Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Gambler, Score your ACEs

(updated Septemper 5, 2020)
I wrote about the Adverse Childhood Experience test in a post I called "I Got Knocked Down" last year. Then I came upon a really interesting video where pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke used the ACE test to help kids. See her talk in this Youtube Video. "How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime."

As I go through the ACE questions one at a time, I'll include experiences that really happened and how we all might find bits of recovery. By no means are these the only way to react to trauma. You may have different tools and I'd love to hear about them. Toxic Stress belongs to all of us who survived childhood abuses. I welcome additional resources in the comments.

ACE Questions:

Prior to your 18th birthday:

1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

7. Was your mother or stepmother:
Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
No___If Yes, enter 1 __

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

10. Did a household member go to prison?
No___ If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: ____ This is your ACE score

An ACE score of 4 or more can have major consequences on health later in life. Most notably suicidality increases by 12 times. Seven out of the 10 major causes of disease correlate to higher ACE scores.

I dunno about you, but I always feel a bit guilty at the doctor. Like being sick is somehow my fault. Now I realize that those abuse patterns left a unseen scar that continued into my future.

In my next post, I'll show the resilience test and how those factors can help us find help.

Kind comments and any links to additional ACE material below. Feel free to share your own ACE score anonymously. If you like, a bit of context of a piece of memory and any health troubles. We can help each other with information.

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