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Publisher's Summary

A pioneering physician reveals how childhood stress can lead to lifelong health problems and shows us what we can do to break the cycle.

Two-thirds of us have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience, or ACE, such as abuse, neglect, parental substance dependence, or mental illness. Even though these events may have occurred long ago, they have the power to haunt us long into adulthood, and now we have found that they may even contribute to lifelong illness.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the founder/CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness and recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award, expands on similar topics as in her popular TED talk as she demystifies the connection between adversity and ill health. After surveying more than 17,000 adult patients, she found that the higher a person's ACE score, the worse their health. This led Burke Harris to an astonishing breakthrough - childhood stress changes our neural systems, and its impact lasts a lifetime.

Through vivid storytelling that combines both scientific insight with deeply moving stories about her patients and their families, Burke Harris illuminates her journey of discovery from the academy to her own pediatric practice in San Francisco's poverty-ridden Bayview Hunters Point. She reroots the story of childhood trauma and its aftermath in science to help listeners see themselves and others more clearly.

For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood or who cares about the millions of children who do, the innovative and acclaimed health interventions outlined in the The Deepest Well represents vitally important hope for change.

©2018 Nadine Burke Harris (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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Must Read

If you could sum up The Deepest Well in three words, what would they be?

The solution to a big problem in our country

What does Dr. Nadine Burke Harris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Science, evidence, and experience

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did. I ignored all of my work to listen to this book. I finished it in a day.

Any additional comments?

How did I not know about this information before?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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ACES could not ask for a better advocate

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has dedicated her life to the wellness of others. Adverse childhood experiences is the public health crisis that until recently, has gone unspoken and unrecognized. It is so important for everyone to understand their ACE score and to share that information with their healthcare team. This book is written in an engaging style and Dr. Harris’ delivery is heartfelt and genuine. I could not recommend this book more highly.

Listening to her Ted talk gave me the energy and courage to change my career path to serve the psychiatric needs of others, many of whom have experienced too much adversity. Yet people are incredibly resilient and have the power to heal. Dr. Harris provides a roadmap for that journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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how are we treating our household.

a must read to understand the future of health concerning toxic stress. how was our home? weas their overwhelming stress? and are we passing that to our own children? how can we stop it? acknowledging it first.

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This is Me

My father attacked my mother in 1956.
She smashed a crystal wine bottle over his head. I was 9, cowering ubder the table. My sister was two and doesn't remember. Every night, before work for 15 years, he would pace the floor, in full rant, about Mother and her family. Sometimes fully drunk...then stagger off to the Post Office. We knew this was a toxic upbringing and we survived it. We didn't. it caused biological brinksmanship that explains our current chronic health conditions.

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Blown away with the content of The Deepest Well

As a physician myself, this book has life changing and life giving information. I will be using what I have learned from Dr. Burke Harris in my medical practice, my community, my family and personally. My ACE (AChE) score is 7/10 and I am amidst a several year journey of recovery. The author/Dr. is spot on over and over throughout her book, her medical practice and her research. Universal application of the principles of her work and her passion will be a quantum leap to the improvement of health care and mental health care, simultaneously.
The Deepest Well is by far the most meaningful and relevant book I have read in years.
Thank you Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (and her family) for the valuable contribution of this book and your work.
Diana, MD, Oklahoma

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This was hands down the best book EVER!!!!

Nadine Burkes Harris is a brilliant woman who was able to weave critical information through exquisite storytelling. I knew she was going to go deep in her explanation of Ace's and stress. Never did I imagine that the book would be soooo riveting. Also, having Ms. Burkes Harris narrate her own book was a gift and a blessing in and of itself.

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Mandatory Reading for pediatricians, school administrators and political leaders

I found this book to be profoundly resonant, offering a pathway to healing for both families and communities, to stop blaming and start repairing the damage caused by extreme stress. Dr. Harrris’s reading of her book makes it a more personal story and I was glad I was able to literally hear her voice in the telling of this important story.