The Trauma of Childhood Can Last for Many Years
The ways in which childhood trauma and abuse can impact a person’s health for years to come is a disturbing idea to contemplate. We would like to believe that once a child has left an abusive or stressful living situation, they can then begin to live a healthier and happier life. Unfortunately, the long-term effects of abuse can last long after it has ended.
Child Abuse Can Have Long-Term Health Consequences
Several studies, presented at a conference of the American Psychological Association, reported on by the BBC, examine the long-term effects of poverty and childhood stress on overall health for years to come. Childhood stress, abuse, and poverty were found to increase a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease, inflammation, high blood pressure, and a host of other diseases.
Childhood abuse and poverty have also been associated with long-term stress in social situations, which can increase blood pressure and have a negative impact on health. Research shows that children who survive childhood abuse and neglect are at greater risk of incarceration, drug abuse, suicide, relationship instability, shortened lifespan, and illiteracy.
The Role of Naturopathic Medicine In Healing Childhood Trauma and Abuse
The role of a naturopathic doctor is to treat both the cause of disease and to encourage preventative measures are incorporated into our daily lives. Having said that, it seems obvious to me that health care practitioners, or anyone who is concerned with public health, should take an active role in education and advocacy for policy changes necessary to reduce the risk of child neglect and abuse, conditions which have such long-term negative impact on public health over-all.
Alternative health care offers hope and education to people wishing to improve their health and well being, and I do not wish to suggest that there are no options for survivors of abuse seeking to recover and improve their health. But health care providers cannot address the idea of preventative health care if that discussion does not address underlying social issues and their impact on public health.