Friday, March 09, 2007

Childhood Trauma Leads To Depression

Anxiety Insights has a post up about childhood trauma and its relation to depression.

Childhood trauma, but not adult trauma, is strongly associated with depression and coronary heart disease in adulthood, say Emory University researchers and colleagues presenting at the American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting, being held March 7-10 in Budapest, Hungary.

"Little is known about the long-term emotional and physical consequences of childhood trauma and whether it poses greater long-term health risks than other types of stressors," says study leader Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health.

"Trauma occurring earlier in life is particularly harmful because it may disrupt the development of adaptive responses to stress. Future research on stress and disease should focus on early life stress," says Dr. Vaccarino.
Child abuse is one of the most pressing problems we have in the world because it leads to all kinds of maladaptive behavior and can also lead to illegal drug use as a form of self medication.
According to the study results, twins in the highest quartile of the Early Trauma Inventory were twice as likely to have major depressive disorder than other twins. Of the childhood traumas, emotional trauma was the most strongly associated with major depressive disorder.

Study participants with childhood trauma were also more likely to be exposed to trauma as adults and to develop post traumatic stress disorder. After adjusting for smoking, twins in the highest group on the inventory were two to three times more likely to have a previous diagnosis of coronary heart disease, including previous myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization and hospitalizations for coronary heart disease.

In contrast, no significant associations were found for adult general trauma and combat trauma with either major depressive disorder or coronary heart disease, notes Dr. Vaccarino.
Tobacco is an anti-depressant. So is cannabis.

We are wasting untold billions every year fighting drugs when we should be dealing with the root cause - child abuse.

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