As any therapist does, I hear many stories of how negative childhood events impact daily life, despite how far in the past those childhood experiences may be. There is research conducted that studies this very issue, called the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. The study has been going on for many years now, with the first phase from 1995 to 1997, and is one of the largest investigations of its kind to assess the connection between childhood trauma and health later in life. Adverse childhood experiences are stressors during the first 18 years of life, such as sexual or physical abuse, neglect, divorced parents, witnessing domestic violence, or a household member going to prison. Unfortunately, exposure to these stressors are common. The ACE Study uses a questionnaire to assess the number of these experiences a person had in their childhood and demonstrates that as the number increases, the risk of health problems also increases - such as depression, alcoholism, suicide attempts, liver disease, and heart disease. The research data of this study continues to be analyzed, but it already provides yet more proof of the strong connection between mind and body - that psychological and emotional trauma can affect not just the mind, but also the body, and has an impact on life years after childhood. Click HERE to learn more about the ACE Study, including the questionnaire that will give your ACE Score. If you find yourself answering "yes" to even one of the questions, consider calling a therapist who can help you overcome the effects of it.
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