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Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease Hardcover – January 3, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Publishers Weekly
“information-packed….the authors do make a very persuasive case that preventive measures should be taken to eliminate or mitigate early trauma” 

Kirkus Reviews
“A wake-up call? Absolutely.”
 
Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute, Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of Mindsight
“Karr-Morse and Wiley have done it again! Scared Sick raises many profound and urgent questions about how stress during the earliest moments of our lives—in utero and out in the world—can create lasting negative impacts on the health of our bodies and minds. While many of the exact details remain to be clarified with further research, this book’s summary of the science of stress creates a call to action that is quite clear: We need to awaken ourselves to the importance of both preventing toxic stress early in life and helping the many who have been affected during these early years to have the healing support that is available in the form of social connections and mindful reflective skills that can lead us in new and helpful directions in our collective lives.”
 
Vincent J. Felitti, MD, Founder, The California Institutes of Preventive Medicine
Scared Sick is useful, highly readable, scientifically advanced, and relevant to all of us in better understanding our lives, especially how our earliest life experiences can translate into health and disease over the decades. Another impressive book by Robin Karr-Morse with Meredith Wiley.”
 
David Lawrence, Jr., President of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and former publisher of The Miami Herald
Ghosts from the Nursery helped me decide—more than a decade ago—to retire to devote all my energies to ‘school readiness’ issues. The thesis of Scared Sick energizes me further. Within is an abundance of information and wisdom—about fetuses who feel pain, prenatal depression, trauma and the Unabomber, the mixed blessings of child care, and much more. The book is a splendid blend of sense and science.”

Shelf Awareness
Scared Sick makes an erudite, well-considered case…. a must-read for pediatricians and mental-health counselors working with children and families…. A cogent examination of the changing role of childhood trauma on lifelong health.”

About the Author

Robin Karr-Morse is a family therapist and the former Director of Parents Training for the Oregon Child Welfare System. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Meredith S. Wiley is the State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids New York. She lives in Albany, New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465013546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465013548
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By TerraFirmaLLC777 on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic book. If you are an adult dealing with mental or physical issues, this book will explain in detail how your childhood (in particular early childhood) can create lifelong struggles. This book covers how issues such as anxiety, depression, obesity, drug addiction, and all sorts of illnesses and mental or emotional torment stems from childhood abuse (all types) and/or neglect.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Markow on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Karr-Morse and Wiley very effectively share current research regarding the effect of stress and trauma on our youngest children. As a school psychologist I feel that this book fills an important gap in understanding children and have recommended it to my friends and colleagues. Scared Sick provides compelling information for making big changes in how we think of infants and toddlers and what supports they need to thrive. This book also provides strong support for parent education. This is an excellent book and should be read by everyone 12 years and older!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kelrae75 on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This has to be the best book ever regarding abuse/trauma in early childhood and its effects in later life. Comprehensive explanations regarding PTSD and the role of trauma in disease. Easy to understand language that guides you along the path of childhood abuse and the legacy it leaves for later generations.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ms McMeekin on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Important book for anyone who needs to understand why they are consistently sick in today's high pressured economic climate. Also, it traces back to early childhood experiences that could have had a negative impact on your health for the rest of your life.
The first 1000 days of your life and how you experienced those days will determine your inner journey for the rest of your life.
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Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt in my mind that the information in this book it true and accurate, however, I could hardly get through a third of the book without becoming somewhat traumatized by the absolutely bleak outlook I and others with early trauma apparently now face. The author defines trauma as severe stress with added hopelessness, and this book, ironically embodies the sense that the future health and lifetime of those with early trauma may be predetermined and limited. I now feel incredibly stressed - and totally hopeless!
The author refers fascinatingly enough to "voo doo" death, or death that happens merely out of a believed curse or prediction, and now somehow I feel the same "spell" has been cast on me with this book! I am not certain if continuing this book (despite the mentions of some available therapies later on - all of which I have tried) is going to help my stress levels at all. So far, it has done little but convince me I will die soon...and that belief in itself can kill you.
If you are concerned about this book frightening the bujeezus out of you, which it did for me, watch the amazing TED video which teaches that believing stress will kill you can kill you, and re-frames at least some stress into your "friend" and not impending doom. [...]
For this book I give it a 5 for content and writing, but very low scores for how the material is presented with such doom and fatalistic undertones. There could have been more "softness" on behalf of readers who are living in this terrible trap and have tried everything. It can be the ultimate book for practitioners who want to know more about this subject, and I wish all appropriate practitioners knew this stuff, but for those trapped in the unending grip of PTSD, it only makes you feel like the end is just around the corner. Shoo," voo doo" death!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne H. McCallum on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work is extremely well documented and should be required reading for all mental health professionals. As an Infant Mental Health Specialist I appalus the work and hope the necessary public policy changes will follow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M Live on May 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I knew that stress/trauma was at the root of my health issues. Doctors viewed my chronic stress as a mental issue that had little or nothing to do with actual physical disease. Finally the medical community is coming around. In spite of what I knew, this book taught me a lot more. But, the most important thing I gained was a new perspective.

With as little detail as possible: I adore my husband but he has wanted a divorce for over two years. (We have been separated most of this time.) I had resisted. Then I read this book and realized that no matter how much I love him he is not the right person for me. In 10 years we lived in three states and had so many challenges that your head would spin. He thrives on changes and challenges. I stress. I want/need a stable, rather dull, quiet life :-) I finally was able to start looking at what I truly need and how to "take care" of myself.

I like the approach the author uses. As infants and young children who are traumatized, we are victims, yet it (trauma) is not the real focus for those over 40. It is how that trauma will surface 40 or 50 years later as predictable diseases.

Author Robin Karr-Morse has much to say towards the end of the book about raising children today that I hope more people will embrace. Ms. Karr-Morse is a great writer in that she really presents the scientific research without the book being too technical and it is anything but dry. It has a very balanced feel to it that I appreciated.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. If blessed by a loving, functional family, this book will give you insights into those not as fortunate as yourself and answer why they act/react the way they do when stress overwhelms them. If, like so many people, you come from a dysfunctional background, I believe you will gain insights into how to treat yourself more gently, how to better raise your children or grandchildren, and how to make a difference in the lives of those you love.
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