trauma

Two decades ago social scientists published landmark research that uncovered some previously undiscovered insights into stressors that affect developing minds.  The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study quantified the traumas that affected 17,000 adult patients, years before.

"Trauma" is a heavy and haunting word. For many Americans, it conjures images of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The emotional toll from those wars made headlines and forced a healthcare reckoning at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician, would like to see a similar reckoning in every doctor's office, health clinic and classroom in America — for children who have experienced trauma much closer to home.

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Earlier this year, Lake Effect spoke with researchers Dmitri Topitzes and Joshua Mersky about their research on the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences, also known as ACEs.

These encompass a variety of things that can happen in childhood - including different forms of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunctions. Research has found that ACEs can have a huge impact on a person’s ability to succeed later in life. 

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September is National Recovery Month, but raising awareness about mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide prevention is helpful throughout the year.

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When you take your child to the doctor, she or he might be pretty skilled at seeing what’s wrong and figuring out what’s causing the physical symptoms. But when it comes to behavioral issues, we are beginning to learn that the causes might not always be obvious, but could instead have been caused by issues in the past.

People who work with children are starting to take toxic stress into account when it comes to helping them through a technique known as trauma-informed care. 

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Early childhood experiences have a profound impact on the way human beings develop. From core functions like talking and walking to more nuanced, emotional responses - what happens to us in our early years, quite literally changes our lives.