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Getting Over Childhood Trauma: Mental Health Awareness

What is your ACE score?

ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experience score which is a measure of the number of traumas you have experienced in your lifetime.

Why is this important?

Eight out of ten of the leading causes of death in the US correlate with having four or more ACEs. In essence, our childhood traumas can impact our lives forever if we don't get treatment. Here are the 10 ACEs (childhood trauma experiences) to look out for:

1) Child physical abuse

2) Child sexual abuse

3) Child emotional abuse

4) Emotional neglect

5) Physical neglect

6) Mentally ill, depressed or suicidal person living in the home

7) Drug addicted or alcoholic family member

8) Witnessing domestic violence against the mother

9) Loss of a parent due to death or abandonment due to divorce

10) Incarceration of any family member for crime

Experiencing four or more of these ACEs correlates with this:

  • 10–12x greater risk for Intravenous Drug Use and Attempted Suicide

  • 2–3x greater risk for developing heart disease and Cancer

  • 32x more likely to have learning and behavioral problems

  • 8 out of 10 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S. correlate with exposure to four or more ACEs

This is why mental treatment is so critical for youth and adults when trauma is involved. If your car was hit in four different places, wouldn't you repair each dent? So, why wouldn't you heal each emotional wound so that you could be well? Therapy accomplishes healing, freedom for past trauma and growth by focusing on three things:

1) Self-disclosure- opening up about your emotions, actions, and mindset around your past traumas so that the negative emotions can come out (vs. fester inside of you).

"Relive to Relieve"

2) Self-compassion- consoling yourself and being compassionate to yourself for enduring traumas. It is always a bad idea to be self-critical (self-hatred, toxic shame, blaming self) when trauma is involved.

"Normalize to Neutralize"

3) Self distance- create emotional distance between yourself and the trauma so that you can move on and have mental health, healthy relationships and well-being.

You can do this via space, time and language which therapy will help you with. This allows you to observe your trauma from third person and help yourself through and out of it.

"Analyze and strategize"

Hopefully, you see the dire importance of literally taking care of your mental health because the mind, body and soul take score. When that score is comprised of negative experiences it can affect our entire lives but it doesn't need to be that way.

I pray this blesses you immensely.


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