This brought me to tears as I reflected upon my clinical counseling work with children and adolescents over the past many years. I provided mental health services for countless kids battling anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma. The school sites I worked at were fortunate to even have a clinical counselor on site...but eventually (like so many other schools across the nation), my position was cut due to budget cuts.
A couple years ago I conducted a trauma screening for students in the 4th grade....over 60 PERCENT met the criteria for moderate to severe PTSD....over 60%!! In the 4th grade! This was alarming to me, especially because one of the students who had one of the highest scores would never have caught the attention from staff to be referred for counseling services...she was a straight A student, always on time, quiet, respectful, never in trouble.
That got me thinking about the ACEs study....Adverse Childhood Experiences....the more ACEs a person experiences, the higher probability that they will be prone to chronic disease (i.e. autoimmune, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, unexplained pain, etc.), mental illness, suicide, victim of violence, the list goes on. Examples of ACEs include witnessing domestic violence, experiencing any form of abuse (physical, sexual, verbal) or neglect, losing a parent to separation or divorce, a family member with a mental disorder, substance abuse disorder, or time in jail/prison, etc. The study had 17,000 participants...they found that ACEs are pretty common....64% had at least one ACE. And what is further noteworthy is that the participants were mostly white, middle- to upper-class, college-educated, and all had jobs and great healthcare.
* People with an ACE score of 4 are twice as likely to be smokers and seven times more likely to be alcoholic.
* Having an ACE score of 4 increases the risk of emphysema or chronic bronchitis by nearly 400 percent, and attempted suicide by 1200 percent.
* People with high ACE scores are more likely to be violent, to have more marriages, more broken bones, more drug prescriptions, more depression, and more autoimmune diseases.
* People with an ACE score of 6 or higher are at risk of their lifespan being shortened by 20 years.
So what can be done? 1. Know your ACE score. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the free survey. 2. Know that your ACE score is not a death sentence! Although the health outcome statistics of the study are alarming, there is science to prove ways to literally get the toxic stress out of your body. I address these very things every day with clients in my practice, and the results are nothing short of miraculous. I have even developed a stress reduction protocol that I've taught to doctors and clinicians who are using it in their practice with patients and clients with great success. 3. Find a trusted professional who is an EXPERT in trauma. This happens to be my specialty, and I love educating others on ways to bring healing and freedom to their minds and bodies.
Curious to know more? Set up a free consultation call with me here: https://www.healthyholistics.net/book-a-call