WHAT ARE ACES?
What are ACEs?
ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES
Each of us has usually experienced three kinds of stress: good stress, tolerable stress and toxic stress (McEwan, 2017).
Each of these can cause us to stretch and grow but toxic stress presents a unique challenge, especially in childhood. Toxic stress adversely affects the brain and biology in ways that can impair adult health, relationships, judgement, impulse control and self-esteem, particularly in the absence of a safe adult to buffer the stress.
The effects of toxic stress can be passed down inter-generationally if unchecked which is why we need to raise awareness of this, not just for ourselves but for future generations.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study was originally based on evidence that the 10 most commonly reported ACEs predict a very wide range of psychological, medical and functional problems.
LEARN AND GROW
We continue to learn through research and science how trauma can affect our brains and our bodies. My particular focus is on the science, research and links to our hormones through our reproductive lives into menopause and beyond.
Research has shown that childhood experiences and attachment wounds are strongly associated as risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postnatal depression, endometriosis, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), mental health diagnoses including depression, more severe menopause symptoms which include cognitive, psychological symptoms and bodily symptoms.
Brain and bodies
Our brains and bodies are far more sensitive to hormones and medication which includes HRT. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a psycho-active form of medication and can cause severe side effects which is what happened to me in 2017. It is for this reason that I am raising awareness of this heightened sensitivity and my discoveries whilst reading the research and joining the dots through my own story and experiences.
The original research linked only the 10 ACES most commonly reported by middle-class patients to undesirable health outcomes. However, many ACES, as well as teenage and adult trauma, can also affect health through a dysregulated nervous system and altering hormone production. Some are obvious and some are more subtle and perhaps not even consciously recalled.
The scale will expand your awareness of other ACES that may be affecting your well-being.
There are free downloadable resources that you can access by clicking the button below.