Chronic Illness Trauma Studies

I'm a Family Doctor who retrained as a Somatic Trauma Therapist. Now I blog about the science that is helping me heal from a disabling chronic illness. 

The 7 Types of Trauma

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7 Types of Adversity that Shape Health, the Science of Why it's Not in Your Head, Tools for Healing, & more

by Veronique Mead, MD, MA


Chronic Illness

 Overt as well as covert trauma and adverse experiences increase risk for chronic illness, especially in the face of too little support and safety.  

My blog focuses on the role of trauma as a risk factor for chronic physical illnesses, including autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome and more.

How Trauma Shapes Health

Nervous System

Brain Plasticity


Cell Danger Response

Polyvagal Theory

It's Not Psychological

Types of Trauma

 Different types of adversity and trauma affect risk for chronic illness. 

Understanding that trauma is a risk factor for chronic illness is an empowering, validating first step that alleviates judgement, shame and self blame. 

Having symptoms is not your fault.

Adverse Babyhood Experiences


Pre-Conception to 3 years

Adverse Childhood Relationship Experiences

Conception to 18 years

Adverse Childhoohood  Experiences

Conception to 18 years

Adverse Multigenerational  Experiences

Previous Generations

Adverse Pre-Onset Experiences

Events that Trigger Onset (Any Age)

Adverse Institutional  Experiences

Historical Trauma,  Discrimination

I Was Surprised: I Experienced Trauma Too

How I learned about trauma, made sense of my disabling chronic illness, and begun to heal


Healing Trauma, Finding a Therapist, & More

Approaches for healing trauma include trauma therapies. Learn how to find a therapist and where to look using the somatically based approaches I recommend. 


Find a Therapist

11 Healing Tools

Medical History Tool

Resourcing Posts


About Me

I'm Veronique Mead, a family doctor who left medicine because I felt I was causing harm and wanted to find a better way. 

This blog is where I summarize the large bodies of highly respected research that I never heard of in medical school.

I write so others with chronic illness, like me, as well as other health care professionals, can get the facts without waiting for medical care to catch up.

I have been testing the science and tools for healing trauma with my own debilitating illness and seen it help clients, colleagues, readers and others too. It is the most powerful tool I've found when other things don't work.

VeroniqueMead_2018_Chronic Illness Trauma Studies

The Discovery Series

How I Learned Trauma is a Risk Factor for Chronic Illness

20 years of personal experience and exploring the research suggest that chronic illness is an intelligent process gone awry.

# Intro


Affects Risk

for Disease

More than 30 Diseases


What if Chronic Illness is an Intelligent Process Gone Awry?

Autoimmune Diseases


Separation & Bonding Affect Risk

Asthma & Recovery


Life Events Affect



Includes Parental Behaviors


Summary of 1st

Four Posts

Why It's Real




Why Doctors




Example of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)

Serious Life Events (SLEs) research and T1D

ACEs are more common than we (& I) realize


I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, at the age of 38, after a few years of intense non-stop frustration and internal conflict, brought on over a divorce. I am absolutely sure, after many years of personal research, that trauma caused the diabetes.  

What I do love though, is the wealth of information not only on how trauma causes autoimmune disease, but the amazing tools we have to work with the early trauma, with the possibility that once we truly process and let go of it, perhaps our body can also let go of the illness itself.  See post and comment.

Paul   Type 1 Diabetes

… I found this article/ blog so enlightening! It has certainly helped me to come to terms with my chronic illness, Lupus. It is really good to get some quantitative data mixed in. See post and comment.

Fay   Lupus

This article. …. mind blown. It makes so much sense. I went through a five year period of intense chronic stress before my body started quitting on me. Trauma….. you just opened my eyes. Thank you so much! See post and comment.

Gwen  re: Video on history of trauma

I have always believed my CFS was due to trauma but I am just a patient ... I particularly loved a sentence of yours where you stated symptoms are defenses to protect you. I still have a long way to go and am now old at 71 but the science of it all this thrills me. See post and comment.

Nia   ME/CFS