UNDERSTANDING THE BRAIN AND BODY IN TRAUMA: Part 2

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“Consequently, after trauma, the brain can easily be triggered by sensory input, reading normal circumstances as dangerous.

For example, a red light is no longer a red light, now it’s a possible spark.

A barbecue had been just a barbecue, but now it sounds like an explosion.

The sensory fragments are misinterpreted and the brain loses its ability to discriminate between what is threatening and what is normal.

The rational part of our brain is the prefrontal cortex.

This is the front part of our brain, where consciousness lives, processing and reasoning occur, and we make meaning of language.

When a trauma occurs, people enter into a fight, flight, or freeze state, which can result in the prefrontal cortex shutting down.

The brain becomes somewhat disorganized and overwhelmed because of the trauma, while the body goes into a survival mode and shuts down the higher reasoning and language structures of the brain.

The result of the metabolic shutdown is a profound imprinted stress response.”
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9 responses to this post.

  1. The sensory fragments are misinterpreted and the brain loses its ability to discriminate between what is threatening and what is normal.

    This is how a mundane situation becomes a lethal threat

    It is all to confusing, we never get clarity

    We may integrate and partially heal but clarity, understanding how it works will never happen

  2. Posted by rudid96 on July 13, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    It’s so hard to gain clarity because at least for me when I’m triggered, my PFC shuts down and I’m stuck in the black fugue of dissociation. I’ve tried to speak of the abuse I lose my words. Compartmentalising my life makes me so much more functional. It allowed for societal integration. The problem is that there are leaks. I believe that’s why Marty, you were able to be incredibly successful at work and in sport. The noise of all that work was an effective distraction.

  3. Compartmentalizing

    Well maybe that is the stored trauma talking

    I do not know

    My PTSD was dormant during my successes

    Is that the reason I could compartmentalize so well

    In my mid 50’s my PTSD exploded with a family crisis, after that life changed

    I do not know if I would have attained all that success

    Now that success just was a great distraction

    It did not hold any permanent happiness just temporary joy

  4. Posted by rudid96 on July 13, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Yes, I believe that is how you, me, and others attain great success while holding entire traumatized lives behind the curtain. How many times have you read of well-known people; historic figures, war heroes, business tycoons, etc., with untenable backstories? Excuse the indulgence of saying self inclusion, the traumatized part later of life was only tenuously being held at bay. The demons were never vanquished. That is why we never ‘felt’ the successes. We weren’t really living in our lives. Only creations of what we thought was normal.

  5. Thank for your sharing

    I often wonder how some are so anti social and rebellious as kids

    My father started when I was five I think, I was to young to resist

    It threatened abandonment

    I guess I resent authority now because of him

    Next

    I felt my successes for a day kr two or maybe a week, then the next challenge, the next test risking failure happens

    I feared failure more than death in my damaged brain

    Fear of failure hid my PTSD or my all out effort to avoid loss did it

  6. Posted by rudid96 on July 13, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    It’s no wonder it’s all so exhausting. Did you ever consider that at this point, we’re hiding from ourselves as well as the outside world? We’re hiding from that defenseless self.

  7. Oh we hiding from a ghost, but our trauma is intertwined inside our brain

    Because we were abused as kids

    It’s never clear, always confusing

    So this internal war of words and emotions is a whole life by itself

    It’s like having a couple tvs running, a sports bar of trauma memories

  8. So informative. Thank you for sharing, Marty.

  9. Thank you

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