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Can TMS be caused by emotional trauma that you never experienced, but was passed down thru family?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pepé_Silvia, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Pepé_Silvia

    Pepé_Silvia Newcomer

    Just thought of this and wondered if it's possible:

    I never directly experienced a TMS-causing trauma that I can think of. But my family, like great-grandparents and beyond, went through all sorts of awful things before emigrating to the US. I'm wondering if those traits of fear, PTSD, and repressed emotional trauma could have been unknowingly passed down through the generations, causing anxiety and ultimately TMS for me? And I wouldn't have noticed these traits as I was inheriting them, because that was just "normal" to me growing up and there was no big traumatic event to point to as the root cause.

    Maybe it's a long shot. But It's been a year since reading all the Sarno books, returning to activities, journaling, etc, and I'm not getting an ounce of relief, nor can I find any event that caused me to repress emotions and/or rage.

    If anyone can help, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am not sure I would say historical family traumas are the root cause of TMS but the personality traits we inherit due to events from the past have a significant impact.

    My father’s dad took his own life. He was out fishing or boating with his eldest son. He somehow drowned. This was 1930. He left behind a wife and five children struggling to survive during The Great Depression. My grandfather’s family were very wealthy but for whatever reason did nothing to help. My once friendly grandmother grew bitter. This is how I remember her, a bitter old woman. My father acted out like a spoiled child and was violent toward me.

    My mother was the first born. She had a younger brother who sadly died at the age of 3 from brain cancer. Her father was a broken man after that. He became nervous, hyper-vigilant, risk averse. My mother adopted these traits and naturally passed them on to me.

    Other events took place involving my wider family, a branch of which on my maternal side was completely annihilated, systematically shot dead in a small village in Eastern Europe. My mother wasn’t aware of this growing up. I learned about it from reading accounts on the Internet while researching family history.

    I don’t feel doomed though. I can bring these traits out in the light for inspection, to understand them and how they have affected me. I undoubtedly passed some on to my now adult children but they have to take their own journey. I am busy trying to figure myself out.
  3. Miriam G. Bongiovanni

    Miriam G. Bongiovanni Peer Supporter

    Hey Pepe Silva,

    In my opinion, you might have got some of your anxiety from someone you are close to, like your parents, but not because of an emotional trauma that was passed through from generations. In the same way, your parents may have got their anxiety from their parents. It's very easy to adopt a catastrophic or anxious mindset from the people around you, and to start perceiving your own reality from that mindset.

    However, one very important thing to note is that there doesn't have to be any obvious trauma causing TMS (like an accident, abuse or war). It could simply be an event that has shaken you without your being aware of it yet, or an internal conflict (such as being in the wrong job, being married to the wrong person, conflicts with family members, or even having had a child without having been fully prepared for the sacrifices involved). Instead of trying to identify a 'trauma', try to look at every area of your life (career, family, relationships, etc), and be honest with yourself when it comes to what you like and what you feel can be improved. Something may come up which you might think is not significant, but when you actually examine how you felt/feel about it, you may start to unearth those repressed emotions.

    Sometimes we might want to feel grateful and positive about everything in our life, and find it difficult to admit that we'd rather be doing something else, or to recognize that we deserve better. Sometimes when we're too positive we might be repressing things that are actually not ok with us, and it's this repression which may manifest in TMS pain. Don't blame your grandparents' traume - take a good look at your life first, as well as at your personality traits.

    Hope this helps a bit!
    Tennis Tom likes this.

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