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How Trauma and PTSD Change the Brain


Trauma and PTSD isn’t just “all in your head” it’s literally in your head. Trauma and PTSD change the brain in four very specific ways. Traumatic experiences like abuse, assault, or witnessing violence or tragedy can leave people feeling constantly on edge. PTSD can impact your emotions, your stability, your relationships. And trauma can have an impact on your physical and mental health. These are really common experiences for many, and they are in part due to four ways that your brain changes after experiencing trauma. But the good news is that when you understand how trauma impacts the brain, these symptoms can often be reversed. You can learn to heal.

When trapped in a constant trauma response people with PTSD experience four types of difficult PTSD symptoms including:
1. Painful thoughts
2. Intense emotions
3. Bodily changes
4. Behavioral changes

These “symptoms” show up because after experiencing trauma, your brain changes on a physical level. This isn’t simply “damage” as people would perhaps think, but it’s your brain adapting to the experience that the world isn’t safe, and in my opinion, taking measures to help you avoid future dangers. So essentially it makes you more danger avoidant. Your brain is super moldable, and it adapts and shapes due to what we experience and how we use it.