Autoimmune Diseases and Child Abuse

Autoimmune Diseases and Child Abuse

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During this video we will discuss tips and strategies to help survivors of childhood abuse to cope with an autoimmune disorder or to help prevent one in adulthood.

Welcome to our Weekly Q&A for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. You are welcome here with us, always. Please send your questions via Twitter, using the hashtag  #NoMoreShame and kindly tag us @AthenaMoberg @BobbiLParish  @TraumaRecoveryU so we can be sure to answer your questions.

First we will to share some definitions and research findings:

■ Childhood Trauma: physical, sexual, emotional, verbal abuse; neglect, witnessing family violence, and even parental separation or death

■ Autoimmune Disorders: when our immune system, meant to produce antibodies that fight off illness and bacteria in our bodies, turns against us and begins attacking healthy body tissues/cells.

■ Some Examples of Autoimmune Disorders: Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Crohn’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis

■ How does our childhood trauma cause autoimmune disorders? When we experience a persistent traumatic event in childhood it causes our body to pour stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, into our blood stream and body tissue. Infrequent exposure to those hormones can save our lives when we’re attacked or afraid. But persistent exposure to them is toxic.

■ When we experience repeated traumatic experiences in childhood our body gets “stuck” in high stress mode. Even at points when we’re not going through traumatic events our body is still producing the adrenaline and cortisol. Eventually, parts of our body become inflamed as a result of the high, constant levels of stress hormones. The inflammation causes pain and our immune system attacks the inflamed cells/tissues causing disease or disorder. Childhood trauma has been shown that our chances of developing an autoimmune disorder are twice as high as someone without childhood trauma.

■ Research done by Harvard in 1993 showed that something as simple as a lack of perceived closeness by a child to his/her parent is a greater predictor of a serious disease than lifestyle issues such as smoking, drinking, an unhealthy diet, or being exposed to unhealthy environmental substances.

Join survivors and trauma recovery coaches,  +Athena Moberg and +Bobbi Parish as we delve in to discuss tips and strategies which will help survivors of childhood abuse cope with an autoimmune disorder or to help prevent one in adulthood.

We will be answering your questions regarding your recovery journey if you (or someone you know & love) is living with or would like to prevent an autoimmune disorder in adulthood.

It is an honor to serve the survivor community. As always, we hope to see you there with us tonight and every Monday 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET using the hashtag  #NoMoreShame .

* As seen on Dream Catchers for Abused Children
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