Daylight savings has finished and I always get a little sad about the cooler weather coming, but we’re having this beautiful extended Indian Summer, so I’m not complaining. I’ve only got eight weeks until I go to Europe anyway, so I’m just going to enjoy it while I can, before it starts really getting cold around here.
I recently went to see a documentary called “Resilience” and I am really excited by the fact that it talks about a study that was done using an assessment called the Adverse Childhood Experience Questionnaire (ACE). In essence, several doctors in the US recognised that people who were having major health issues came from particular demographic areas that were associated with a lower socio-economic status.
These doctors believed that there appears to be a strong link between mental health and physical health and they wanted to understand about the causality of that link. What they have discovered is that if people have adverse childhood experiences, this results in excessive stress in children and, in turn, these negative mental health impacts affect the child’s physical health outcomes over their life course.
Now for those of you who have read my book ‘Define Your Inner Diva’ (if you haven’t read it then you might want to grab a copy here), you know that I talk about how we need to repair the ‘self’. In the first Chapter ‘Delightful Diva’, I outline why negative experiences from childhood affect the development of our sense of self and this impacts many areas of our life – how we approach relationships, our career and the impacts on our health and wellbeing.
If we can focus on health and wellbeing briefly, in my book I focus on excess weight and how it is directly related to our emotional overeating. We believe our problem is our weight and we try and control our food intake by dieting or increasing our exercise to resolve the problem. However, we need to resolve the issues with ‘self’ before we can get our best health outcomes, in terms of our weight management and a focus on exercise.
Looking after ourselves has always been about the awareness of the psychological side of health and wellbeing and I have anecdotally observed that some people, who have quite serious mental health issues, also seem to have significant physical health issues. This study has demonstrated amazing outcomes in consideration of the link between adverse childhood experiences (which requires a score of four or more, out of the ten, for you to have a ‘significant’ increase in the negative health outcomes in your overall general health) and the link to chronic disease development – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many other major physical health issues.
This research has uncovered the link between adverse childhood experiences and trauma. In essence, what they are talking about is trauma, as it is in our early childhood, and this comes from being exposed to acutely stressful situations, mostly abandonment in our childhood.
As a society, we do not acknowledge the pain that our children experience from this sense of abandonment, because we think that they are young and they will just ‘get over it’.
Alternatively, considering they are not talking about it very much, we don’t actually choose to address the issue as we believe it does not impact them.
I was just astonished, but really excited in some bizarre way, that they finally found something that clearly shows the link between adversity in childhood experiences and the impact that these experiences have on our mental health as children and young people.
We then carry that experience with us through our lives and the impact that it has on our physical health and wellbeing is so profound that I just believe that we are edging on the precipice of a really amazing time in medical research history, when we can finally start to see that as ‘human beings’ we are holistic – that our mind and our body are 100% connected, and the way that we think about things is going to impact what happens in our physical body.
Even though this was something that we knew intuitively and we have talked about, we keep it at that level! I couldn’t believe that finally, a doctor had chosen to investigate this phenomenon from a doctor’s perspective and found that there is a link.
So, I hope that you found that interesting as well as I did… I am going to put a link below to the resilience movie because I think it is an astonishing documentary and I am so excited that we are finally getting some evidence together that helps to support the ideas that I have been talking about for a really long time. ?
All right…. See you later Gorgeous