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Is It Intergenerational Trauma or Autism? How about both!



One of my cherished hobbies involves delving into self-analysis, a pursuit closely tied to my fascination with psychology. Understanding the intricacies of human behavior and the reasons behind them enthralls me. People are like onions, possessing layers that seem endless—constantly captivating, enigmatic, and never fully comprehensible.


In my daily contemplations about life and the factors that shape my identity, I often find myself caught in the ongoing dilemma of distinguishing between cPTSD and autism. This pondering is akin to chewing gum for my brain, as it lacks a definitive resolution.


Certainly, I'm not alone in this query, given that approximately 90% of the individuals I encounter within my private practice are autistic and also have cPTSD. Upon deeper reflection, the association between cPTSD and autism appears logical. While tracing the roots of autism within my family remains uncertain, it is undeniably clear that my ancestral lineage carries generational trauma that continues to be transmitted. Could the presence of neurodivergence among my forebears have amplified the intensity of this trauma? It's a thought-provoking notion.


In past generations, raising autistic individuals likely demanded the utilization of significant corporal punishment and maltreatment. How else could compliance be elicited from someone who struggles to grasp societal norms? Autistic individuals may have frequently encountered challenges that jeopardized their existence. The fact that we have persevered and exist today is remarkable.


These reflections mainly encompass intergenerational and historical trauma, without even delving into the personal traumas we undergo during our lifetimes. Multiple factors make autistic individuals more susceptible to abuse, as we often lack the necessary safeguards.


Many of us carry the weight of intergenerational or historical trauma, coupled with personal trauma, alongside our autistic characteristics. Separating these elements to discern what stems from trauma and what originates from autism is a complex endeavor. For me, the amalgamation of cPTSD, autism, and ADHD forms the intricate tapestry of my experiences, often making it challenging to distinguish one from the other.

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