The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults but also affects our physical health and overall well-being. Scientists now know on a biochemical level exactly how parents’ chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, and growing up with a hypercritical, alcoholic, or mentally ill parent can leave permanent, physical “fingerprints” on our brains.
When we as children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, excessive stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering our body chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting our stress response to “high”, which in turn can have a devastating impact on our mental and physical health.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa shares stories from people who have recognized and overcome their adverse experiences, shows why some children are more immune to stress than others, and explains why women are at particular risk. Groundbreaking in its research and inspiring in its clarity, Childhood Disrupted explains how you can reset your biology – and help your loved ones find ways to heal.