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Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, And How You Can Heal

A “courageous, compassionate, and rigorous every-person’s guide” (Christina Bethell, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) that shows the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and adult illnesses such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer—Childhood Disrupted also explains how to cope and heal from these emotional traumas.Your biography becomes your biology. The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, but it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical 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 children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering the body’s chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting children’s stress response to “high,” which in turn can have a devastating impact on their mental and physical health as they grow up. 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” (Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance) in its research, inspiring in its clarity, Childhood Disrupted explains how you can reset your biology—and help your loved ones find ways to heal. “A truly important gift of understanding—illuminates the heartbreaking costs of childhood trauma and like good medicine offers the promising science of healing and prevention” (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart).

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (July 26, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1476748365

ISBN-13: 978-1476748368

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #8,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #4 in Books > Medical Books > Psychology > Developmental Psychology #8 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Psychology & Counseling > Developmental Psychology #13 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Mental Health > Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

I am a pediatrician interested in raising consciousness of impact of ACEs on lifelong health amongst my colleagues where perhaps we could make a difference earlier on in a child's life trajectory. This requires a solid neuroscience background and evidence-based practices to convince the medical audience. In part 1 of this book, understanding the link between biography and behavior, Ms Jackson Nazakawa incorporates many of the scientific "go-to" references that I use in my talks to health care providers and trainees. In addition, in part 2, by expanding on various healing strategies, Ms Jackson Nakazawa provides information on therapies that could be recommended to parents who want to heal for sake of their own well-being and that of their children's. Medical providers are often reluctant to discuss topics when they feel powerless to help, but Childhood Disrupted offers scientific knowledge and practical tools that could empower practitioners to start a conversation at what is really at the root of patients' issues. This book is readable,informative, and most of all, credible. It would be a great introduction for your doctor who did not about ACES in medical school!

I had been waiting for more of Donna Jackson Nakazawa's incredible work since I finished (and re-read) The Last Best Cure - and I have not been disappointed. (Note - I wrote a review here for Last Best Cure, too.) I saw myself in many of the pages of Childhood Disrupted, both in terms of childhood trauma and in the issues I have faced as an adult. Nakazawa has a gift for making the science behind all this clear and for helping her readers to understand themselves better as a result. A few of the most important things I have taken from my first read of Childhood Disrupted:1. As a parent, I read the chapter on "Parenting Well When You Haven't Been Well Parented" with particular interest. I know there are things I can be doing to improve on my own biography with my kids - and Nakazawa spells them out.2. As an educator, I feel it my duty to support my students' sense of well-being, and Nakazawa makes it clear that mindfulness is as important as academics - I know many of our students are suffering traumas every day, and I know, too, that I can be a "reliable adult" (as Nakazawa writes) for at least a few of them.3. For myself - a reinvigoration to continue my own healing journey.Donna Jackson Nakazawa has done it again - a beautifully written book that spoke to me on every page. I know this was just published two days ago, but I am already waiting to see what she will share with us next!

Donna writes from the heart, while also researching the science intensely. She explains complicated concepts in a way the non-scientific reader can grasp easily. And the information is groundbreaking. You need to know this!I learned so much from this book. As I face my 50s and live with a few chronic illnesses, it's been important to understand all kinds of possible causes. The cause of childhood stress is one I wouldn't know about were it not for Donna's books. Beyond the cause or contributing factors information, this book covers solutions. And, of course, putting solutions in place is an important part of healing. Highly recommend this for anyone who lives with chronic illness.

I preferred this same author's earlier book "The Last Best Cure", which is in much the same vein, to this one. The first half of this book has a lot of stories about individuals who suffered childhood hardship and how that affected their adulthoods. The stories were a traumatic read, there are a lot of them, and the trauma they recount is not easy reading (i.e. a girl who saw her father murder her mother and testified against him etc). I valued the last chapter, on parenting when childhood wasn't great, and the practical treatment suggestions were useful. But her earlier book touched on the same things in a much more interesting way - less from a summary of scientific support and more from her personal story. I think stomaching one personal story and healing journey (her own) was a simpler vehicle for the message than the route she went with this one, retelling a large number of childhood stories and then talking about the science. Less personal, more traumatic and dull by turns.

If as a child you have ever suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, divorce, hunger, bullying, or lived with family members who were suicidal, imprisoned, mentally ill, from a dysfunctional family, or abused drugs, then this book is a must read. Your health depends on it. Donna Nakazawa unpacks one of the greatest discoveries in modern psychology and medicine today, the groundbreaking study on Adverse Childhood Experiences by medical doctor Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda. If you have experienced any of the 10 ACE's above, then your health is already at risk. I have personally experienced 8 out of 10 ACE's and thus identified with everything in this book. I have suffered from chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, heart disease, BPH, gynecomastia, and bilirubin, resulting from trauma. I was on Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Tizanidine, Lipitor, Hydrocodone, and NSAID's for years, and nothing helped until I began EMDR therapy for trauma as described in this book. The headaches and illnesses are largely gone.Through scientific research, Nakazawa demonstrates how our genes are changed based on our childhood trauma, known as epigenetic imprinting and methylation. The result is an inflammation of the organs through cortisol and cytokines, leading to inevitable illnesses in our adulthood. The science is virtually incontrovertible, and the research is extensive. Each chapter illustrates this process with real life stories that grip the heart yet give hope. If you've suffered childhood trauma, then you will certainly identify with the research and stories here. This is a profound and enlightening book. The last three chapters give cutting-edge information on how to begin a pathway towards recovery, from personal to professional approaches. This is one of the best books I have ever read on childhood trauma (see also The Body Keeps the Score by Van Der Kolk). It is very well written and researched. I highly recommend it.

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