Compassionate and based on the latest research, Scared Sick will unveil a major public health crisis. Highlighting case studies and cutting-edge scientific findings, Karr- Morse shows how our innate fight-or-flight system can injure us if overworked in the early stages of life. Persistent stress can trigger diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and addiction later on.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-10-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Coauthors of Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence, family therapist Karr-Morse and crime-prevention expert Wiley look at the lifelong ripple effects of trauma from before birth through early childhood on physical and emotional health, and on cognitive functioning. They define “trauma” broadly to include not only dramatic and often violent events, such as physical abuse, but more subtle, gradual ones, such as a mother’s emotional neglect of her young child. With a particular interest in the first years of life—“what happens before age two permanently affects our health, including the aging process”—the authors cite dozens of recent studies to support their argument and consider research from the emerging field of epigenetics (how genes are affected by environmental factors). This is an information-packed book, but contains little anecdotal material. Although appendixes include advice on seeking therapy and other resources for parents, its wealth of scientific data may make it most suitable for medical professionals, researchers, and social scientists. But the authors do make a very persuasive case that preventive measures should be taken to eliminate or mitigate early trauma, which can “literally change our minds by altering the DNA that controls brain functions.” (Jan.)