Carrie Krawiec, LMFT of Birmingham Maple Clinic appeared on WXYZ Channel 7 on Saturday July 23, 2016 to discuss Toxic Stress with Syma Chowdhry.
Carrie first explained how toxic stress differs from the kinds of stress we experience every day. Toxic stress occurs when a child experiences prolonged chaotic environments—such as physical or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, without adequate adult support. Positive Stress is normal and essential part of childhood. Positive stress is the anxiety we feel to normal difficulties in life such as having a new baby sitter or getting a shot from a doctor. Carrie said “We call it “positive” because when we respond to it its what our body should be doing.” Tolerable stress, a third form of stress, is the result of more severe, longer-lasting difficulties, such as the loss of a loved one or a natural disaster but is mitigated by relationships to healthy adults who help the child adapt and the developing brain and organs recover from what would otherwise be lasting damaging effects.
Carrie went on to explain how parents can know if their child is experiencing toxic stress. Because the experience of toxic stress is really caused by the absence of adequate adult support, Carrie recommends that parents take a look at themselves. She says a parent should ask themselves how am I coping? Do I have enough support for myself? Am I turning to drugs or alcohol to help me cope? Based on the answers to these questions a parent should consider getting additional therapeutic services for them selves to improve coping, address underlying mental health issues that are getting in the way of healthy parenting, and to learn additional parenting skills.
Since toxic stress is associated with cognitive impairment, developmental delays, and later health problems like substance abuse, depression, heart disease and diabetes professionals recommend early intervention is key. To have your child
evaluated for signs of toxic stress or to address underlying issues to prevent or reduce the potential for toxic stress in your household visit www.birminghammaple.com or call (248) 646-6659.
To watch BMC therapist Carrie Krawiec on WXYZ, click here.
For more on Toxic Stress visit http://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/toxic-stress/
Toxic Stress. Center on Developing Child. Harvard University.
http://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/toxic- stress/. July 22,