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Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Diseaseby Robin Karr Morse
Synopses & Reviews
The first years of human life are more important than we ever realized. In Scared Sick, Robin Karr-Morse connects psychology, neurobiology, endocrinology, immunology, and genetics to demonstrate how chronic fear in infancy and early childhood— when we are most helpless—lies at the root of common diseases in adulthood.
Compassionate and based on the latest research, Scared Sick will unveil a major public health crisis. Highlighting case studies and cutting-edge scientific findings, Karr- Morse shows how our innate fight-or-flight system can injure us if overworked in the early stages of life. Persistent stress can trigger diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and addiction later on.
"Coauthors of Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence, family therapist Karr-Morse and crime-prevention expert Wiley look at the lifelong ripple effects of trauma from before birth through early childhood on physical and emotional health, and on cognitive functioning. They define 'trauma' broadly to include not only dramatic and often violent events, such as physical abuse, but more subtle, gradual ones, such as a mother's emotional neglect of her young child. With a particular interest in the first years of life — 'what happens before age two permanently affects our health, including the aging process' — the authors cite dozens of recent studies to support their argument and consider research from the emerging field of epigenetics (how genes are affected by environmental factors). This is an information-packed book, but contains little anecdotal material. Although appendixes include advice on seeking therapy and other resources for parents, its wealth of scientific data may make it most suitable for medical professionals, researchers, and social scientists. But the authors do make a very persuasive case that preventive measures should be taken to eliminate or mitigate early trauma, which can 'literally change our minds by altering the DNA that controls brain functions.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
Karr-Morse, a family therapist who is joined by lawyer and strategist Meredith Wiley for the volume, explores how childhood emotional trauma can physically alter the body's immune and endocrine systems and cause diseases. They explain the role of emotions in shaping the organization of these systems and the physical mechanisms that make children vulnerable to the effects of fear and trauma, and how early fear triggers disease, as well as how the balance between protective and risk factors influence what happens, especially strong positive emotional connections in early development. They also describe potential ways to heal emotional trauma; research on the biology of stress and trauma; the role of chronic fear in affecting fetal, infant, and toddler lives and diseases in adulthood that connect to early experiences of stress and trauma; and the role of attachment relationships. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Robin Karr-Morse is a family therapist and the former Director of Parents Training for the Oregon Child Welfare System. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Meredith S. Wiley is the State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids New York. She lives in Albany, New York.
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