Donna's Blog

Hope You’ll Come Say Hi at One of My Upcoming Talks

Hi Friends:

First I want to say a heartfelt thank you to the hundreds of women who reached out to me, offering to be interviewed 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, which will be published by Ballantine Books (Random House) in 2019. Your emails and stories, moved me. I’m on a mission to de-stigmatize brain-related health challenges, and you’ve once again proven you’re the best readers on the planet. (I do have all the interviewees I need at this point, and thank you all for offering to help. You’re amazing.)

I hope the book, when it comes out, helps every one of you. I’m setting out to show — based on hundreds of hours of interviews with neuroscientists and thousands of research papers — how and why symptoms of depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, OCD, memory issues, and Alzheimer’s are unequivocally related to tiny, overlooked (and all too often, overactive) brain immune cells – called microglia – which function as the “white blood cells of the brain.” When these little cells get agitated by triggers like toxins, infections, stressors, physical or emotional trauma, they can destroy brain synapses and circuitry, causing “neuroinflammation” and “neurodegeneration,” the same way that your white blood cells cause inflammation in your body. This truly amazing discovery – and the new understanding that the brain is an immune organ, ruled by these little immune cells — is one of the most revolutionary discoveries in the history of science, and it’s changing everything, including leading to exciting new avenues for treating seemingly intractable life-altering disorders.

To report this book, I’ve been traveling all over the country. What I’m finding is pretty much blowing my mind. (For updates, sign up for my blog and newsletter (scroll down on the right hand column of this page!)

Meanwhile, I’ll be giving several exciting lectures this fall and I hope some of you will be able to come say hi. (Psst… if you’re a UK reader, I’ll be in London soon to deliver the keynote for an international conference on chronic pain, held by the amazing group, SIRPA, at the Royal Society of Medicine (details below). Please join us and say hi!)

Here are a few of the upcoming venues where I’ll be giving keynotes and doing booksignings:

October 2-3, 2017
Keynote Speaker, Booksigning and Workshop, Children’s Trust of South Carolina
2017 Prevention Conference: Embracing Prevention, Empowering Communities
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
1101 Lincoln Street, Columbia, S.C.
Register here.

October 15, 2017
Keynote Speaker, SIRPA Chronic Pain Conference
Chronic Pain: The Role of Emotions
Royal Society of Medicine
London, England
Award-winning science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa who will discuss the decades of research linking adverse childhood experiences to ill-health, including chronic pain, in later life.
To learn more about the role of Adverse Childhood Experiences and emotions in chronic pain, register here.

October 19th, 2017
Keynote Speaker
Stony Brook Children’s Hospital School Intervention Program,
Helping Children with Chronic Illnesses Thrive
I’ll be talking about Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology – and how we can help kids facing chronic conditions and medical adversity achieve resiliency and well-being.
Stony Brook, New York
Register here.

 

November 14th, 2017
1 p.m. EST, I’ll be giving a live interactive chat & talk on
Survival of the Nurtured: Well-Being, Self-Care, and ACEs, as part of ACEs Connection 2017 Parenting With ACEs Fall Chat Series
(Members of ACEs Connection can Join Parenting with ACEs Community & go there at time/day of chat. If you’re not a Member of ACEs Connection, you can become a Member (free). Join ACEs Connection a day or more before chat. Then, join the Parenting with ACEs Community (PWA) & go there at time/day of chat. See “featured chat” at top of PWA page.) Be sure to check out the other speakers, too — the amazing Sebern Fisher, and Belleruth Naparstek.)

Also, I thought I’d share this essay one more time; it recently went viral with over 2 million hits worldwide. If it resonates with you, feel free to share on social media. It’s about the importance of the medical profession becoming trauma-informed to better help patients: Childhood Trauma Leads to Lifelong Chronic Illness – So Why isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?

Hope to see you at one of the above events. And you can always find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s to your healing,

Donna

Want to Be Part of My Next Book Project?

Hello friends:

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!

Donna

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.

Save

Save

Save

How to Win The Doctor Lottery

Hi All, and Happy Spring!

Doctor Patient photoI’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!

Donna

Childhood Trauma Leads to Lifelong Chronic Illness — So Why Isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?

Donna Quote #5 (1)Hi All,

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,

Donna

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Updates and Reader Feedback!

Hi All,

I wanted to update you on recent events, and ask for a bit of advice as my team gears up for the paperback release of Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, And How You Can Heal — which will be out on July 26th.

Earlier this week I was happy and honored to give the opening talk at a conference on “Trauma Informed Healing” at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. It meant so much to deliver a speech on healing childhood trauma to a group that is so devoted to helping patients thrive.

Johns Hopkins Trauma PresentationAfterwards, Baltimore’s Ivy Bookshop held a book signing. It was a powerful day with several hundred chaplains, health care educators, hospital administrators and clergy coming together from the Mid-Atlantic area to learn about how early life trauma impacts patients facing both acute and chronic illnesses in adulthood, so that they can better serve the patients they encounter in hospital settings each day.

Meanwhile, the paperback release for Childhood Disrupted is right around the corner: July 26th! As our team gears up for pub date we’d Iove to have your feedback on the eCards we’ve been creating (for use on social media) which speak to how deeply trauma affects us on a biological and emotional level.

Which of these six eCard images speaks most to you, and why?

