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6. ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES


In my previous blog you may have realized how much your early adversity has affected your health, you have a choice to make. The choice to make is how you would like to deal with your past in order to have a healthy future. It may not look like much, yet it can and will affect the rest of your life. If you want to live a long and healthy life, please read on.

You learned about Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACEs. They most certainly are real and will affect you. Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris provided a lecture of ACEs. Below is a summary from one of her lectures. These are only a few effects described, which have life-lasting implications.

Early adversity affects the developing mind of children. It affects the pleasure center of the brain; implicated in substance dependence, it inhibits the pre-frontal cortex which is necessary for impulse-control and executive functioning; a critical area of learning. The fear-response in amygdala (seen through an MRI scan) is altered. There are neurological reasons why folks who are exposed to high doses of adversity are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior.

What this means for you is awareness of the reasons you may be more inclined to drink, become addicted and attempt high-risk behaviors. It may also be harder for you to control your impulses. Sadly, it also may give you challenges to learn and continue studying at school. You also may be more attracted to try high-risk behavior. With awareness of it, you have a choice to make.

Further words of wisdom from Dr. Nadine from her lecture: Children are especially sensitive to aggressive behavior; whether in words of actions because their brain and bodies are just developing. Implications of these words for you can be life-altering. Yet you have choices to make for your future.

High doses of adversity affect the developing immune system and hormonal system.

What this means is that your immune system and hormonal system are affected by the adverse situations in your personal life; past or present.

EARLY ADVERSITY DRAMATICALLY AFFECTS HEALTH ACROSS A LIFE-TIME. Once again, these words from Dr. Nadine give a choice to make towards your future health, studies and well-being.

There is yet another concern; when you are continually stressed out at home and are growing up in that stressful environment, your response system leads to a very high abnormal cortisol levels in your brain. High cortisol levels mean:

1. Low immune response – you can get sick easier

2. You can have a higher blood sugar – can have tremendous long-term implications.

3. Cortisol inhibits growth of bones which can lead to osteoporosis

4. Belly fat grows as your body is in constant fight or flight mode.

Cortisol also plays a role in “stress responses, immune system, nervous system, skeletal system, the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.” When things are out of balance, the brain simply cannot grow the same way. How can you stop this cycle from happening? More on this in my next blog.

If your ready to explore your own past experiences and want my help contact me.