06 Jun The Neuroscience of PTSD and Trauma
Neuroplasticity refers to how the brain changes as a result of experiences.
Did you know that we may have fear based experiences that linger and triggers as we age?
Lisa Wimberger recreates a story of a woman’s fear of spiders and the initial experience of fear sets off a reaction in the limbic system and reactions in the body that may be adaptive at the time but maladaptive as we experience further triggers as we go through life.
When we get stuck in this response and our lower brain takes over we often fail to use our higher thought processes such as reasoning and judgement in our upper brain including our frontal cortex.
Our bodies react to trauma and the theory is that the things we feel in the body such as our heart racing, shallow breathing, and sweating is all initiated by a fear response that developed early on.
Our primitive nervous system or limbic system takes over and we respond by withdrawing and becoming immobilized. Insecure attachment for instance due to unresolved traumas early in life can create barriers to trust.
Here are some things that might help us in these situations:
- use resourcing, regulating and repairing/rewiring
- use a felt sense of empathy and creating new relational attachments
- you have an alarm system and the ability to fix it which we call “amygdala whispering”