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Historical Trauma (Native Americans)

Historical trauma response is an intergenerationally transmitted cluster of trauma symptoms experienced by members of an ethnic group or community whose history includes severe and cataclysmic trauma, such as genocide. Symptoms of historical trauma response may include depression, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, emotional numbing, substance abuse, suicidal ideation or suicide, and other self-harming behaviors. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, a seminal originator of the theory, has defined historical trauma as the cumulative and pervasive “emotional wounding” of survivors of mass group trauma, occurring over the course of their lives and across generations. The construct of historical trauma was first articulated (largely by psychoanalytic thinkers) during case studies of children of Holocaust survivors, who exhibited trauma symptoms even though they had not lived through the ...

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