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Collective trauma 

Collective trauma
Chapter:
Collective trauma
Author(s):

Umaharan Thamotharampillai

, and Daya Somasundaram

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198833741.003.0012
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date: 18 May 2021

Natural and manmade disasters can severely impact on family and community structures and processes to cause collective trauma. Observations, experiences, and work in multiple migration situations around the world and literature survey have informed this study. Collective trauma can lead to migration and manifest in migrant populations as high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, depletion of social capital, dysfunctional family dynamics, loss of motivation, dependence, helplessness, hostility, distrust, suspicion, despair, alcohol and drug abuse, and a variety of social pathologies, as well as historical and transgenerational effects. Procedures, support systems, and atmospheres in host countries can mitigate and help to resolve collective trauma or exacerbate, worsen, and prolong healing. Rebuilding social capital, communality, trust, networks, feeling of collective efficacy, promoting family unity, adaptation to host culture, and learning the language can be salutary. Historical communities will have elements of resilient functioning that should be recognized, respected, and encouraged, while exclusive and maladaptive practices can be discouraged.

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