Doctor in Psychology (Psy. D.)
Psychological trauma and early life adversity have been significantly connected to elevated incidence of disease, chronic pain, and premature death. Trauma exposure can result in shortened telomere length in chromosomes and advanced biological aging. Epigenetics and the modiﬁcation of gene expression through methylation of DNA can be directly affected by traumatic experiences. Aversive childhood experiences are globally linked to increased likelihood of risk factors for disease, death, and wellbeing throughout life. Sleep deprivation and disruption is a common symptom of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder. Loss of sleep has a remarkably detrimental impact on the immune and cardiovascular systems and can lead to alterations in DNA. There is a highly graded relationship between psychological trauma and physical illness. Interdisciplinary care has been utilized to address the link between physical and mental illness from a whole health approach. However, more efforts are needed on all fronts in destigmatizing mental illness and gaining a greater understanding of the mind-body connection.
Robert P. Granacher
2020 Jessica V. Caniff
Caniff, Jessica, "THE LINK BETWEEN TRAUMA, CHRONIC PAIN, AND DISEASE" (2021). Psychology Doctoral Specialization Projects. 17.