Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician, was running a free clinic in a poor neighborhood in San Francisco when she made a horrible discovery.
It had already been widely documented that poor communities have suboptimal health outcomes. But Harris’s realization went a step farther: she realized there was a harrowing connection between childhood trauma and medical problems like heart disease and cancer.
The body’s immune system reacts to stressors. Kids who are under great stress therefore tend to be more susceptible to illness, which can have harmful long-term consequences.
Learn more about Harris’s important work to eradicate toxic stress in childhood with our Instaread on The Deepest Well.