NEAR Talk – How Childhood Trauma Affects Lifelong Health
Trauma… it’s the really horrific things that we go through as people… things that deeply impact us. For some, trauma is a single point in time while others experience ongoing trauma and instability.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary includes these concepts when defining the word trauma:
Injury caused by an extrinsic (outside ourselves) agent
Results in severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury
In many cases when we experience trauma as adults we have gained the tools and relationships to carry us through. When we experience trauma as children we do not necessarily have those resources or the brain development that gives us the resilience needed. The more trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that a child experiences, the greater the likelihood these experiences will have negative health impacts throughout their lifespan that can include obesity, heart disease, and substance use disorders.