Childhood trauma can last a lifetime – and beyond

In this TED talk in 2015 Nadine Burke Harris talks about the link between adverse childhood experiencestoxic stress and increased risks of worse physical and mental health throughout life. In fact – how early trauma can last a lifetime – and beyond.

Dr Burke Harris is a Canadian-American pediatrician who became California’s first Surgeon General in 2019. She was the founder and former chief executive officer of the USA’s Center for Youth Wellness and her work also featured in Paul Tough‘s book How Children Succeed.

As a doctor, she focuses on awareness and early identification of trauma and childhood problems. That reduces the life-long consequences.

But even earlier prevention is better than intervening afterwards – especially if trauma can last a lifetime. So we also need to find and deal with the causes of the trauma. Then we can prevent childhood trauma before it happens.