A piece by photojournalist, Nicole Tung, “That’s Where War Became Personal For Me”
The discoveries about the brain by neuroscientists have become more and more available to the general public. So, non-science types, perhaps you, are learning about trauma and brain changes, including the most recent discoveries that show us that future generations can be impacted by the traumatic events of past generations as DNA is changed negatively by the cascade of stress hormones. It was thought that trans-generational trauma occurred by the traumatized parents inability to be present to the child but now we know that responses to stress is not only behaviorally based, it is genetic. One of the conditions that can occur is Stress Vulnerability.
As the public’s awareness grows, we learn it is possible to affect changes in our lives that will shift the trauma impacted DNA and it starts with The Story that Wants to be Told and moves from there to diet, exercise and good versus not so good habits (like addictions; drugs, alcohol, smoking, high risk behaviors).
The information disseminated by neuroscientists is exciting and inevitably will lead to change in policies throughout our systems from teaching, to funding programs, military and how we look at many social problems — including addictions which we have learned are most often trauma based. And we will stop blaming those who are suffering, underachieving and have experienced “punishment and blame” which only adds new layers of trauma to the already injured brain.
Once we understand when the brain is impacted by traumatizing events or chronic conditions puts the person into survival, unless successfully treated, she/he will remain in survival. One of the symptoms of being in survival in a lack of presence on the part of the injured one who living in fear/survival is scanning the immediate environment saying with this behavior — am I safe? Am I safe? Our schools and communities are loaded with people/women and their children living neurologically in survival. This impacts the learning capacity and is such that symptoms can remain with individuals through adulthood unless the trauma is re-mediated. We begin with — The Story that Wants to Be Told.
Look for neuroscience and trauma material on our Resource page.