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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blog Week: Toxic Stress & Adoptee Health

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BLOG WEEK: What annoys me about the Adoption Establishment continues...

TOXIC STRESS is an integral part of adoption in my mind.  The Adoption Establishment doesn't mention effects on the baby who is orphaned and put up for adoption. That annoys me!
Being adopted affected my health as a child and as an adult. I call myself Super-Sensitive....the trauma of being abandoned is one of the greatest pains you will ever feel and impossible to heal...


ADOPTEE HEALTH
          Adoptees are truly a unique and diverse group. Some adoptees know they were traumatized as babies and now are plagued with emotional and physical problems...A few adoptees I know were adopted as children so they spent time with the natural mother, and many were breastfed.

          I did not spend any time with my natural mother and went directly to an orphanage. By the time I was adopted, I was a wreck. How do I know this? My parent’s memories and home movies. My immune system struggled continuously, and I struggle with adult allergies. You name it: weeds, grass, molds, dust, trees, and many foods.

          I admit I was running on high speed as a kid and taxed my adrenals to the max. When you’re in a heightened state of fear, in my case, this is called the fight or flight response. Doctors call it adrenal overload.

          In an earlier blog I posted information about the ACE STUDY and how childhood stress becomes an adult health problem.

          Now this: "Could your flight-or-fight response be giving you cancer?"

That question is answered by Alice Wessendorf on the
Healthier Talk website.

Alice: "When you find yourself in a difficult situation, hormones are released that up your heart rate, quicken your breathing, narrow your vision and, in general, prepare your body to clash or dash.

"This process, known as the fight-or-flight response, is supposed to save your life. But it turns out that it may also be giving you cancer.

"We already knew that this stress response could increase the risk for illnesses like heart disease. But now, new research out of the University of Texas points to stress hormones directly supporting tumor growth and spread.

"They do this by flipping the switch on the stress- activated protein known as focal adhesion kinase (FAK). FAK protects the detached cancer cells from dying. Allowing them to spread through your blood system finding places to re-attach and grow new tumors.

"And, as you may have already guessed, the higher your stress hormones are the higher your FAK levels become and the quicker tumors can grow and spread.

"So what can be done to stop the spread? Reducing the stress hormones circulating in your system is critical. You can't rid yourself of your natural fight-or-flight response. But what you can do is manage your stress levels."

The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health hosted an event to discuss the long term toxic stress consequences on children.

From the Summary: Evidence suggests that for the youngest children, prolonged or severe exposure to abuse, neglect and economic hardship – exacerbated by a dearth of stable, supportive relationships with adults – can provoke a “toxic stress response” with lifelong consequences. Such stress may influence brain development and increase the risk for illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. While efforts have been made for decades to intervene early in children’s lives, the results have not always been resounding.

Quotes: “What the science is telling us is that what happens early on affects lifelong health… So this is a game-changer for how the policy deals with toxic stress. This is for the health committees as much as it’s for the education committees. It’s as much for the Secretary of Public Health as it is for the Secretary of Education because what happens early on affects both, lifelong.” - Jack Shonkoff, Director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and Professor of Child Health and Development, Harvard School of Public Health
“Rather than saying to the parents, ‘You are a problem,’ what we have to say to the parents is, ‘There are some things going on in your life that are having a tremendous effect on you and your child. Let’s see if we can figure out a way to help and make that situation better.’" - Robert Block, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
“There is no silver bullet solution here. I think it really requires us having a more systemic look at the well-being of our kids and putting that front and center. So our Administration is going to remain committed to that goal. “ - Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy, The White Houses
Link to videos: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/toxic-stress-of-early-childhood-adversity.cfm

mp3 file: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/files/audio/20120207_toxic_stress.mp3

2 comments:

  1. Hi. I have studied this a lot as well. I definitely think it is a factor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anonymous for commenting and reading this blog!

    ReplyDelete

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Congress enacted the ICWA to protect the best interests of Indian children and to prevent the erosion of tribal ties and cultural heritage by preserving future Indian generations. In enacting the ICWA, Congress declared that “it is the policy of this Nation to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families and the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture…” (25 U.S.C. § 1902.)

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