Adverse Childhood Experiences (Ace’s)

What is my ACE score?

Your can find out your ACE score by clicking onto the link further down in this article.  

Experts are now more and more convinced of the strength of the mind and body connection and how traumas can affect not only emotional health but physical health. For example the ACE study linked children exposed to trauma being likely to have physical health risk factors later in life.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, conducted through Kaiser Permanente, assessed 17,000 patients’ experiences of childhood trauma, including:

• Physical abuse
• Verbal abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Physical or emotional neglect
• Exposure to domestic violence
• Exposure to household members who were substance abusers
• Exposure to household members who were mentally ill, suicidal, or imprisoned.

According to the study, experiencing any one of these categories could place a child at risk, but having lived through 4 or more ACE factors appears to be a critical mass of stress. Those with scores of 4 or higher are more likely to experience social, emotional, and cognitive impairments, and are at greater risk for physical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and liver disease.

Childhood trauma leading to physical and emotional stress in adults

As noted by Dr Arielle Schwartz in her Complex PSTD workbook “unresolved childhood trauma takes a significant toll on physical health. Stress and trauma-related diseases are associated with chronic dysregulation of the ANS (autonomic nervous system) and these include:
• high blood pressure
• blood sugar imbalances
• immune system problems and
• digestion
• disturbances..….”

Medication may deal with symptoms but not the cause

Schwartz also notes “many clients with a trauma history have difficulties with physical and emotional pain, and as a result, turn to rely upon medical doctors for help.

Doctors and psychiatrists often prescribe medications, sometimes as a standalone treatment, and sometimes in addition to a referral for psychotherapy. For many years, medications such as benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin) have been prescribed because of their fast-acting properties on both physical and emotional pain.

However, since 2012, this class of medications has been reclassified as contraindicated for PTSD because they are highly addictive and prolong the healing process. These medications can suppress the very physiological and psychological processes necessary to facilitate trauma resolution. “All of these years I had been telling the story from my head but I never let my body tell the story. I didn’t know that my body had a story too!”

What is my ACE score?

You can check your ACE score here by answering these questions for yourself:

Finding Your ACE Score

It is strongly recommended that you discuss the results of your ACE score with an appropriate qualified professional.

The good news is that there are now therapies around like the Richards Trauma Process and Root Cause Therapy and many others using alternative approaches to traditional talk therapy counselling, that can quickly address the symptoms you are experiencing by addressing the causes.

Free over the phone assessment

For a free confidential assessment call to see if any of these therapies are suitable for you personally, please feel free to book a call or contact Mind Renew with your questions and a therapist will be in touch with you. Initial consults and assessments are free of charge.

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