Adverse Childhood Experiences and Their Impact on our Lives
By Joanne Marszal
People who’ve been abused, neglected or traumatized at a young age have gone through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). These are life events that hold negative impact in their lives. According to americanspcc.org the type of events may include: psychological (emotional), physical, or sexual abuse; violence against mother; or living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or criminal or imprisoned household members.
Once children go through ACEs, these events are likely ingrained in their memory, and more importantly in the development of their brain and other organs and systems. The site states there are long lasting effect on health issues as they get older such as alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, obesity, high-risk sexual behaviors, smoking, even death. Below is the ACEs Pyramid:
Some people may be unaware for how high at risk they are with ACEs. In that case, safelauch.org offers a ACEs quiz, so they can find out their score. According to the site, there are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal —physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. So, a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three. The website also states that research has shown the higher the score, the higher a person’s risk of adverse health outcomes.
Children being abused may feel alone, but that is not the case. NSPPC.org.uk shares children’s personal stories and how the organization helped them. These events are not easy for anyone to go through. The ones that survive are brave and strong. If they can go through the experience of abuse in one piece, they can get through anything!
I live in West Palm Beach Florida and I have a Multimedia Journalism degree from Florida Atlantic University. Writing is my passion. I love helping people with information they need to know.