A five part video series astutely titled The Bomb in the Brain helps to answer this question by sharing just how damaging the effects of childhood abuse can be on people throughout their lifespan. The first two videos are based on a continuous study conducted by Kaiser Permanente along with The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The videos are hosted by Stefan Molyneux, the current anchor of Freedomain Radio. I will dedicate this first blog to the information presented in the first two videos as it is unnerving as well as fascinating. My next blog will cover the last three videos in the series.
During the first video, Molyneux cites Kaiser Permanente’s Adverse Childhood Experiences study involving over 17,000 participants. Adverse childhood experiences include emotional, physical, verbal and sexual abuse as well as negligence. The study has found a positive correlation between these adverse childhood experiences and the likelihood of smoking, using antidepressant medications, hallucinating, teenage physical intimacy and pregnancy, suicide, and domestic abuse among others. (A positive correlation is a relationship that occurs when one factor increases and the other comparable factor increases as well. This means that as adverse childhood experiences increase, the likelihood of issues listed above increase too.) A positive correlation has also been found between the number of incidents of adverse childhood experiences and the risk of developing physical ailments including heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. A negative correlation has been found between the number of adverse childhood experiences and one’s lifespan expectancy. This means that as the number of incidents of childhood abuse decrease, one’s lifespan expectancy increases. What is even more unnerving is that fact that many of the data presented here are underrepresented, because participants in the Kaiser’s study are middle class people with health insurance.
The second video in the series featured an interview between Molyneux and Dr. Vincent Felitti M.D., Head of Preventative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego as well as a chief officer in the adverse childhood experiences study. Molyneux conducts the interview brilliantly as he discusses both the adverse experience study as well as an obesity study that Dr. Felitti was involved in as well. Dr. Felitti presents provocative insights into the link between obesity and child abuse. He suggests that obesity is a kind of protective armor against the outside world or even what can be seen as “a cure” for depressed people who want to shorten their lives. Dr. Felitti suggests that support systems are a crucial aspect of people’s lives.
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By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
Educate Yourself -- Learn the Facts
It May Just Save a Child's Life!!