It's everyone's worst nightmare: Getting a call or finding out that someone you knew has completed suicide. People ask themselves, “Why?” They say things like, “I should have known. I wish I would have said something.”
The thing we hear most often from parents is, “I wish I would have known about you sooner.” It can be extraordinarily difficult for parents to reach out for help or to know what resources are available to them. It can also be difficult to distinguish between the signs of normal teenage moodiness and serious causes for concern.
Psychological or emotional trauma is defined as “damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a distressing event. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience.”
Just as there are adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that play a role in the future success of kids, there are also 7 positive childhood experiences (PCEs) that can offset their damage.
In 1985, Dr. Vincent Felitti was the Chief of Preventative Medicine at Keiser Permanente. He was doing a study on long-term health outcomes when he noticed that people who had traumatic pasts tended to have more dire health outcomes such as heart disease and diabetes. So strong was the trend, he turned the focus of his research to understanding more about how adversity in childhood related to health outcomes in adults.
We’ve told you about the 16,404 cases of child abuse reported in Idaho in its last count. You may know that in confirmed cases of abuse, most are neglect (74 percent) followed by physical abuse (21 percent) and sexual abuse (6 percent). However, there is no good measurement for the way some people tear down the spirits of children without ever laying a hand on them. We're talking about emotional and psychological abuse.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
Once upon a time, this saying was the solution to bullying. But if children are to live by that, they are at risk of childhood trauma, or worse.