Excerpt from Physical Health and Complex PTSD
Many studies suggest that the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adult health is cumulative. When secondary traumas occur, the risk of developing the hallmark symptoms of CPTSD – anxiety, intrusive thoughts and depression –worsen. Chronic stress can cause symptoms to increase over time as the person’s physical health deteriorates.
Research has increasingly linked heart disease, cancer, lung disease, liver disease and other systemic illnesses to mental illness and connecting deeper mental illness to childhood trauma.
Looking at the many studies available on traumatic stress, results suggest that the cumulative effect of multiple traumas is a primary contributing factor in chronic illness. This is due to the degenerative effects of over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system, dysregulation in the parasympathetic nervous system, and neuroendocrine imbalance.
There is an important feedback cycle involved in physical symptoms of post-traumatic illness, coping behaviors and emotional symptoms.
Read more in Book 3 of the Stoning Demons series, Physical Health and Complex PTSD.