From The New York Times: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who has emerged as one of the country’s strongest voices calling for a national public health campaign to raise awareness about the impact of childhood trauma, has released a new book. In this interview, she speaks about her book and discusses what the public needs to know about childhood adversity.
“A lot of my adolescent patients have been told that they’re screwups. When I say to them, ‘Because of what you’ve experienced, your body makes more stress hormones than the average person, and that can look and feel like being quick to anger, or having difficulty controlling your impulses, or getting sick easily when you feel overwhelmed.’ And I will tell you the look on their faces when they say, ‘Wait, you mean I’m not crazy?’ That literally is the No. 1 response I get.
Being able to understand that makes a world of difference. And folks can begin to develop a skill set for helping to manage their stress response. And they end up getting into less threatening or challenging situations, and oftentimes for parents, they’re able to make healthier choices for their kids, and that is where we break the intergenerational cycle of adversity.”