Trauma is public health enemy number one.

Trauma spawns chronic disease. Anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder and musculoskeletal pain predictably result from trauma.

So too do heart disease, diabetes and lung cancer. A study done by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control in the 1990s documented that people who had suffered a higher number of “adverse childhood events” had up to three times the lifelong incidence of such slow and costly killers as those who had experienced fewer wounding events.

Trauma breeds trauma. Families and populations that have experienced trauma produce children and grandchildren who are more likely to be victims and perpetrators of trauma. Families and populations that have experienced trauma produce offspring who are more vulnerable to chronic diseases of all kinds.

Trauma is worse than nuclear waste. When we dump nuclear waste in the ground or in the water, it persists for countless generations. But it becomes less dangerous with the passing years. When we dump trauma into our bodies, our children, our cultures, each successive generation becomes less resilient. Each successive generation becomes more vulnerable to trauma’s ravages.

We don’t yet know how to neutralize radioactive waste. We do know how to transform trauma. When we choose not to do so, we consent to the poisoning of our children, and their children, and so on.


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