Adverse Childhood Relationship Experiences: The Most Underestimated Risk Factor for Chronic Illness

This article by Dr. Veronique Mead comes from the Chronic Illness Trauma Studies blog. It begins:

“If you’ve heard of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and have a low score (such as 1 or ‘zero ACEs’), you may still suspect that trauma has somehow affected your health but feel like your doctors and the research are missing something important.

Or you may have a high ACE score and feel that it was the emotional abuse or neglect that was the hardest.

In other words, you recognize that your childhood was difficult – you got yelled at a lot, or had to be a pleaser to keep things running smoothly in your family, or you learned that being quiet and invisible was the best way to get by, or you lost a parent and lived with a family that never really recovered from this or some other trauma.

This post introduces huge and unrecognized impact of one of the ACEs known as emotional neglect. I refer to these as adverse childhood relationship experiences (ACREs). This post will help you assess links between ACREs and chronic illness. It also shares the science.

Life may feel like a slog. Your body may be incredibly sensitive to treatment (even tiny doses make you worse or don’t work or stop working after a while). You may have PTSD, complex PTSD or a chronic illness (or all three) and feel that it relates to trauma but have nothing that validates your hunch.

Adverse childhood relationship experiences (ACREs) draw from the science that recognizes how these kinds of difficult relationships influence the nervous system, epigenetics and health …”

You can read more from here.

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