mental disorders due to continuous traumatic experiences that she allowed her daughter to witness as a child. These instances resulted in her unintentionally picking up unhealthy characteristics that showed themselves once triggered. They range from things that she says to simple gestures and even innuendos. Like Zandra, these disorders are normally not recognized until they are triggered and brought to the forefront. Leads one to believe whether Zandra wants or even thinks she needs help with how she copes.
Growing up in a hostile environment creates the foundation for "Intergenerational Trauma" to be produced. This then allows for what someone would identify as a security blanket or a coping mechanism, which then justifies their vigilant tactics. These then become generational because without proper guidance an individual such as the fictional character named Zandra could assume her identification as a strong woman avenging victims, however, situations and circumstances turn into how she protects herself when she was a child into adulthood. From this misconception, Zandra could believe that she made it through her hardships unscathed and that these forms of coping could also help others; including any children she may have. At this point, if her children continued on with her forms of coping; instead of identifying the cause and understanding the effect to adjust to a healthier form of mental stability, she will continue the intergenerational trauma.
Although Zandra is a fictional character, what does help look like for her? Also, how can she reverse this trauma? Reversing the trauma is where things can get a bit tricky. For instance, if this form of trauma and coping were all that one may know, there is a sense of rewiring that would need to take place. For example, for a man who is nearing his 50's and witnessed a substantial amount of physical abuse from his father while also watching his mother continually get beaten by this same man, he then can develop anxiety from the need to protect his family, because he was not able to do so as a child. This same man does not see that he was simply a child and should not even have had to think of life in such a way, but he did and the result of it can create many obstacles that he will continue to face until he realizes that his mental health is unstable and needs some much needed TLC. This definitely does not mean that it is impossible, it just simply means that a healthy and well-deserved way of living would require a little extra time and dedication to adapt to the new way of thinking.
Unfortunately, there are those who believe that the way they have been wired mixes perfectly with their forms of “dealing” with situations regardless of how the outcome may be. Many also believe that receiving therapy for these unidentified traumatic behavioral responses are a sign of weakness and services like therapy should be reserved for someone who is in a much more hostile state than they are. This is a common in many families.
Many used phrases that most of us have heard at some point or another:
We just don't talk about those things.
It is just something that happened, but it is not that bad,
Everyone goes through these things in their family, so who am I to get help for the way that I deal with things.
This then leaves these disorders untreated and could result in the inability to progress in life whether it is in one’s career, love life, or simple everyday interactions. This then causes disbelief in their need to talk to someone and establish a healthier way of mental processing. Mental health is something that can make or break someone, especially when it comes to identifying things that were developed to protect oneself when they did not understand the severity of their current situation.
Is "Intergenerational Trauma" something that can be worked through? ABSOLUTELY!! With that old saying, “if there is a will, there is a way” and if someone wants to rid themselves of that toxic way of thinking, it can be done. Crazy thing is, sometimes just saying it (putting it in the atmosphere) is the relief or that first step, that you may need to continue with therapy. It’s the simplicity of “getting it off your chest”, that can make all the difference. Why not reach out and take the first step, so that a disorder like Intergenerational Trauma, does not need to be something that can hinder you from being your best self.
Shari Wilson has a true heart to listen to anyone who shares their experiences, traumas, or just life in general. She studied at Purdue Global University, acquiring her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Addictions Psychology in 2016. On the path to furthering her studies, she received her Master of Psychology in 2018 from Purdue Global University. Since then she has been enamored with the ability to use her education to help others through difficult times.
She is a Consulting Psychologist for UnCharted Path Productions, working on the upcoming psychological thriller series titled, “Hidden District™ ©”. She is a mom of 3, a wife, and an amazing friend to those around her. If you would like to get in contact with her regarding a counseling session, please email her at: email@example.com or her Instagram.