Posts Tagged ‘adrenaline’

Adrenaline and ptsd: The body keeps The score



Adrenaline is one of the hormones that are critical to help us fight back or flee in the face of danger.

Increased adrenaline was responsible for our participants’ dramatic rise in heart rate and blood pressure while listening to their trauma narrative.

Under normal conditions people react to a threat with a temporary increase in their stress hormones.

As soon as the threat is over, the hormones dissipate and the body returns to normal.

The stress hormones of traumatized people, in contrast, take much longer to return to baseline and spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli.

The insidious effects of constantly elevated stress hormones include memory and attention problems, irritability, and sleep disorders.

They also contribute to many long-term health issues, depending on which body system is most vulnerable in a particular individual.

We now know that there is another possible response to threat, which our scans aren’t yet capable of measuring.

Some people simply go into denial:

Their bodies register the threat, but their conscious minds go on as if nothing has happened.

However, even though the mind may learn to ignore the messages from the emotional brain, the alarm signals don’t stop.

The emotional brain keeps working, and stress hormones keep sending signals to the muscles to tense for action or immobilize in collapse.

The physical effects on the organs go unabated until they demand notice when they are expressed as illness.

Medications, drugs and alcohol can temporarily dull or obliterate unbearable sensations and feelings.

But the body keeps score.



For those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood, it is the absence of stress that creates unease, evoking boredom and a sense of meaninglessness



“Adult Children of Alcoholics”: The Bridge in the Problem:

“We were dependent personalities, terrified of abandonment, willing to do almost anything to hold on to a relationship in order to not to be abandoned emotionally.

Yet we kept choosing insecure relationships because they matched our childhood relationship with alcoholic or dysfunctional parents.”

These two sentences seem disjointed. We are terrified of something, yet we seek it out.

Perhaps it is our Addiction to Excitement that creates the bridge between those two lines.

You could almost cross out the word “Yet” and replace it with “And so.”



My two cents: I was terrified of abandonment and maybe with good reason, now my family has abandoned me.

What rings true is the drama in life I have experienced.

Now, I am searching out my connection to this behavior.

At 68, I am getting closer to being happier, less controlled by trauma and fear.



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