Why are initiating and maintaining healthy relationships such a challenge?
In addition to the public health campaigns aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illnesses, as well coping with normal challenges in life, there is much more awareness about how trauma from our childhoods follows us into adulthood. While we all instinctively know that a traumatic childhood can take a long time to “get over”, did you know its been scientifically proven that said crappy childhood actually increases your overall risk for a whole host of chronic physical and mental illnesses? Yikes!
The groundbreaking ACE Study (adverse childhood experiences) studied over 17,000 people about their childhood experiences of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction ( and more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than 100 conference and workshop presentations have followed). Researchers in the ACE study assigned participants an ‘ACE score’ based on the various types of household dysfunction they encountered before the age of 18; basically, the higher your score, the higher your risk of some of the following health conditions: