BBC News recently did an amazing radio piece on how childhood trauma affects our health as adults.
In one of the studies that they reviewed, adults were studied who had experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). There were twelve such Adverse Child Experiences that they surveyed, from emotional neglect, to divorce, to physical or sexual abuse (a few of these ACEs that were studied are outlined in the graph below). Adults who had these experiences were more likely to have drug issues, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, attempt suicide, use tobacco, have an unhealthy diets, and many other issues. As a matter of fact, adults who had three or more of these experiences had a life span that was 20 years shorter than normal.
Another study showed that those who experienced childhood trauma struggled with hormonal imbalance due to an overactive fear and stress response. They also were more likely to have systemic inflammation and a weaker immune system.
That being said, these conditions were by no means permanent. As a matter of fact, a third study found that simple changes could reverse the course of these health problems. When people changed from an unhealthy to a healthy environment, or had healthier relationships, their outcomes improved dramatically. Likewise, those people that participated in some sort of therapy, whether psychotherapy, yoga, or meditation, also had much better outcomes.
Here at Clear Point Wellness, we address how trauma might be affecting a person’s physical health. Releasing that strain and that stress in the body can help survivors of childhood trauma as they work to become healthier as a whole, and ultimately change their health outcomes for the rest of their lives.
Dr. David Jones