Tonight's special guest is Amy Crohn from New York, a survivor of child abuse, and an accomplished marketing communications, business development professional, writer and journalist. Her book "Dying To Live" explains how childhood maltreatment can lead to adult physical illness. As a youngster Amy was subjected to emotional abuse and neglect. Her mother was mentally disturbed and her father was absent much of the time. A very nervous child, she was quite often sick, and missed a lot of grade school. Amy became very ill at age 20 with mononucleosis and decided then and there that she was not going to let the first 18 years of her life dictate the rest of it. She writes, "That was my first step toward healing but I pushed everything inside and coated myself with armor. At age 36, stage 4B cancer and Lupus blew the illusion wide open." She continues, "I couldn't hide from my past anymore .. I literally had to die to live" (see book). Amy explains, "While writing my book, I learned of The ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) and took the ACE survey. With a high score of 8, I am convinced that my early childhood traumas caused my adult physical illness." Today, after the suicide of her brother eight months ago, she is feeling the effects of PTSD once again. She goes on, "The early childhood abuse simply does not prepare one for the challenges of life." Amy has recently been trained as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and, in fact, adopted one foster child in 2000. She says, "It is my hope that I can help educate physicians to include The ACE survey questions in their patient intake questionnaires and, as a CASA, to help interrupt a pattern that may lead to illness later in life." Be sure to check out Amy's BLOG.
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