The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Psychiatric Disorders.

During a year-long internship at a state psychiatric hospital, Seth J. Gillhan PhD, observed firsthand the profound impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on individuals with serious mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Many patients recounted traumatic childhoods marked by abuse, family violence, and other ACEs, underscoring a link between early adversity and adult mental health issues. This connection, supported by numerous studies, raises questions about the casualty of ACEs in later psychiatric conditions, considering potential genetic and environmental factors.

Adult mental health outcomes were measured by whether the participant had received after age 19 an inpatient or outpatient diagnosis of a depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, or stress-related disorder.

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