How trauma stress is passed down to children and burdens families with mental disorders – Trauma Series by Kenneth Perlmutter, PhD

Addiction, compulsion, disordered eating and mental illness typically show up in people from families that have experienced significant losses from which members of the system have never fully recovered.

Families burdened by these legacies of loss find themselves caught in repetitive cycles of illness and relapse, reinforced by learned responses that are transmitted across the generations.  Rather than see these families as dysfunctional, it has proven more useful to think of them as “wounded.” The wounded family system displays a set of environmental characteristics dubbed “the dastardly D’s.”  This vignette describes a family burdened with inherited trauma stress… 

Continue reading