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What kind of world would we have if all doctors approached childhood trauma the way she does?

When Dr. Nadine Burke couldn't figure out what why the kids in her clinic were so sick, she did some digging and here's what she found.

What kind of world would we have if all doctors approached childhood trauma the way she does?

We're obsessed with figuring out what's going to kill us.

When we discover a substance is dangerous, we avoid it and our doctors screen for its effects. When we discover a substance is deadly, our lawmakers ban it and we care for those who have been affected. But what are we doing about this dangerous substance?

Why don't we treat this deadly thing the same way we treat lead, arsenic, or radiation?


Childhood trauma is deadly.

The CDC and Kaiser Permanente developed a 10-point Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) questionnaire to determine respondents' exposure to childhood trauma.

It asked if the respondents had ever experienced:

  • psychological abuse
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • substance abuse by a parent
  • domestic violence toward their mother
  • or criminal behavior in the household

before age 18.

Then they compared the responses with the medical histories of 17,000 Kaiser Permanente patients.

52% of respondents reported that they had experienced one of the types of traumas measured, and 24% of respondents reported that they had experienced more than one. Substance abuse in the household was the most commonly reported trauma.

The higher the ACE score, the more likely the patient was to have mental health issues. No surprise there.

For every psychological problem they measured, from depression to substance abuse to number of suicide attempts, there was a clear and unmistakable correlation with ACES scores.

But people with high ACE scores were also more likely to have physical ailments as well.

They found a statistically significant correlation between ACES score and heart disease, cancer, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, hepatitis, and history of broken bones.

What does this mean for you, your family, and your health?

No need to panic, but you do need to be proactive. Take the survey for yourself. If you know that you or your child has a high ACE score, find out how to lessen the effects of those traumas. You can start by talking to a licensed health care provider.

We're not good at dealing with childhood trauma. But we need to learn. Our lives depend on it.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

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