Trauma rewires the brain in an attempt to cope with the traumatic event. Trauma places the brain in a state of constantly being on guard and the brain gets stuck there. Even when we know the threat is no longer there, on both a conscious and subconscious level, our brain reacts before we can catch ourselves.
The traumatic event changes our brain wave patterns, just like a blow to the head would. Just as the brain was changed by the trauma it can be trained out of the negative brain wave patterns and eliminate the symptoms of PTSD with neurofeedback.
The PTSD brain reacts differently. It is out of balance. Sufferers exhibit an over activation of the autonomic nervous system which governs fear. Sensory input, memory formation and stress response mechanisms are affected in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The regions of the brain involved in memory processing that are implicated in PTSD include the hippocampus, amygdala and frontal cortex. While the heightened stress response is likely to involve the thalamus, hypothalamus and locus coleus.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. Prolonged abuse, torture or natural disasters are implicated in PTSD. Research supports the use of biofeedback and neurofeedback as treatment to balance and calm down the over activation in the central nervous system, the brain.
When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.
Anyone can get PTSD at any age. If as a child you suffered abuse then there are scars that may not have healed. To read about the neurobiology of child abuse and how maltreatment at an early age can have enduring negative effects on a child’s brain development and function click here.
This includes war veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, accidents, disasters, and many other serious events. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people get PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or is harmed. The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can also cause PTSD. PTSD can cause many symptoms such as: flashbacks, night terrors or bad dreams, feeling emotionally numb or depressed, and feeling tense or “on edge.”
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as adults. In young children, these symptoms can include: bed wetting, being unable to talk, or being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult. Older children and teens usually show symptoms more like those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or death.
But there is hope. We have successfully treated PTSD at the Brain Performance Center by retraining the brain with neurofeedback. The brain makes new neural connections throughout your life. Our treatment encourages the growth of new pathways that allow you to regain control over reflexive fear and terror and start a new life. Contact us today to learn more.