The Effects of Trauma on the Brain

The Effects of Trauma on the Brain

The Effects of Trauma on the Brain

Trauma can come in many different forms. A traumatic event can affect both males and females of any age. It can start as early as one’s childhood. Trauma has a profound negative influence on young children as well. The effects of trauma can negatively impact an individual’s sympathetic nervous system. Many different symptoms arise due to trauma, as the effects of trauma on the brain can be difficult to manage alone. For individuals who are facing challenges coping with trauma, there are several treatment modalities to help them overcome mental anguish. 

Moving forward with professional care can improve an individual’s quality of life. Restoration Recovery has a supportive mental health care team, known for their passion for helping trauma survivors understand the changes that may occur in their brains. 

What Are the Different Forms of Trauma?

According to the State of Missouri’s Early Care and Education: Connections, an individual may experience or witness an event or series of traumatic events and be negatively impacted by it. A set of circumstances can potentially be emotionally or physically threatening or harmful. Depending on the severity of the traumatic event, an individual may experience lasting adverse effects. 

For example, one may have problems functioning physically and even socially with others. An individual’s emotional well-being can be intensely affected by trauma as well. There are many different types of trauma. The three main types of trauma include acute, chronic, and complex. Acute trauma can be due to one single incident. If an individual experiences prolonged trauma, this may be referred to as chronic trauma. Complex trauma is a prolonged “exposure” to several forms of trauma. Different forms of trauma may include: 

  • Sexual abuse
  • Natural disaster
  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic abuse
  • Medical injury, procedure, or illness
  • Neglect
  • Community violence
  • Traumatic grief
  • Kidnapping
  • Divorce
  • Victim of crime
  • School violence
  • Accident
  • Loss

What Are the Different Effects of Trauma on the Brain?

As stated in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Science: Taylor and Francis Group, trauma has many different lasting effects on an individual’s brain. Different areas of an individual’s brain that may be affected include the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. When an individual experiences traumatic stress, they may develop an increased amount of cortisol and norepinephrine responses. This can be due to subsequent stressors.

For example, in recent preclinical and clinical studies, individuals who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have presented higher levels of cortisol and norepinephrine responses to stress. Individuals with PTSD experience cognitive changes and altered brain structure. 

To illustrate, a multitude of studies have presented declarative memory problems in individuals diagnosed with PTSD long after being exposed to trauma. The three regions of the brain that play a crucial role in PTSD include the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex. When increased stress is felt due to trauma, these areas of the brain can be severely affected. Some individuals who experience trauma are at risk of developing other co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression, substance use disorder (SUD), various personality disorders, and more. 

What Does Treatment Look Like for Those Dealing With the Effects of Trauma?

Many individuals respond to trauma in different ways. For example, individuals may misuse substances, have difficulty eating, oversleep, or isolate themselves from others due to feelings of intense mistrust. Suppressing trauma can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and physical health. Therefore, treatment is strongly encouraged by mental health professionals to recover from the effects of trauma on the brain.

Untreated trauma can feel overwhelming for some individuals. For those who are facing challenges in overcoming trauma, there are various treatment options offered by several different healthcare facilities. Depending on the individual’s structured plan, a specific type of treatment may be chosen for a more personalized form of care. For instance, a few different treatment modalities used to help one recover from trauma may consist of: 

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • EMDR
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Trauma therapy 

Moving Forward With Restoration Recovery

It can be a difficult choice to make the decision to surrender to treatment for addiction or co-occurring mental health conditions related to trauma. Several different treatment centers, one of them being Restoration Recovery, can provide the emotional and professional support needed to move forward from the effects of trauma. 

Restoration Recovery understands that the signs and symptoms of PTSD and other mental health disorders related to trauma can be difficult to manage alone. Their mental health care team works hard to help individuals manage trauma and its negative effects on an individual’s brain. Participating in trauma therapy can teach individuals with a dual diagnosis the tools needed to move forward with peace in their recovery journey. 

Certain PTSD triggers can negatively impact an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis. PTSD can interfere with one’s ability to succeed in different areas. Untreated trauma can be distracting making it especially difficult to function in the workplace, academically, or with others. Equally important, remembering to use the tools taught in trauma therapy outside of treatment can help individuals appropriately respond. 

The effects of trauma on the brain can be difficult to live with without proper treatment. Established in 2017 in Auburn, California, Restoration Recovery Center is a product of the desire of a group of experienced therapists who wish to help individuals with substance use disorder or co-occurring mental health conditions recover. At Restoration Recovery Center, we believe that unprocessed trauma can be a risk factor and contribute to addiction. Because of this, our California rehab programs offer trauma therapy for individuals who are facing challenges recovering from all different forms of trauma. If you or a loved one is in need of professional and emotional support, call Restoration Recovery today at (888) 290-0925

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