Trauma Shortens Life in Indianapolis — Tears came to my eyes as I watched Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’s talk – How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime.
It wasn’t what she was saying was new to me. I have studied the effects of the mind on the body for over 20 years and am familiar with the effect that childhood adversities have upon our long-term health. What touched me so deeply was that I was watching a physician speak clearly and strongly about the health effects of childhood violence, abuse and neglect.
She shared research from the CDC and from a major insurance company, Kaiser, to back up her claims. This physician was calling for major changes in our health care system to treat alterations in brain structure, DNA, hormones, and the immune system caused by adverse experiences in childhood.
She stated that the research is conclusive that these childhood problems affect the length of a person’s life along with our chances of having cancer and heart disease. Then she gave her most powerful statistics: 67% of the population of this country have some type of major adverse experience in childhood and multiple major adverse experiences can reduce life expectancy by 20 years.
I know that we are jaded. It seems like everything affects heart disease, cancer and overall health. It is so difficult and overwhelming to take the steps to live a good and healthy life.
I know I have a long way to go to walk my talk with my own health. Yet this talk gives me hope for us all. As much as our healthcare system is a mess, things are happening that are moving us forward. More medical professionals are starting to understand what the clinicians at ATS Wellness and Therapy already know and practice. We understand that our minds and bodies work together and healing both is a necessary strategy to find the health we all desire.
Allen Rader, LCSW – Allen is a therapist, entrepreneur and founder of ATS Wellness and Therapy: therapy and wellness strategies and occasionally writes for Indyatwork.com, a business blog for the Indianapolis community. He enjoys assisting people in transforming their lives rather than just learning to cope with the challenges of life.
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