We all know that childhood problems can follow us into adulthood. Did you know that researchers have discovered that childhood adversity is one of the root causes of so many of our serious diseases.
These diseases include: heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, and depression. These diseases have become so prevalent that we think they are just a part of getting older. This post will change your mind.
Keep reading to discover how childhood adversity is making you sick. Learn my suggestions for regaining your health.
What researchers are telling us
In Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal (2015), author Donna Jackson Nakazawa describes cutting edge research into the link between childhood adversity and adult diseases. All the quotes in this post come from Childhood Disrupted.
If you are struggling with any kind of disease including mental health issues, I recommend this book to you.
Researchers have discovered that 64% of adults faced at least one adverse experience in childhood and 40% faced two or more. “One hundred and thirty three million Americans suffer from chronic illness and 116 million suffer from chronic pain.”
“The ACE [Adverse Childhood Experience] Study shows a clear scientific link between many types of childhood adversity and the adult onset of physical disease and mental health disorders.” You might expect that these adverse experiences are always traumatic, but researchers have discovered that “exposure to relatively chronic forms of family dysfunction, such as lack of familial affection or parental discord” can lead to disease in adulthood.
Go here to find out how you rate on the ACE Survey: www.acestudy.org/survey.
Why childhood adversity is so damaging
Those early childhood experiences caused your system to be in a constant state of arousal due to stress. Childhood issues triggered you into a flight or fight response, but the issue was never resolved, so you never recovered from the stress.
Once your stress response is damaged, any new stress adds to your already overloaded system.
All of this stress creates inflammation in your body and brain. When your body becomes too overloaded you start experiencing ill health and disease. So many of the diseases that plague us have inflammation as one of the root causes.
“We unwittingly marinate in those inflammatory chemicals for decades, which sets the stage for symptoms to be at full throttle years down the road – in the form of irritable bowl syndrome, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, fibroid tumors, ulcers, heart disease, migraines, asthma, and cancer.”
Often you don’t see the consequences of childhood problems for 10, 20, or 30 years.
My suggestions for regaining your health
If you are struggling with disease you need a two step approach.
First, start living a low stress life style or more accurately a low inflammation life style. Here are a few suggestions. For your body, eat a nutritious diet, get some exercise, and get enough sleep. For your mind, practice meditation or guided imagery, engage in supportive self talk, and let go of destructive thinking patterns. For your spirit, learn to forgive, become more compassionate and loving, and regularly engage in practices that uplift your spirit.
Second, you need to address the root cause of your disease. The childhood issues that derailed your stress response are held in place by your emotional wounds. These wounds include: fear, shame, guilt, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, rage, and hurt.
The three step poetry of emotion process is an effective way to release emotional wounds. As you release these wounds your body can stop reacting to stress from the past. Your body can finally learn how to have a healthy stress response based on the present – not the past. You can begin to heal.
To read more about the poetry of emotion process, click on “Are you new to the site?” You will find background information plus I walk you through the basic process.
Are you ready to address the root cause of your disease? Just reading about the poetry of emotion process is not enough to release your emotional wounds. You need to experience the process in your own mind and body. Try it out. Share what you discover in the comments section below.
(Image: Dave Bezaire @ Flickr)