Sunday, March 21, 2010

Developmental trauma disorder, Childhood Stress/Autoimmune Diseases, Pope

The Pope, the letter and the child sex claim

Developmental trauma disorder: Towards a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories. Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD

Developmental trauma disorder: Childhood trauma, including abuse and neglect, is probably our nation's single most important public health challenge, a challenge that has the potential to be largely resolved by appropriate prevention and intervention. Each year over 3,000,000 children are reported to the authorities for abuse and/or neglect in the United States of which about one million are substantiated1. Many thousands more undergo traumatic medical and surgical procedures, and are victims of accidents and of community violence (see Spinazzola et al, this issue). However, most trauma begins at home: the vast majority of people (about 80 %) responsible for child maltreatment are children's own parents. Inquiry into developmental milestones and family medical history is routine in medical and psychiatric examinations. In contrast, social taboos prevent obtaining information about childhood trauma, abuse, neglect and other exposures to violence. Research has shown that traumatic childhood experiences are not only extremely common; they also have a profound impact on many different areas of functioning....

In the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study by Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Disease Control2, 17,337 adult HMO members responded to a questionnaire about adverse childhood experiences, including childhood abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. 11.0% reported having been emotionally abused as a child, 30.1% reported physical abuse, 19.9% sexual abuse; 23.5% reported being exposed to
family alcohol abuse, 18.8% to mental illness, 12.5% witnessed their mothers being battered and 4.9% reported family drug abuse.

The ACE study showed that adverse childhood experiences are vastly more common than recognized or acknowledged and that they have a powerful relation to adult health a half-century later. The study unequivocally confirmed earlier investigations that found a highly significant relationship between adverse childhood experiences and
depression, suicide attempts, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, domestic violence, cigarette smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, the more adverse childhood experiences reported, the more likely a erson was to develop heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, skeletal fractures, and liver disease.

Cumulative Childhood Stress and Autoimmune Diseases in Adults Shanta R. Dube, PhD, MPH, DeLisa Fairweather, PhD, William S. Pearson, PhD, MHA, Vincent J. Felitti, MD, Robert F. Anda, MD, MS and Janet B. Croft, PhD....Objective: To examine whether childhood traumatic stress increased the risk of developing autoimmune diseases as an adult.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 15,357 adult health maintenance organization members enrolled in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study from 1995 to 1997 in San Diego, California, and eligible for follow-up through 2005. ACEs included childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; witnessing domestic violence; growing up with household substance abuse, mental illness, parental divorce, and/or an incarcerated household member....

Results: Sixty-four percent reported at least one ACE. The event rate (per 10,000 person-years) for a first hospitalization with any autoimmune disease was 31.4 in women and 34.4 in men. First hospitalizations for any autoimmune disease increased with increasing number of ACEs (p < .05). Compared with persons with no ACEs, persons with 2 ACEs were at a 70% increased risk for hospitalizations with Th1, 80% increased risk for Th2, and 100% increased risk for rheumatic diseases (p < .05).
Conclusions: Childhood traumatic stress increased the likelihood of hospitalization with a diagnosed autoimmune disease decades into adulthood. These findings are consistent with recent biological studies on the impact of early life stress on subsequent inflammatory responses.

The Pope, the letter and the child sex claim - A series of paedophile allegations against a senior papal confidant are haunting Benedict XVI. How he deals with them will be his first major test, writes Jamie Doward....The Observer, 24 April 2005

The story goes back to the Nineties when the new Pope - then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for investigating abuse claims.

One of the most high-profile of such claims was made by Professor José Barba Martin, a 68-year-old professor of humanities at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. He is one of nine former members of the Rome-based Legion of Christ who allege they were abused by the religious order's powerful founder, Marcial Maciel....
The nine filed their case before the Vatican's courts, and persuaded intermediaries to carry a letter to Ratzinger outlining abuse allegations against Maciel. According to one of the intermediaries, Father Alberto Athie, when confronted with the allegations Ratzinger simply said Maciel had brought many 'benefits' to the church and that it was a 'touchy problem'. The Vatican denies Athie's claim.

On 24 December 1999, Ratzinger's secretary, Father Gianfranco Girotti, wrote to the men saying that their claims - many allegedly corroborated by each other's detailed testimonies - had been examined but, for the time being, the Vatican considered the matter closed. In a last-ditch attempt to persuade Ratzinger to change his mind, another letter was despatched to him in 2002 through an intermediary. It went unanswered.
For support groups campaigning on behalf of abuse victims, Ratzinger's apparent reluctance to investigate the claims against Maciel was a crushing blow, but one that did not surprise critics of the new Pope.

No comments: