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New research reveals that a staggering 19% of Poles, almost one in five, exhibit symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), significantly surpassing the global average of 5-10%. Prof. Marcin Rzeszutek from the University of Warsaw attributes this prevalence to unaddressed transgenerational trauma, particularly from World War II.
Impact of Family Disclosures on PTSD Rates
Studies published in Scientific Reports indicate that families openly discussing their wartime experiences had a lower incidence of PTSD compared to those unaware of their ancestors’ traumas. Prof. Rzeszutek emphasizes the importance of creating spaces for open conversations, breaking the intergenerational cycle of trauma transmission.
Unveiling Historical Traumas
The legacy of WWII, coupled with the challenges faced post-war, contributed to Poland’s unique susceptibility to PTSD. Prof. Rzeszutek highlights that the societal silence around wartime traumas, coupled with the fear of repercussions during the Stalinist era, hindered the processing of these traumas, affecting subsequent generations.