Big Think and the Mental Health Channel are proud to launch Big Thinkers on Mental Health, a new series dedicated to open discussion of anxiety, depression, and the many other psychological disorders that affect millions worldwide.
The Adverse Childhood Study found that survivors of childhood trauma are up to 5000% more likely to attempt suicide, have eating disorders or become IV drug users. Dr. Vincent Felitti, the study's founder, details this remarkable and powerful connection.
Learn more at the Mental Health Channel: http://mentalhealthchannel.tv/show/big-thinkers-on-mental-health
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/vincent-felitti-on-childhood-trauma
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Transcript - What we found in the ACE study involving seventeen and a half thousand middle-class adults was that life experiences in childhood that are lost in time and then further protected by shame and by secrecy and by social taboos against inquiry into certain realms of human experience—that those life experiences play out powerfully and proportionately a half century later, in terms of emotional state, in terms of biomedical disease, in terms of life expectancy. In 1985, I first became interested in developmental life experiences in early childhood really by accident. In the major obesity program we were running, a young woman came into the program. She was twenty-eight years old, and weighed 408 pounds, and asked us if we could help her with her problem. And in fifty-one weeks, we took her from 408 to 132. And we thought, well my god, we’ve got this problem licked. This is going to be a world-famous department here! She maintained her weight at 132 for several weeks, and then in one three-week period regained 37 pounds in three weeks, which I had not previously conceived as being physiologically possible. That was triggered by being sexually propositioned at work by a much older man, as she described him. And in short order, she was back over 400 pounds faster than she had lost the weight. I remember asking her why the extreme response. After initially claiming not to have any understanding of why the extreme response, ultimately she told me of a lengthy incest history with her grandfather, from age 10 to age 21. Ultimately it turned out that fifty-five percent of the people in our obesity program acknowledged a history of childhood sexual abuse. I mean, that obviously is not the only issue going on, but it was where we began. And as we went down that trail, then we discovered other forms of abuse, also growing up in massively dysfunctional households, et cetera. The ACE study was really designed to see whether these things existed at all in the general population, and if so, how did they play out over time? Read Full Transcript Here: (http://goo.gl/F7vNgV).
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