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Can we inherit Trauma?

Welcome to our May Blog


This blog is about reflection, especially as it is National conversation week…

 

 Trigger Warning  I will be talking about mental health and trauma. 

 

Although not intended to trigger anyone, the real purpose of this blog is to remind us all that looking after our mental health and the root causes of any negative patterns or habits is vital for us to be the best version of ourselves and truly live a happy, fulfilling life.


It has been a busy month of events: -

  • Our final Wild Walk with Wycombe wanderers – reconnecting with nature for mental health

  • Bucks New University Wellness Warriors in partnership with Oasis Partnership – Drug & Alcohol conference

  • Micklefield & Marsh Big Local – Wellbeing days, which we helped to organise

  • Premiere of Femi Iloyi’s documentary on his personal Mental Health Journey

As well as being eye-opening, each event cemented many of my beliefs / theories on mental health and trauma


     

Visiting the Drug & Alcohol conference I was hoping that they would discuss trauma in detail, and they didn’t disappoint.  Alexandra Smith gave an excellent presentation on trauma, my takeaway being that “trauma is like a scar on the flesh but to our nervous system - and just like the feeling on a scar, where that area of skin feels different when touched, the affected area of our nervous system has been scared will feel different, only noticeable when triggered”. It was a brilliant analogy, it really helped me to understand the physiological impact of trauma, and the fact that anything can cause trauma based on our perception of an incident.


We then went on to discuss the connection between ADHD and trauma, again another revelation from a brilliant presentation, where it seemed to me as though ADHD was a symptom of trauma. A big statement ..... I know !!

Now research does show a connection, but it doesn't say that ADHD is a trauma response, this was just my conclusion, based on the information presented. I saw that there was little distinction between the "symptoms" of ADHD & Trauma.


Of course, I have to shout out my mate Lewis Baker from Phoenix Lifestyle Innovations & Charmain Clayton of BNU from Wellness Warriors, a community of new runners - started as holistic support for people overcoming addictions, now open to anyone who wants to connect and use fitness to overcome an addiction or their mental health.

 

Now for some time I have been researching trauma. Observations made during my work, studies in nutrition, helping people make changes, and looking at my own personal & family life - I have seen that trauma comes in different shapes and forms, and can have a far-reaching impact.  Usually resulting in an individual who has developed a degree of self-sabotaging, physical, mental or emotional coping mechanism. Mainly displayed through behaviour, habits, addiction and or mental health divergences.  I believe that we all need support to overcome any trauma, before we can positively and consistently face many of our day-to-day challenges.

The connection to ADHD also made me think about “transmitted trauma” or “inherited trauma”, especially if trauma is a scar within our neurological system. When a mother is experiencing trauma or has experienced trauma of any kind can the feelings associated with her trauma be passed on, through the nervous system, to her infant during pregnancy. We already know that it can, post birth - but what about in the womb?

Many of us have triggers, feelings, or habits that we may not understand, be able to control or explain - and looking at our parents, could often give us some answers to those questions.

If facial, physical and behavioural features can be passed on through DNA - my question is … can trauma?


Now when we talk about trauma, we often think of something obviously traumatic such as abuse. But anything associated with negative emotions that causes changes to the nervous system can be considered trauma, as mentioned previously perception is the key.  What may be traumatic to one person may not be traumatic to another – the trauma effect is associated with how it makes us feel, and what we then do with that feeling or how we interpret that information.

Through my work I have seen that, unresolved trauma can impact our lives through self-sabotaging acts such as unhealthy thoughts, patterns, habits, addictions or unhealthy relationships.  I could never understand why someone with acute health issues could not find the willpower to change. Delving deeper, I realised that unresolved trauma was always the answer - impacting self value (negatively or overinflate).


Conclusion

We all have issues (minor or major trauma) of some kind that impacts us to varying degrees, but we all also have the potential to resolve them.


Addressing our undesirable personality traits and behaviours, can be hard.  But looking at them from a resolution viewpoint, looking at their cause and dealing with it, can really help to remove some of the challenges we as individuals face.  It comes with a change in perception, an increased awareness / valuing of self and a real shift in trajectory – it’s a continual path of learning!  It’s not easy, but well worth it!!  As a carer to my mother, recently I have faced my own challenges and unresolved issues. With the help of friends (trained therapist) I have met since starting Khepera – everyday old patterns or beliefs are challenged, and every day I am learning more about myself and who I want to be.  We all have the capacity to direct our lives, after trauma or mental health issues – there are too many people living unnecessarily with internal pain.  With the correct support and the desire, anything is possible!!


In High Wycombe we have a great network of holistic therapists and activities, many of whom will be at Ohshala Festival in Penn, 12-14th July – so come along, join us and meet or trial other holistic therapies and continue your journey to the BEST YOU!!


Use our 10% discount code OHSHALAFRIEND24 at the checkout!!


Thanks for reading to the end, if you have any feedback or comments – please let me know!!

Charmaine

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