Traumatic events seem to be occurring increasingly more frequently in our society. Unfortunately, with today’s 24 hour news cycle, our exposure to those traumatic events is also ongoing. Whether it’s an overseas attack or a school shooting down the street, with the violence we face on an everyday basis, it’s no surprise that many individuals are struggling with the negative impacts of traumatic experiences. Emotional, physical, and developmental trauma, as well as PTSD, don’t have to prevent you from living your life. With the right tools and resources, you can mitigate the negative reactions to traumatic and related stimuli and train your brain toward recovery.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma, much like other mental health struggles, looks different for everyone. In many cases, the manifestation is heavily informed by the specific experience or experiences that preceded the negative reactions to stimuli. For example, a car crash survivor’s trauma will likely present very differently than the trauma experienced by a first-responder. PTSD and other forms of trauma are triggered by experiencing a traumatic event, whether that was a direct experience, something you witnessed, something you heard about, or repeated exposure to someone else’s traumatic experience. These abnormal events can lead to a variety of symptoms.
Symptoms Of Trauma And PTSD
Trauma and PTSD are a unique type of mental illness in the sense that the symptoms you experience are entirely normal as a response to an abnormal event or experience. Just because these symptoms are normal does not necessarily mean they are not debilitating, though. Symptoms of trauma may include:
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- Anxiety and fear
- Guilt, shame, and self-blame
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Feelings of depression
- Feelings of disconnection or numbness
- Insomnia, nightmares
- Feeling easily startled
- Racing heartbeat
- Edginess, agitation
- Pain, achiness, muscle tension
The symptoms of trauma and PTSD and an inability to cope with those symptoms can infiltrate every aspect of your life and prevent you from achieving your goals and leading a healthy, happy, life.
What Trauma And PTSD Does To The Brain
When you experience a traumatic event or are regularly exposed to traumatic experiences, your brain triggers a severe stress response. This stress response leads to dramatic changes in the physical structure of the brain itself. Specifically, we see trauma affect the amygdala, which is responsible for your emotional memory, the hippocampus, which is responsible for long-term memory, and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for modulating emotion. When these core structures in the brain are affected, your brainwave function is negatively impacted.
PTSD And First Reponsders
It's estimated that as many as 30% of first responders will develop behavioral health conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. First responders are repeatedly exposed to potentially traumatic events as a result of the emergencies, death, and tragedies they face on a daily basis. Here at Braincode Centers, we understand that trauma can lead to structural changes within your brain. Over the last few years, we've had the honor of working with many first responders to help them overcome their trauma and improve their mental health. Our clinicians will work with you to gain an in-depth understanding of the symptoms you're experiencing and create a personalized treatment plan to address your PTSD so you can start feeling like your usual self again.
Recovering From Trauma And Treating PTSD Naturally
qEEG brain mapping and neurofeedback play a key role restoring your brainwave function to a healthy state naturally. The qEEG brain map allows us to identify the specific frequencies that are affected by your traumatic experience and guides your personal neurofeedback treatment plan to re-balance and improve your brain function. In doing so, patients experience improved mood, better sleep, increased adaptability, and generally improved cognitive function. With neurofeedback and indicated supplemental therapies, such as counseling and near-infrared light therapy, we can help you reduce or even eliminate the need for prescription medication by giving you back the control to maintain a calm state on your own.
If you struggle with PTSD or have experienced a traumatic event, contact our trauma team at Braincode Centers today to learn how we can help you restore a safe and controlled sense of self.