How Childhood Trauma Can Make You a Sick Adult

How Childhood Trauma Can Make You a Sick Adult

Big Think and the Mental Health Channel are proud to launch Big Thinkers on Mental Health, a new series dedicated to open discussion of anxiety, depression, and the many other psychological disorders that affect millions worldwide.

The Adverse Childhood Study found that survivors of childhood trauma are up to 5000% more likely to attempt suicide, have eating disorders or become IV drug users. Dr. Vincent Felitti, the study’s founder, details this remarkable and powerful connection.

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Transcript – What we found in the ACE study involving seventeen and a half thousand middle-class adults was that life experiences in childhood that are lost in time and then further protected by shame and by secrecy and by social taboos against inquiry into certain realms of human experience—that those life experiences play out powerfully and proportionately a half century later, in terms of emotional state, in terms of biomedical disease, in terms of life expectancy. In 1985, I first became interested in developmental life experiences in early childhood really by accident. In the major obesity program we were running, a young woman came into the program. She was twenty-eight years old, and weighed 408 pounds, and asked us if we could help her with her problem. And in fifty-one weeks, we took her from 408 to 132. And we thought, well my god, we’ve got this problem licked. This is going to be a world-famous department here! She maintained her weight at 132 for several weeks, and then in one three-week period regained 37 pounds in three weeks, which I had not previously conceived as being physiologically possible. That was triggered by being sexually propositioned at work by a much older man, as she described him. And in short order, she was back over 400 pounds faster than she had lost the weight. I remember asking her why the extreme response. After initially claiming not to have any understanding of why the extreme response, ultimately she told me of a lengthy incest history with her grandfather, from age 10 to age 21. Ultimately it turned out that fifty-five percent of the people in our obesity program acknowledged a history of childhood sexual abuse. I mean, that obviously is not the only issue going on, but it was where we began. And as we went down that trail, then we discovered other forms of abuse, also growing up in massively dysfunctional households, et cetera. The ACE study was really designed to see whether these things existed at all in the general population, and if so, how did they play out over time? Read Full Transcript Here: (http://goo.gl/F7vNgV).
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Famous pundits virtually never make falsifiable forecasts.

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Transcript – We know virtually nothing about the forecasting track records of famous pundits because famous pundits virtually never make falsifiable forecasts. They say something might happen or could happen or may very well happen, but when I say something could happen that doesn’t mean a lot. I mean it could be that it could happen that we’re all going to be vaporized by an asteroid in the next 24 hours, or it could be that the sun will rise tomorrow. It could subsume an enormous range of possible probabilities. So if I say something could happen and it does happen, I can say to my readers well, you know, I told you it could. And if I say something could happen and it doesn’t happen, I can come back to my readers and say, I just said it could. One of the interesting things about superforecasters is how opportunistic they are. Superforecasters think quite strategically about when it makes sense to invest effort in thinking. So if you wanted to predict the outcome of the presidential election in early October 2015, 2016 presidential election, how would you go about it if you were a superforecaster? A superforecaster wouldn’t look carefully at the presidential debates, look into the eyes of the candidates and see which one looks more presidential. At some point in the process a superforecaster might do that, but a superforecaster would tend to start with more the outside view and gradually work in rather than start at the inside and work out. So they would ask very general questions initially like let’s look at elections, all presidential elections since World War II, how likely is a democrat or a republican to win? Or they might say after one party has held the presidency for two terms, how likely is there to be a transition? Or they might say if economic growth is less than two percent three quarters before the presidential election, does that bode ill for the party that controls the presidency?

So they would start off with these more general estimates, these more outside view estimates and then they would gradually adjust in response to estimates about popularity polls of candidates, which are notoriously volatile at this stage of the process. But they would take them into account but they would discount them considerably because they are so volatile and then they would adjust incrementally. So the best forecasters I think, over the course of 2015, have somewhat lowered their probability estimate of Hillary Clinton being the next president of the United States. I think they started off significantly above 50 percent and there’s been some significant hemorrhaging of those estimates, but nothing all that dramatic. I mean the interesting thing about superforecasters is they’re very patience and they make granular belief updates. So they don’t suddenly say oh my God the latest email scandal or is Biden going to come into the race or this or that, there are these little clues and it’s not that they ignore them but they tend to respond very incrementally to them. So it may be the probability of Hillary Clinton becoming the next president of the United States moves from the 45 percent to 43 percent in response to an Inspector General Report in the State Department, that sort of thing. The best forecasters tend not to make it on to television. They’re not very attracted to the TV producers because they’re much more likely to say on the one hand, on the other hand.
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Early Childhood Education: Constructive Learning Environments

Early Childhood Education: Constructive Learning Environments

There is much about Reggio Emilia approach that distinguishes it from other efforts to define best practices in early childhood education. Much of the worldwide attention has been on the programs emphasis on children’s’ symbolic languages lovingly referred to as The Hundred Languages of Children. Symbolic languages are the many ways children express their own knowledge and desires through art work, conversation, dramatic play, music, dance and more.

Relationships are at the very heart, the c…
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