Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adverse stressors in childhood matter

Just watched an incredibly important TED talk and wanted to post to include the video and link to the website for the ACE study mentioned in the talk. But it's not just a public health crisis that is incredibly important where there is a lot known know about how adverse stressors in childhood literally change the human brain, it is also a personal one.

I just took the ACE quiz before making this post, as it is online and it didn't take me long, and it's a way to mention things I've kind of wanted to mention without giving way too much personal information, and I scored a 7.

Here's the video:

In the video Dr. Nadine Burke Harris--not a relation as far as I know--talks about the health impacts of early childhood traumas. It's important to emphasize these literally change the developing brain. Someday a brain scan may be all that's necessary to detect and diagnose, but for now there's the ACE quiz. And yeah, it's scary to contemplate for me with my score and she talks scores in the video so you can hear its implications.

And I grew up in a lower middle class home to very religious parents. Went on to Vanderbilt University on a full tuition scholarship. Have 5 years active duty service in the US Army working at large medical centers, and left with a honorable discharge. Along with a host of other positives I could mention, which I think can maybe hide so much.

And I've struggled with massive issues mostly in the dark, where I will hold my privacy as to the details, and will admit to recent issues with high blood pressure. It can be hard to face these kinds of things as I think we all either wish we had idyllic childhoods, and figure no one does, or have gotten tired of people seemingly making excuses for their lives blaming supposedly bad ones.

The science, however, is where there can be a clear path both to mitigation and treatment without any loss of adult responsibility for one's actions.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Study website: http://www.acestudy.org

Science here can make a difference for so many people, including protecting their dignity, and helping them get the medical treatment that works best.

James Harris
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