Many young children have experiences that are stressful or harmful. These experiences include physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. They also include growing up in a home with substance abuse, mental illness, violence, and parental imprisonment known collectively as adverse childhood experiences or ACEs. These experiences set these children up for mental and physical illnesses like depression, diabetes, and heart disease. These are common problems affecting up to 50% of all children. ACEs don’t occur in isolation. Most kids with adverse childhood experiences have more than one. Low self esteem is a common result.
ACEs themselves lead to problems later in life like poor performance in school, low self-esteem, unemployment, homelessness, alcoholism, drug addition, violence against others, suicide, obesity, diabetes and related cardiovascular diseases, cancer, anxiety, and depression. The more ACEs you have the greater the risk of these problems. Here is the insight. If adverse childhood events happened to you, they need not define you. You can overcome these problems. We all have a stake in identifying these children and helping them when we can.
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Thank you very much. I was lucky enough to find a very good therapist early into my adult life, and I was able to fully reconcile with my mother a few years before she died. She had me read a number of books which helped to explain things. By far the very best help I found was in my 40’s in having a therapist who had me use DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy. Close akin to CBT. That was a life saver. I suggest it to anyone going through hard times.
I hadn’t made the connection between my adverse childhood experiences and obesity. Now I see how those events affected me. I turned my pain and shame inward and hurt myself by overeating. I’m now losing weight, but it really helps to understand the root cause. Thank you for your postings.