Like many people I’ve read all about the ACE study. I took the test and know my score (see online test at NPR for yours).
Frankly, the news for those with an ACE score of 6 or more is terrifying. It’s early mortality of ON AVERAGE 19 years.
You aren’t blurry eyed or reading that wrong. It’s not weeks or months but YEARS.
Which is why I’ve been been obsessed with this topic for a while now.
I’m happy and healthy now, at midlife, I want to live a LONG life!
So, I’ve been carrying around this grim statistic and wondering,
What’s a high ACE-scoring adult to do?
I Googled and researched and figured with such a big study, (over 17,000 people) done in the late 1990’s (you know, not last week), there must be some great antitodes, remedies, cures, treatments and plans to reduce that disgusting and alarming health prediction.
I haven’t found anything yet.
So my old reporter stuff was like…
“Wait, what does the guy himself who originated this study think?”
Dr. Felitti has talked to thousands and thousands and been thinking about this for a few decades. I need to know what he thinks.
So I wrote to ask him, the real and alive, Dr. Vincent Felitti and he graciously answered!
I’m so glad I was a reporter once because I know there is always an answer even if it’s just not been found yet.
I’ll be honest and tell you that at first Dr. Felitti who must get a bazillion emails and calls gave me book and website suggestions.
Which was nice. And useful. I’m going to get the books he recommended below.
But in a polite as way as possible I said: You’ve got to do better than books and URL’s for people who will die 19 years early. It’s literally life and death.
Right? Are you with me? I can’t be the first one who is asking, feeling or thinking this!
Plus, my friend Margaret and I were giving a talk at Mobius and I did not, in good conscience think I could tell people these facts without also sharing hope.
That seemed sort of mean.
He shared the two techniques that he believes are effective and relatively inexpensive over the long-term and so, while I’ve not used either one for developmental trauma, I’m sharing them all in (see below).
This isn’t stuff that needs to be a secret. File this under let’s help each other get and stay happy, healthy and alive.
Chidhood shouldn’t make adults fat, sick and give us early mortality. But, that’s what is happening now so we’ve got to stop waiting for parents or doctors to advocate for our protect us.
We’re adults now. We can. We have to do what we can to protect ourselves and also others.
There are lots of us. Sure less than 15% have scores of 6 or more but, I’m sure no one wants childhood adversity limited life span by ANY amount and since 2/3 of all adults have at least a score of 1, this matters at least some to lots of people.
So please share. And share your successes and what helps and what makes you healthiest as well!
Here are Dr. Vincent Felitti’s suggestions from our March 2015 correspondence.
- EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
- Ericksonian Hypnotherapy
- Websites: (Founder/Editor, Jane Ellen Stevens) www.acestoohigh.com & www.acesconnections
- The Body Keeps Score,Brain, Mind & Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel van der Kolk , MD.
- Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease, Robin Karr-Morse
- Jane Ellen Stevens, forthcoming 2015
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dr. Felitti’s website:http://acestudy.org/
CDC site about the ACE Study:
NPR online ACE quiz.
Keep checking back on this site for more!
You Matter Mantras
- Trauma sucks. You don't.
- Write to express not to impress.
- It's not trauma informed if it's not informed by trauma survivors.
- Breathing isn't optional.