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Adverse childhood experiences (ACE)

With the growing occurrence of child abuse in Nigeria and around the world, experts have expressed concern about the long-term health consequences of bad childhood experiences on progression into adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(2014), ACEs are stressful or traumatic events in childhood that have long-term health consequences, such as a weakened immune system, depression, and other psychological conditions, and are associated with mortality as well as morbidity in adults.

1 of 17
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE)
2
With the growing occurrence of child abuse in Nigeria and around the
world, experts have expressed concern about the long-term health
consequences of bad childhood experiences on progression into
adulthood. According to the Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention(2014), ACEs are stressful or traumatic events in childhood
that have long-term health consequences, such as a weakened
immune system, depression, and other psychological conditions, and
are associated to mortality as well as morbidity in adults.
ACE occur in children who have
been through bad experiences such
as abuse, neglect, witnessing
violence at home or growing up in a
family with mental health or SUD
problem
Helping children prevent ACEs
have the potential to substantially
lower the risk of conditions like
asthma, cancer, depressive
disorder, diabetes, heart attack,
hypertension and other chronic
3
Those who have
experienced
ACEs are at
higher risk of
dying from five
of the top leading
cause of death
4
Studies have demonstrated that exposure to specific types of
ACEs selectively affect sensory systems which are involved
in perceiving the trauma that was experienced(Heim,
Mayberg, Mletzko, Meneroff, & Preusnsner 2010)
Women who were exposed to emotional abuse showed
thinning in brain regions associated with self-awareness and
self-evaluation
Children with earlier exposure (sexual abuse) before age 12
are at greater risk of having prominent depressive symptoms,
while those reporting sexual abuse after the age of 12 are at
greater risk of having severe post-traumatic symptoms (PTSD)
Agbaje, et.al.,(2021)
5
Prolonged childhood
trauma, a child’s brain will
produce an overload of
stress hormones that can
harm the function and
structure of the brain.
The Nigerian violence against children survey(
VACS) in 2014 showed that before age 18, 6 in 10
children have experienced at least 2 or more
types (sexual abuse, emotional violence, physical
violence, psychological violence) in the past 12
months.
Sexual abuse (41.3%) physical neglect (38.5%)
physical abuse (30%), two third (67.3%) had
experienced at least one type of abuse
6
 Individuals who have had difficult childhood experiences.
 Coming from a low income family
 Coming from a family with a low level of education
 Growing up with high levels of family stress
 Growing up with high levels of economic stress
 Growing in a family that is not close knit and doesn’t speak
openly about feelings
 Having parents who used spanking or corporal punishment
 Having parents who themselves had been abused or
neglected

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Adverse childhood experiences (ACE)

