Let’s talk about ACEs

What are ACEs?   ACEs are adverse childhood experiences that harm children’s developing brains and lead to changing how they respond to stress and damaging their immune systems so profoundly that the  effects show up decades later.  ACEs cause much of our burden of chronic disease, most mental illnesses and are at the root of most violence.

ACEs come from the CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experience study; a groundbreaking study that discovered that childhood trauma leads to the adult onset of chronic diseases, depression and other mental illness, violence, and being a victim of violence as well as financial and social problems.

ACEs are common; nearly 64% of adults have at least 1.  They don’t occur alone so if you have one then there is an 84% chance that you have 2 or more.  The more ACEs you have the greater the risk of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence.

Your ACE score is determined by taking a questionnaire that focuses on events from your childhood like physical, sexual, or verbal abuse; physical or emotional neglect, if you witnessed a parent being abused or if one or more of your parents were alcoholic or drug dependent.   The highest score you can receive is 10.  People with a score of 4 are twice as likely to be smokers and seven times more likely to be alcoholics; furthermore having a score of 4 increases the risk of emphysema or chronic bronchitis by nearly 400% and attempted suicide by 1200%.  People with high ACE scores are more likely to be violent, have more marriages, more broken bones, more drug prescriptions, more depression, and more autoimmune diseases.  An ACE score of 6 or higher are at risk of their life span being shortened by 20 years.

You can’t change your ACE score because it focuses on events from your past which cannot be changed; however you can change your outcome by becoming aware of your score and how it can affect your life.  You can build resilience which will drastically alter the outcome of your life and how you cope with the trauma of your past.  Counseling and therapy are great options for helping you cope, but a life coach that specializes in childhood trauma can be a great help also.  Your coach will help you identify which traumas are likely holding you back and assist you with overcoming them.

Your trauma recovery life coach will help you recognize triggers that keep you stuck in old patterns that have a negative effect on your life.  Email me today at lifecoach@powertowercoaching.com and ask about taking the questionnaire so you can get your score and begin to take control of your life and live your best life on purpose.

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today” – Will Rogers


Resources:  ACEs Science 101 –  https://acestoohigh.com/aces-101/

Wikipedia –  Adverse Childhood Experiences Study


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