Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Medihope Super Speciality Hospital
Malleshpalya, Bengaluru Feb 8, 2017
Adverse childhood experience(ACE) is a broad term that takes into account various forms of abuse and neglect. It has a very negative impact on the individual’s life and has physical, mental, financial, and emotional implications. Given the impact it can have on the entire life, the awareness about ACE is extremely less.
Emotional abuse: it can be very hard to track given its children facing it. It refers to one or both the parents or other adults insulting, swearing, or letting you down making you feel low and fear getting physically hurt.
Physical abuse: someone adult throwing things at you, or grabbing, or slapping leading to an injury and evident marks on the skin.
Sexual abuse: an adult having fondled your body in a sexual way, or tried to molest or even attempted to a sexual intercourse.
Parental separation: parents getting divorced or separated when the child is still young.
Substance abuse: one or more members of family addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Violent treatment: members in the family treating you violently, repeatedly throwing things at you which may hurt.
Emotional neglect: not feeling close to or connected to any of the family members.
Physical neglect: no one attending to you when sick or in need of physical assistance.
ACEs are astonishingly very common and can have very negative consequences like:
Early initiation of substance abuse: people with ACEs seem to pick up substance abuse at a very young age and find it harder to quit.
Use of prescription drugs: people with a history of ACE seem to have a higher chance of mental disorders and ailments like depression and are more likely to resort to prescription drugs.
Suicide attempts: people with ACEs are far more likely to attempt suicide amongst various other dangerous things.
People with ACEs also have lifetime depressive episodes, and some never come out of it.
It also has financial and economic implications as affected people seem to care less about jobs, or savings, or lifestyle in general.
Other health issues like insomnia, pregnancy outcomes, etc are also negatively affected.
People with ACEs find it hard to trust or believe someone to open up about their problems. It is a social evil and people must be more aware of it. If you yourself had episodes, it is best to visit a counselor and talk about it. It is also advisable to visit rehabilitation centers or other programs which help you quit addictions (if you already are addicted to some form of substance). Besides, more awareness should be spread about it and if you know someone suffering from it, try to help out.