Historical trauma (HT) is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences. The historical trauma response (HTR) is the constellation of features in reaction to this trauma (Brave Heart, 1998, 1999a). The HTR often includes depression, self-destructive behavior, suicidal thoughts and gestures, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, and difficulty recognizing and expressing emotions (Brave Heart, 1998, 1999). The HTR may include substance abuse, often an attempt to self-medicate to avoid painful feelings. The HTR is passed on across generations and intervening with parents can ameliorate the intergenerational transfer of substance abuse (Garbarino, Dubrow, Kostelny, & Pardo, 1990).
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