Convener: Joe Lesiak
List of participants: Maria, Jim, Aaron, Siobhan
Began by examining the study,” The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Medical Disease, Psychiatric Disorders, and Sexual Behavior: Implications for Healthcare”
The study showed that, “Many of our most intractable public health problems are the result of compensatory behavior like smoking, overeating, and alcohol and drug use which act as short-term solutions to the emotional problems caused by traumatic childhood experiences.”
The study showed if these experiences were addressed, in this case by a questionnaire, medical visits were generally reduced by the patients in the study. Or by their conclusion, “provide[d] a credible basis for a new paradigm of primary care medical practice that would start with comprehensive biopsychological evaluation of all patients at the outset of medical care.”
We discussed that many of these “intractable” health problems are often the result compensatory behaviors. As the study showed, and as we have seen by our own experiences, these traumatic events which are unrecognized and unacknowledged causes health problems later in life.
The conversation expanded into addressing it in the larger context of community (schools, neighborhoods, families, friends, etc.)
How do communities address issues of traumatic experiences for children?
Justice vs. Truth: does our current system resolve these issues or do they perpetuate them even further?
Community response: working on creating a framework for the community to address and deal with traumatic experiences
1. Acknowledge and address that their experiences exist and the amount or extent of the experience are greater than thought or appreciated.
2. Our current medical system address symptoms rather underlying framework for the symptoms
3. Shame, secrecy and taboos prevent acknowledgment and actions to remedy those underlying causes
Vincent J. Felitti, MD and Robert F. Anda, MD, MS. The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Medical Disease, Psychiatric Disorders, and Sexual Behavior: Implications for Healthcare. from The Hidden Epidemic: The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease. Cambridge Unversity Press, 2009.