We never know what mountains we have to scale as a child… We also consider our lives “normal” when we have no other point of reference… However, if we as human beings are indeed able and willing to be firmly placed in the category of ”survival of the fittest,” no matter what befalls us, there is always hope…There is a God…There is sheer will…
Consider a vulnerable child growing up on “the edge of life”… an existence fraught with problems; ‘an existence vacuous to a little girl who holds so much promise on the inside… And yet, this same child is surrounded by dysfunction and lack of care. How does the “little girl lost” ever navigate her way to calming waters? If she makes it, is there a price to pay? Indeed there is…
The totality of such events on a single life is an accumulation of so much wreckage that something just has to give way…A body, mind and spirit can only withstand so much before irreparable damage is done!
Amy Susan Crohn was this little girl. She has scaled the mountain many times… As an author, she relates an extremely compelling account of her journey – one part healing, another part education, still another part wishing to convey that “aha light bulb moment” to those with similar circumstances. Her memoir, “Dying to Live” is unique in that it espouses a theory supported by many clinical studies linking childhood trauma and maltreatment unquestionably to a variety of adult chronic illnesses and perhaps even premature death.
Ladyjustice embarked on a quick search… which validated this information. Amy has done far more research and deserves much credit for bringing this “out of the shadows” in her book.
Examples located by Ladyjustice:
1) “Childhood Trauma Linked to Risk for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; January 5, 2009:
This article identified childhood trauma (sexual and emotional is associated with a six-fold increase as a risk factor for chronic fatigue syndrome… Cortisol aka the “stress hormone” particularly when diminished or when constantly “tuned to be on high alert” produces abnormal responses to stress.
“Children who are abused or neglected suffer physical and emotional injuries,” said Ileana Arias, PhD, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “We now know that some types of chronic diseases may surface years later as well. This research adds to that growing body of knowledge and reinforces that we must stop child maltreatment before it begins. Creating safe, stable, and nurturing relationships (SSNRs) between children and adults is an effective buffer to reduce the risk for maltreatment.”
2) “Childhood Adversity Linked to Chronic Physical, Mental Disability” UPI; University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic; May 9, 2013;
Dr. David A. Brent with Dr. Michael Silverstein (Boston University School of Medicine) state that “early childhood adversity, including exposure to domestic violence –intimate partner-family violence, maltreatment or serious mental illness has been linked to many chronic conditions including premature death.”
3) “Maltreatment Linked to Mental and Physical Health Disorders in Later Life” (Medical Xpress) University of Queenland, Australia; November 28, 2012
Dr. Rosana Norman of the UQ’s Children’s Medical Research Institute found out of 124 studies conducted, very few included children of low-income families (only 16 studies). These children were at high risk of developing a variety of problems as adults…
“They found that individuals who had been emotionally abused as children were about three times more likely to develop depression, while individuals who had been physically abused or neglected were one-and-a-half to two times more likely to develop depression than people who had not been abused or neglected.
Researchers also established a link between anxiety disorders, drug abuse, and suicidal behavior and childhood abuse.
They also found that children who had been maltreated had a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections and/or risky sexual behavior as adults than people who had not experienced abuse.
Dr. Norman said the evidence suggests a causal relationship between non-sexual child maltreatment and a range of mental disorders. “
Beyond the Research…
Amy Susan Crohn explains such occurrences in “Dying to Live” in very personal terms as she takes the reader from childhood abuse and neglect to a dual diagnosis of cancer of the lymph system with its invasive procedures to lupus [Definition-an autoimmune disorder which can effect any part of the body or organ system in which viruses, bacteria and other germs cannot be protected regular antibodies. Auto-antibodies/proteins that attack the body's tissues and destroy normal cells].
Amy also developed Crohn’s disease [Definition- Crohn's disease causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, most commonly, the small intestine (ileitis). Periodic flare-ups lead to bouts of stomach (abdominal) pain, severe diarrhea, weight loss and low energy. There is no cure, but treatment can reduce inflammation and ease your symptoms, sometimes for long periods of remission. Crohn's disease is one type of inflammatory bowel disease.] ***And… there is an ancestral connection here….to the MD credited with first discovering the disease in 1932…. YES…really!
Amy’s book is applicable to so many chronic physical and mental health issues experienced at one time or another throughout her life, that any reader will find it valuable… Such as: Anyone who has interest in:
Cancer; Lupus; Fibromyalgia; Chronic illness; Childhood maltreatment; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Depression; Grief; Autoimmune disorders; Crohn’s Disease; Medical practitioners; Book clubs eager to read this memoir.
There are virtually millions of people worldwide who suffer from these conditions…. It is that commonality that is Amy’s current mission. Commonality is the lifeblood of our own human interconnectibility.
If you can save but one life by teaching others from your own experience, you have truly accomplished something divine!
A few parting words about one’s plight in this world… We can suffer from a variety of illnesses and social injustices in this life. Formal definitions incorporate associated terms such as “to tolerate,” “to allow,” “to endure,” “to experience,”…whatever it is that comes from evil or from accumulated damage.
The astonishing part of Amy Susan Crohn is that, although she still suffers from the chronic nature of her illnesses, it is no longer in silence….but for the mutual benefit of others… AND…finally, she is on a healing path…always with hope and love for others.
To purchase: “Dying to Live” http://www.dyingtoliveamy.com/#!buy/c1tkx