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: (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,









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

  1. Donna,

    When I first started reading your essay for the Huffington Post, I thought I was reading about myself. My father died suddenly when I was a teenager, and I am the one who found him unconscious in our house, which was obviously very traumatic. In high school, I started having fainting spells quite frequently, and then in college I started to have gut problems and had a positive ANA marker for auto immune diseases. I am 22 and just graduated college, and a month ago I found out I have ulcerative colitis. Additionally for the past 2 years I have had multiple Guillain-Barre-like episodes that can’t be explained and that have caused other issues that are leaving my doctors puzzled.

    However, out of all the doctors I’ve seen, I had never heard about a link to stress and childhood trauma. I will definitely be reading your latest book, but I am also interested in knowing what doctors talked about that with you and what your healing process looked like after seeing those connections to childhood trauma and having that validated by a medical support team. (If this is already in your book and I just haven’t gotten there yet you can let me know that too!)

    Thank you.

  2. WOW. !WHO.. can I talk to about this………. I have suffered.for 25 plus years. Could not even begin to tell. ( I will be obtaining this book)

  3. I have been labeled PTSD and pushed to the side inspire of thee physical need of help, it is an automatic response . It is like my choice was limited because I chose to be truthful. I am so sick and have many specialists but my new gp is actually the one who found what was killing me. So thankful for her. You have no idea what it finally feels like to be validated in the pain I suffers as a child, and now as an adult. I think the pchyciatry part affect the well ness , and quality of life. My body started shutting down. All the dr. In the big hospital cast me to the side one labeled in their arena. But my go listened to me, she started looking for herself,what the root was. I would have been dead within 6 months and I can be totally truthful with her about everything. So very grateful for someone not judging me and honestly intent on knowing I wasn’t trying to get attention or some kind of junky. So thankful.

  4. The medical community is notoriously slow at catching up with data and generally lean towards a very conservative “we’ve always done it this way” approach. Overall general care physicians are untrained to deal with people’s feelings and opening up that discussion is studiously avoided. Change comes but slowly- keep up the discussion.

  5. Very nice piece. It is terrible that the medical establishment ignore available research findings about the impact of childhood experiences upon health.

    My concern is what will happen to today’s youth whose adverse experience relates to chronic mental and physical conditions that they are experiencing that are sufficiently serious so that they miss school regularly. The civil rights division of the federal Education Department just released a report in June that for the 2013-14 school year 13.8% was the overall absence rate. There are implicit assumptions that suggest none of this is due to primary incidence of medical conditions.

    It would be helpful to know who can examine data to make sure these young people are given the medical support they need, as opposed to the case management tools that apply when lack of motivation is presumed.

    Norm Hall

    1. Thanks Norm, important thoughts — yes, our youth are suffering unprecedented rates of chronic conditions. Often trauma and stress related. You are spot on.

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