TOXIC STRESS is an integral part of adoption in my mind. The Adoption Establishment doesn't mention effects on the baby who is orphaned and put up for adoption. That annoys me!
Being adopted affected my health as a child and as an adult. I call myself Super-Sensitive....the trauma of being abandoned is one of the greatest pains you will ever feel and impossible to heal...
That question is answered by Alice Wessendorf on the Healthier Talk website.
Alice: "When you find yourself in a difficult situation, hormones are released that up your heart rate, quicken your breathing, narrow your vision and, in general, prepare your body to clash or dash.
"This process, known as the fight-or-flight response, is supposed to save your life. But it turns out that it may also be giving you cancer.
"We already knew that this stress response could increase the risk for illnesses like heart disease. But now, new research out of the
"They do this by flipping the switch on the stress- activated protein known as focal adhesion kinase (FAK). FAK protects the detached cancer cells from dying. Allowing them to spread through your blood system finding places to re-attach and grow new tumors.
"And, as you may have already guessed, the higher your stress hormones are the higher your FAK levels become and the quicker tumors can grow and spread.
"So what can be done to stop the spread? Reducing the stress hormones circulating in your system is critical. You can't rid yourself of your natural fight-or-flight response. But what you can do is manage your stress levels."
The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health hosted an event to discuss the long term toxic stress consequences on children.
From the Summary: Evidence suggests that for the youngest children, prolonged or severe exposure to abuse, neglect and economic hardship – exacerbated by a dearth of stable, supportive relationships with adults – can provoke a “toxic stress response” with lifelong consequences. Such stress may influence brain development and increase the risk for illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. While efforts have been made for decades to intervene early in children’s lives, the results have not always been resounding.
Quotes: “What the science is telling us is that what happens early on affects lifelong health… So this is a game-changer for how the policy deals with toxic stress. This is for the health committees as much as it’s for the education committees. It’s as much for the Secretary of Public Health as it is for the Secretary of Education because what happens early on affects both, lifelong.” - Jack Shonkoff, Director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and Professor of Child Health and Development, Harvard School of Public Health
“Rather than saying to the parents, ‘You are a problem,’ what we have to say to the parents is, ‘There are some things going on in your life that are having a tremendous effect on you and your child. Let’s see if we can figure out a way to help and make that situation better.’" - Robert Block, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
“There is no silver bullet solution here. I think it really requires us having a more systemic look at the well-being of our kids and putting that front and center. So our Administration is going to remain committed to that goal. “ - Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy, The White Houses
Link to videos: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/toxic-stress-of-early-childhood-adversity.cfm
mp3 file: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/forum/files/audio/20120207_toxic_stress.mp3