I too am a psychotherapist who suffers from chronic illness and have like you, been searching both within myself and out to feel into the possible causes and triggers.
It’s a powerful journey and as painful and isolating as it’s been, it has proven to be an ever deepening path to awakening. As it relates to your post, I’ve become more aware I’m walking in the several different pairs of shoes of my ancestors - learning about epigenetics was incredibly powerful for me. See post and comment.
Kate Psychotherapist ME/CFS, MAST
… 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.
Thank you! My ACE score is 6+. I realize now (at age 69) that my childhood was very traumatic.
I believe I have PTSD from the trauma and it manifests itself to this day in certain situations that bring up fear and cause me to “freeze” and my heart to go into atrial fibrillation [heart arrhythmia]. The twelve step program of Narcotics Anonymous has helped me gain freedom from my active addiction and given me a life worth living today but I still suffer from the wounds of childhood trauma.
It is so heartening to see that progress is being made in this area of medicine and that there is hope that younger people will someday get help for this awful problem! Thank you for your compassion and love. See post and comment.
Ross Atrial fibrillation, Addictions
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
Veronique has published some monumental work in this area [of the cell danger response]. Her website is a must-read for anyone treating or suffering from environmentally-acquired illness.
She has collated the work of many researchers and clinicians in this field to distill a very clear explanation of how the nervous system “gets stuck” in stress responses controlled by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the dorsal vagal (freeze) [see our conversation on youtube].
As an educator, I went to an ACEs training. I had already been diagnosed with ME and I was mind blown that my ACEs score was a 6/10. I also realized that work stress had greatly increased prior to my illness becoming full-blown and debilitating.
After the ACEs training and my realization that my childhood traumas were a major contributor to my illness, I had a very bad flare. In reading a couple of your articles, I realize that I also have intergenerational traumas that may also be contributors. Thank you so much for listing the resources. I really need to work on my many levels of trauma! See post and comment.
Christine Educator, ME/CFS
I lost my mother when I was 11 years old and my life changed dramatically. From being loved and cherished I was the unwanted nuisance ... Scoliosis has been a metaphor of crouching and hiding, to protect myself from further abuse. ... Your site is my reference point for any information about ACEs. See post and comment.
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.
My son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. At the time he was diagnosed, I looked directly at the endocrinologist and asked if this diagnosis could have had anything to do with stress. She said no. Every endo since this time has said no, even though we know full well cortisol levels and stress have affected his blood sugar levels all along and certainly do to this day.
Teri Son has Type 1 Diabetes
... I love that you write with clarity about your own personal journey. You are so brave and kind to share in such depth the details of your particular physical challenges, ... the amazingly clear support in the medical research literature, and the absolute wealth of knowledge you pull together. It is a gift to share that you are both a therapist and a patient. You bridge the worlds. See comment.
Rachel Physical Therapist, SEP Pain
Everything you say makes sense to me and makes something deep in me relax. I’m 65 and got sick when I was 30 with CFS. …The amount of advice that comes at me from the perspective that my thoughts are responsible or could change my situation has always irritated me and yet I know there is a way how I feel changes with stress, and events that affect my mental state.
You are untangling this mystery in a vey helpful way that doesn’t add to my guilt but makes so much sense. See post and comment.
What a wonderful synthesis of so much information. I am going to refer patients and colleagues to this great blog. I am struck by how you take years of theories and research and boil it down so that I can digest it. As I read your theories again and again, I am struck by how reasonable it all is. See comment.
My story is the tip of a family ice berg, ... I find a great deal of hope in your blog – at least it confirms I am not lazy or hysterical. I believe your research is of utmost importance and would like to thank you wholeheartedly. See post and comment.