Source: Darrin Henry/Shutterstock If you've ever wondered why you've been struggling a little too hard for a little too long with chronic emotional and physical health conditions that just won't abate, feeling as if you've been swimming against some invisible current that never ceases, a new field of scientific research may offer hope, answers, and healing insights. In 1995, physicians Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda launched a large-scale epidemiological study that probed the child and adolescent histories of 17,000 subjects, comparing their childhood experiences to their later adult health records. The results were shocking: Nearly two-thirds of individuals had encountered one or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)—a term Felitti and Anda coined to encompass the chronic, unpredictable, and stress-inducing events that some children face. These included growing up with a depressed or alcoholic parent; losing a parent to divorce or other causes; or enduring chronic humiliation , emotional neglect, or sexual or physical abuse. These forms of emotional trauma went beyond the typical, everyday challenges of growing up. ( For stories of those who faced childhood adversity, see these videos on Laura and John , two patients featured in my newest book, Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How… Read full this story
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