Scared Sick

The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease
Robin with Meredith S. Wiley. Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease. Basic Bks: Perseus. Jan. 2012. c.320p. ISBN 9780465013548. $26.99. HEALTH
According to family therapist Karr-Morse and crime-prevention expert Wiley, the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, addiction, and depression all have their roots in childhood trauma. The stress of living with abuse and chronic fear affect the immune and nervous systems, triggering the fight-flight-freeze response that evolved to protect us from danger. While life is considerably less dangerous now than when the trait first appeared, the constant stress that accompanies living in a high-tech environment keeps it active. Karr-Morse and Wiley argue that children growing up in these stressful, traumatic environments are at high risk for chronic diseases. They offer a plan to counteract these debilitating effects: attachment parenting to establish strong relationships, self-regulation, safety, appropriate therapy and medical treatment, and the return to a holistic rather than fragmented health-care system. A series of appendixes addresses preventing childhood trauma during divorce and lists diseases caused by mistreatment in childhood, symptoms of childhood trauma, guidelines for working with traumatized children, and effective programs and policies.
VERDICT This thought-provoking book will be useful for professionals working with at-risk children.

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