PTSD and Brain Science: Why Education is Key in Recovery

PTSD brainPTSD and brain science are so completely intertwined in the recovery process that if you don’t know about how they interact you could slowing down your recovery process. Healing PTSD happens in two significant ways:

  1. A percentage of healing PTSD happens through modalities, treatment approaches and recovery techniques practiced and taught by trained professionals.
  2. But an even larger percentage of how to heal PTSD comes from the commitment, dedication and I-won’t-give-up! attitude that each of us survivors has to access and embody.

The more you know about the science behind PTSD symptoms the more you (and those around you — including friends, family, colleagues and healing professionals) can 1) acknowledge and validate your symptoms, and 2) discover and explore brain-specific processes that encourage and facilitate healing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Last week I received an email with a link to a heartbreaking story of how the VA treats PTSD. It included this suggestion from a mental health practitioner to a veteran that so many of us — military and civilian alike — has heard a variation of at some point in our own recovery journey:

After listening for a few minutes, [the therapist] told him that she knew he was hurting, but that he would just have to get over the deaths of his friends. He should treat it, he recalled her saying, “like a bad breakup with a girl.”

Shocking that with all we know about how trauma and PTSD affect the brain a paid professional could be so ignorant.

In the spirit of continuing to educate ourselves and those who are appointed to help us heal, I keep writing and speaking about the science behind PTSD symptoms. Recently, PsychCentral published my article, The Science Behind PTSD Symptoms: How Trauma Changes the Brain, a quick read about the Triune (3-part) Brain Model and three specific ways the brain dysregulates after trauma the piece offers the most significant facts to begin understanding about why we behave the way we do.

I also filmed this short impromptu video when my publisher recently asked me about this subject in relation to my new book, Heal Your PTSD.

What facts about PTSD and the brain have you learned that you think everyone should know? Add your knowledge in the comments!


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