Trauma changes the brain in specific ways by increasing limbic system (emotional) activation and decreasing pre-frontal cortex functioning. It compromises capacity to regulate autonomic arousal and handle everyday stress. Trauma affects cognitive, affective, somatic, and physiological neurons.
PTSD, along with anxiety, mood disorders, and eating disorders are characterized by autonomic nervous system dysregulation. Persistent dysregulation compels one to seek various means for controlling or numbing the activation.
The compromised ability to self-regulate and manage distressing emotions is believed to be the force behind addictive behaviors – alcoholism, drugs, aggression, self-mutilation, and avoidance behaviors.
Learning or improving self-regulation using diaphragmatic breathing, relaxation training, and mindfulness is an important element in assist those suffering from symptoms of trauma.
If you are suffering from trauma related symptoms, help is available. Contact Dr. Valerie Sher for a consultation if you are suffering from symptoms of trauma.