Do you know your ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score? Take the quiz and find out. The score is 0-10.
Interesting fact: having a higher score can cause all kinds of health issues in middle age. The top diseases include liver damage, Fibromyalgia, IBS, GERD, muscle pain, chronic fatigue, cancer, kidney damage, ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia and more.
What happens is glucocosteroids trigger the sympathetic nervous system without you knowing it. That sore shoulder that never seems to find relief from pain could be from tension spiked by a chemical response in your body while you sleep. Without treating childhood trauma, life does not get easier. Studies have shown childhood trauma takes an average of 19 years off life expectancy.
The positive side is having one person who loved you, listened to you as a child, someone who helped you can also lower the risk and side effects.
Tenets of Trauma Treatment
1. No Judgement:We are all on a journey and we all have a past. Thoughts and beliefs are examined in a non-judgemental way to allow for change and growth. We look at things from a neutral and rational perspective, and take it everything as it is, including ourselves and others as they are, which leads to;
2. Curiosity:We become curious about behaviours and analyze them based on what the intention, or what was the decision based on what our experiences were at the time, which leads to;
3. Acceptance:We learn things as they are and drop the assumptions, or the stories we've told ourselves. We stop the tapes running through our heads, and reframe them with;
4. Positive Action and Thought:We move forward through positive action and thought, and re-wire the brain to stop the stories, and to become;
5. Objective: We look at beliefs, thoughts, patterns, decisions and actions, and examine them objectively, and how our emotions tied into those beliefs, and then we;
6. Reframe our World View: Finally, we show different thoughts and beliefs giving us a different perspective; examine the issue and problems in a new light, which can allow us to move forward, and then we;
7. Set Realistic Expectations: Being realistic means that patterns can change from negative to positive, and we may have set backs, however, we also have the power to change the set backs and move forward. We have realistic expectations so when set backs occur, we have the tools to stop the spiral and create healthy coping mechanisms.
The beautiful experience that comes from working with these basic principles is Post Traumatic Growth, the positive creation that comes from trauma. Create growth with these five pillars:
1. Build Mental Toughness
2. Search the Good Stuff
3. Look at our Character Strengths
4. Build Strong Relationships
5. Assertive Communication