Thanks, as always,

Donna

Old man quoteMother son quoteMiddle-aged-woman-smiling-in-sweater (Optimized)Donna Nakazawa Mother daughter (sweaters) quoteDonna Jackson Nakazawa Child crying aloneWorld is a scary place Quote#1

 

 

 

#2

 

 

 

 

#3

 

 

 

 

#4

 

 

 

 

#5

 

 

 

#6

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Save

Save

Save

Save

Paperback Giveaway!

81-r762GXUL

In two weeks (July 26th) Childhood Disrupted will be out in paperback! To help spread the word about how the book can help individuals who are suffering find healing, our team is offering a free book giveaway! Three winners will receive a free signed copy and a second free copy for a friend!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Write a sentence about what you found most helpful about the book, or why it spoke to you, and post it as a review on Amazon.

2. Send a copy of your review in an email to our team at donnajacksonnakazawabooks@gmail.com with the subject line “Review.” That’s it.

You’ll be entered for our giveaway drawing! Be sure to enter before noon on July 20th for a chance to get two free signed copies, one to keep and one to give to a friend who might find it helpful on their own path to healing. Thanks, as always, for your support and help in spreading the word that it’s never too late to heal.

 

Early Trauma and Adult Chronic Illness — VoiceAmerica Talk Radio

Childhood DisruptedWhy do childhood traumas — like being frequently put down, losing a parent, living with a mom or dad who is depressed, or alcoholic, emotional neglect, and other early adversities — leave permanent physical “fingerprints” on our brains? In this VoiceAmerica Talk Radio interview, I share my thoughts with host Katherine Vox about the link between adverse childhood experiences and chronic adult illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disease — and why this is especially true for women.

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/86429/naacp-race-controversy-and-early-trauma-and-chronic-illness

How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Illness

A screenshot of my Q. and A. -- to watch it, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZ_uLIB7V8

A screenshot of my Q. and A. — to watch click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZ_uLIB7V8

Hi All,

Here is a recent video interview, in which I share my thoughts on How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Illness, why our new understanding of this science must change the way we do medicine, and why I wrote my book, Childhood Disrupted. Produced by Studio4.

Hope you’ll enjoy!

Donna

Childhood Disrupted – Pub Date Has Arrived!

I can’t believe it’s finally here: Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal hit stores yesterday and has been steadily climbing on Amazon (as of this afternoon, it was the #1 best-seller in Developmental Psychology and #787 overall!) and gaining traction on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and various news outlets, including Aeon Magazine and Huffington Post. Even more rewarding for me are the comments that have been pouring in from readers about how much they’re enjoying the book, and how important this topic is to them. How many times can I say that I have the best readers on the planet?!IMG_3527

Speaking of great readers, thank you to those of you who came to my reading (standing room only!) at the Ivy Bookstore in Baltimore last night; you made the event a huge success. I so enjoyed sharing the science in Childhood Disrupted with you all, and hearing your thoughts on the impact of childhood adversity on adult physical and mental health. If you couldn’t make it to the Ivy, stay tuned—I’ll be updating my “upcoming events” page soon with information about future readings and book signings in your area. I can’t wait to see you at my next event!

As promised, here are the results of yesterday’s give-away: congratulations to Debbie Manahan and Mari McCarthy, who will be receiving signed copies of Childhood Disrupted! I hope that the book will be helpful to both of you. Even though the give-away is over, it’s not too late to sign up for my newsletter to receive occasional updates about Childhood Disrupted in your inbox, as well as resources on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)—like this infographic (below) that our team created to explain the relationship between ACEs, women, and autoimmune disease. Feel free to share with your friends on social media (#ChildhoodDisrupted), so that we can start a discussion on ACEs and help those facing the aftermath of childhood adversity move toward healing and transformation.

ChildhoodDisrupted

Is depression caused by inflammation?

Increasingly doctors are looking at depression as an inflammatory reaction, rather than a standalone neurological disorder — and in some cases depression may even be exacerbated by an allergic reaction. This theory could lead to never-before-prescribed methods that can be used in conjunction with traditional antidepressants to combat inflammation. This new understanding of depression could even help us to find new “cures” for depression.

The relationship between inflammation and depression makes so much sense. Our body reacts to stressors by pumping stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines through the bloodstream. And it just so happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with high levels of inflammatory cytokines. This has led researchers to focus on fighting the inflammatory symptoms of depression, rather than the neurological ones. There may be some hope in the form of easily-accessible, over the counter methods, such as omega 3 and curcumin, that can help in conjunction with conventional depression treatment to improve symptoms (of course, never take anything without checking with your healthcare practitioner first!).

If depression is an inflammatory disease, then doing everything we can to counter the effects of stress, including longstanding stressors from any early life trauma or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) we might have faced (don’t know what ACEs are yet? You can learn more here) can make a tremendous difference. The good news is that this means there may be more ways than we ever thought possible to achieve recovery, and better brain health. Trauma-based approaches to healing — which I’ve detailed in Childhood Disrupted —  can all help counter inflammation and thus ease symptoms.

One of the most beautiful and profound descriptions of depression I’ve ever read comes from writer Andrew Solomon’s book The Noonday Demon. Solomon (whose newest book, Far From the Tree, has just been released in paperback) shares his insight into depression in this powerful TED talk.