  • 2. 2 With the growing occurrence of child abuse in Nigeria and around the world, experts have expressed concern about the long-term health consequences of bad childhood experiences on progression into adulthood. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention(2014), ACEs are stressful or traumatic events in childhood that have long-term health consequences, such as a weakened immune system, depression, and other psychological conditions, and are associated to mortality as well as morbidity in adults.
  • 3. ACE occur in children who have been through bad experiences such as abuse, neglect, witnessing violence at home or growing up in a family with mental health or SUD problem Helping children prevent ACEs have the potential to substantially lower the risk of conditions like asthma, cancer, depressive disorder, diabetes, heart attack, hypertension and other chronic 3
  • 4. Those who have experienced ACEs are at higher risk of dying from five of the top leading cause of death 4 Studies have demonstrated that exposure to specific types of ACEs selectively affect sensory systems which are involved in perceiving the trauma that was experienced(Heim, Mayberg, Mletzko, Meneroff, & Preusnsner 2010) Women who were exposed to emotional abuse showed thinning in brain regions associated with self-awareness and self-evaluation Children with earlier exposure (sexual abuse) before age 12 are at greater risk of having prominent depressive symptoms, while those reporting sexual abuse after the age of 12 are at greater risk of having severe post-traumatic symptoms (PTSD) Agbaje, et.al.,(2021)
  • 5. 5 Prolonged childhood trauma, a child’s brain will produce an overload of stress hormones that can harm the function and structure of the brain. The Nigerian violence against children survey( VACS) in 2014 showed that before age 18, 6 in 10 children have experienced at least 2 or more types (sexual abuse, emotional violence, physical violence, psychological violence) in the past 12 months. Sexual abuse (41.3%) physical neglect (38.5%) physical abuse (30%), two third (67.3%) had experienced at least one type of abuse
  • 6. 6  Individuals who have had difficult childhood experiences.  Coming from a low income family  Coming from a family with a low level of education  Growing up with high levels of family stress  Growing up with high levels of economic stress  Growing in a family that is not close knit and doesn’t speak openly about feelings  Having parents who used spanking or corporal punishment  Having parents who themselves had been abused or neglected
  • 7. 7 According to these studies ACE scores tend be slightly higher among females than males with household experiences (Dube et al., 2001; Duke, Pettingell, McMorris, & Borowsky, 2010; Merrick et al., 2018). males were more than two and a half times more likely than females to report violent crime victimization
  • 8. The Role of Guardians and Caregivers  Care givers can help prevent and reduce the negative impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by creating positive childhood experiences and connecting individuals with activities and caring adults that build their sense of safety, confidence, and community.  They can develop parental resilience in dealing with the ripple effects of these experiences. 8
  • 9. Recognising ACEs 9  Have difficulty forming close relationships with others  Have trouble keeping a job  Have difficulty with finances  Experience depression  Be more likely to be involved in violence
  • 10. What can intervention do? 10  Early intervention helps to limit exposure to adversity and build a safe, stable and nurturing environment  It can help individuals make meaningful connections between their childhood and current behaviour, develop compassion for themselves and choose a more protected path  It can help identify protect individuals from further adversity so it doesn’t become transgenerational
  • 11. Who Are We? 11 SYNAPSE SERVICES is the largest provider of mental health and psychological medicine. Since 2010, we have taken lead in providing holistic and cost-effective psychiatric care and drug rehabilitation services in line with global best practices. We help people of all ages find hope, support, and therapy. We recognise that you need to be understood and supported. We see you as an individual functioning within a family unit that is connected to the environment and community around you, not as a patient. Synapse services have centers located in Port Harcourt, Awka, Lagos and Abuja.We maintain strong industry standard services, with a full range of locally and internationally trained mental health and occupational health professionals who provide wholistic and evidence-based psychological programs for individuals, families, organizations and communities.
  • 12. What we do 12 Drug Addiction, Bipolar and Mood disorders Anxiety and Depression Drug Addiction
  • 13. 13 Our clinical protocols are a mixture of international standard and best practice guides from trained clinicians. We pay attention to confidentiality and treat our clients with utmost respect. Our facilities are equipped with rTMS machine, a modern medical equipment used for the treatment of addiction and other mental and psychological illnesses.
  • 15. REFERENCES 15 Barnett, M. L., Sheldrick, R. C., Liu, S. R., Kia-Keating, M., & Negriff, S. (2021). Implications of adverse childhood experiences screening on behavioral health services: A scoping review and systems modeling analysis. American Psychologist, 76(2), 364–378. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000756 Bahk, Y.C, Jank, S.K, Choi,K.H. Lee, S.H.(2017). The relationship between childhood trauma and suicidal ideation: role of maltreatment and potential mediators. Psychiatry investigation, 12(1),37. Agbaje, S., Nnaji, C.P., Nwagu, N.E., Iweama, C, et.al. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and psychological distress among higher eduction students in southeast Nigeria: an institutional based cross cultural study. Archives of public health 79(1) National population commission of Nigeria,UNICEF Nigeria, the US. Centers for disease control and preention. Violence against children in Nigeria: Findings from a national survey, 2014. Abuja: UNICEF;2016. retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/Nigeria/resporces_10185.html Hector E. AlcalaH.E., Valdez-Dadia A, Von Ehrenstein O.S., (2017) Adverse childhood experiences and access and utilization of health care. Journal of public health 40(4)1-9 Oladeji,B.D., Makanjuola, V.A Guruje, O.,(20101). Family relatated adverse childhood experiences as risk factors for psychiatric disorders in Nigeria British Journal of Psychiatry; 196( 3)186-91
  • 16. REFERENCES 16 Teicher, M.H., Samson, J.A( 2013) childhood maltreatment and psychopathology: a case for ecophenotypic variants as clinically and neurobilogically distinct substypes. American journal of psychiatru170:1114-33 Dub, S.R, Anda,R.F,Felith,V.J, Chapman,D.P, William, D.F.& Giles,W.H.(2001). Childhood abuse,household dysfunction and the risk of attempted suicide throughout the lif span: findings from the adverse childhood experiences study.JAMA,286(24).3089-3096 Duke,N.N., Pettingel,S.L.,Mcmorris,B.J, & Borrowsky,U.W.(2010). Adolescent violence perpetration,Association with multiple types of adverse childhood experiences. Pediatrics,125(4) e778- e786 Merrick,M.T., Ford,D.C., Ports,K.A.,& Guinn,A.S.(2018). Prevalance of adverse childhood experiences from 2011-2014 behavioral risk factor surveillance system in 23 states. JAMA, pedicatrics. 172(11)1038- 1044 Heim, C.M, Mayberg,H.S., Mletzko, T., Meneroff, C.B., Preusnsner,J.C.(2010). decreased cortical representation of genital somatosensory field after childhood sexual abuse. American journal of psychiatry. 170:616-23 Anderson,S.L., Tomada, A., Vincow,E.S, Valente, E,. Polcari, A., Teicher, .H(2008). Preliminary evidence for sensitive periods in the effect of childhood sexual abuse on regional brain development. Journal of neuropsychiatry clinical neuroscience. 20(292-301)