What is an ACE Score and What does it have to do with your Health and Wellness?
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur before the age of 18 that significantly impact a child's development. Ten traumatic or adverse experiences fall under the categories of Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction
Adverse Childhood Experiences - ACE
Evidence shows that early traumatic experiences are very common and at least 67% of the population have experienced at least 1 of 10 ACEs and that 1 out of 8 people have an ACE score of 4 or more
Studies indicate that the higher the ACEs, the worse the health outcomes may be.
Including, diabetes, depression, suicidal ideations, STI’s, heart disease, cancer, stroke, COPD, broken bones, severe obesity, and many other physical and mental illnesses
The data also indicates that individuals with a score of 4 or more may suffer from clinical depression and those who have a score of 6 or higher, are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide, while those who have 7 or higher have triple the risk of lung cancer
The data also shows that these illnesses are not caused simply or purely through lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, or other unhealthy habits
When an individual experiences trauma, their brain, specifically the hypothalamic-adrenal axis –the flight or fight response – creates chemicals that are needed to survive a threat or trauma. Which is good when we are in the face of danger, as this notifies us that we need to take action to be safe
The problem is – when a child lives in a traumatic or unsafe environment, they are unable to properly develop when these chemicals are constantly produced from fear from trauma. Immune systems, hormonal systems, and how our DNA is transcribed becomes interrupted
Simply stated, development is drastically impacted
What does that mean?? When a kid experiences regular trauma, their development is interrupted and they may become unhealthy as adults as their systems are not adequately developed
Exposure to childhood trauma & adversity affects the developing child, their brain, their body, their emotions
Let’s start with awareness and compassion
Know that people don’t choose to be broken, rather, maybe that is all they’ve ever known