“My goal is to help those suffering from chronic conditions better understand the intersection between our neurobiology, immunology and the deepest inner workings of the human heart — and to use that understanding to embark on a transformation to healing.” —Donna Jackson Nakazawa
How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology And How You Can Heal
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?
Not quite. Far more often, the opposite is true. Over the past decade, a group of doctors and scientists has discovered that childhood trauma leads to lifelong struggles with mental and physical health. Early chronic stressors shape our biology in ways that pre-determine our adult health. In other words, your biography becomes your biology. | Read More
For my next book, I’m interviewing women and young adults experiencing mood, anxiety and/or learning/cognitive issues, who are curious about the concept that brain based symptoms have neurobiological, immunological, physical roots. If you are, or know, a woman in mid-life, for whom this resonates, and are in an extended family that faces depression, anxiety, mood and learning/cognitive issues, and would like to share your experiences and possibly have me report on your journey of discovery, please message me (or have them message me) by commenting below, or, contact me privately, here. If you have a family history of mental health and autoimmune disorders, this is also relevant. Interviewees can absolutely be disguised.
This is what my attic office looks like as I map out the chapters for my next book, THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine — and Gives us a Radically New Way of Looking at Human Well-Being. I LOVE writing this book. The science is so exciting, and I think it will help so many readers. (Pssst… can you spot my writing companion in this photo?)
In this book, called THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine, and Gives us a Radically New Way of Looking at Human Well-Being, which will be published by Ballantine Books (a division of Random House) in 2019, I’m looking at groundbreaking, recent scientific discoveries at top labs around the country showing unequivocally that symptoms of depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, OCD, memory issues, and Alzheimer’s emerge because of overactive brain immune cells – called microglia – which function as the “white blood cells of the brain.” In the face of 21st Century triggers — from stress to toxins – these little cells get agitated and destroy neurons and synapses, causing “neuroinflammation” and “neurodegeneration,” the same way that your white blood cells cause inflammation in your body. This discovery – and the new understanding that the brain is an immune organ, ruled by immune cells (just like all the other organs in the human body) is one of the most exciting and important discoveries in the history of science, and is leading to exciting new avenues for treating seemingly intractable life-altering disorders.
The fact that our brain is an immune organ and is affected by our immune health on a cellular level is not often addressed, yet this fact can have a profound effect on how individuals view their suffering, and the treatment they seek.
My goal is to de-stigmatize these diseases by taking you into cutting edge labs where neuroscientists are showing that brain based disorders are due to physical changes that lead to disease symptoms – and show what we can do to heal. Thanks!!
If this whole idea captures your imagination, and you and or your family are affected by these disorders – let me know!!!
This year’s Learning & The Brain Conference
In other recent news, I so enjoyed lecturing at this year’s Learning & The Brain Conference, in Arlington, Virginia. (Learning & The Brain teams up with Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, and other leading institutes to provide the latest findings on brain health and brain resiliency). I loved talking to an amazing group of educators about Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology – and how important mentors, adults and teachers are in helping kids achieve resiliency and well-being.
In my fall lecture series I’ll be speaking at venues including the amazing SIRPA international conference on chronic pain in London in October 2017; Stonybrook Children’s Hospital, in Stonybrook, New York; and the South Carolina Children’s Trust, among other venues.
Don’t forget — reach out if my newest book resonates with you — I’d really love to talk to you! Comment below, or, if you prefer, contact me privately. Or, ping me on Facebook!
Thanks so much!
P.S. In case it’s helpful, fyi, I’m told that this weekend Childhood Disrupted is at its all time lowest price on Amazon — under $10.
Hi All, and Happy Spring!
I’m proud to share this very personal essay I wrote for the April 2017 issue of the journal, Health Affairs, “How to Win The Doctor Lottery: Not every doctor-patient encounter is healing, and it can seem a game of chance. One patient explores what it takes to win.” Or, if you prefer, you can hear me read this essay aloud in this audio recording on the Health Affairs podcast!
If you’re looking for support for your own healing journey, I hope you’ll enjoy my recent article on ACEsTooHigh, about the importance of the medical profession becoming trauma-informed, Childhood Trauma Leads to Lifelong Chronic Illness – So Why isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?
Let me know if these resonate with you.
For those in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia area, I’ll be speaking this Saturday at the annual Learning & the Brain Conference. Hope to see you there.
Last, but not least, stay tuned — I’ll be announcing my next book very, very soon. I hope, when I do, you’ll be as excited about it as I am!
To your wellness!
I hope you’ll enjoy this essay I wrote for Huffington Post, “Childhood Trauma Leads to Adult Chronic Illness — So Why Isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?” I put my heart into it.
My team has also gathered some of readers’ favorite articles and video clips in which I address the link between childhood trauma, and adult illness, and how we can heal, and put them all together in my most recent newsletter! You can find all that here: http://eepurl.com/b_AhU5 (If you want to receive future newsletters, you can “subscribe” in the top left menu in order to join our mailing list.)
To Your Healing,