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.

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.

More

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture