NIH Study Concludes Childhood Traumatic Stress Incidents, such as Child Abuse, Lead to Autoimmune Diseases Decades into Adulthood
July 8, 2013
Last week I went to Soquel to see my Ayurvedic doctor for a checkup. Dr Suhas Kshirsagar is a gifted physician with remarkable insight into people and expresses deep compassion in his work as a holistic healer. During our conversation, Dr. Suhas inquired about my book, True North-The Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours”. I shared the excitement of my upcoming book release celebration on Friday, July 12th, at the Carmel Art Association and Pilgrim’s Way Book Store & Secret Garden in Carmel. I also mentioned the very positive feedback I have been getting from readers of this website. For example, I received a facebook email from a woman who said,
“I have struggled all my life with emotions carried over from a difficult childhood, not knowing what to do about them. Finally, you have given me a voice. Thank you.”
Dr. Suhas pointed out that when I made the decision to write the book, I had a choice to make. On the one hand, it would be easier to suppress sensitive family information in a society that would generally not be receptive to breaking the taboo against disclosure of domestic violence and child abuse. On the other hand, I could share the truth of a famous story (reveal that “Yours, Mine and Ours” was a lie), and help people to seek, and perhaps gain closure within their own lives and resolve family issues. Since I have chosen the latter, and the fact that the book (which isn’t even released yet) has been helping those readers who have responded, I believe I made the right choice. .
Dr. Suhas then shared with me a troubling study released by the National Institute of Health which asked the question, “Does childhood traumatic stress increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases as an adult?” The study surveyed 15,357 adult HMO members and concluded that depending on the type of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) and the number of ACE’s, the rate of autoimmune disease development ranged from 31% for the group with a single ACE, to as high as 100% for multiple ACE’s by the age of 40! The results of this study and others like, it indicate that overwhelmingly, childhood trauma caused by child abuse has a devastating impact on human development and health, and leads to disease.
It seems to me, and it is my experience, that the more we share the truth about our lives, the more we integrate our emotions into a positive developmental perspective that sustains us as human beings. I emphasize the “developmental” adjective because regardless of our age, we are always developing and becoming more of who we really are, each and every day.
My mission is to let people know that there is help, and hope. Getting help, and giving a voice to past childhood traumas may be a way to holistically heal and to stop the perpetuation that leads to illness and disease.