battered women, health, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, ptsd, women's health, women's issues

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a Broken Brain

Going through trauma is a terrible thing for anyone. But it doesn’t end there.

The trauma  lives on , in the mind of the victim.  During the traumatic event or time frame, the person’s brain is put into severe overload. The fear center, called the amygdala, is left on too high for too long.

When the traumatic situation is ongoing for a long period of time, the amygdala can get “stuck on”. It is like the on and off switch gets broken. The” fight or flight”  mode is only designed to be on high alert for a few minutes, in order to survive a threatening situation.

People in long term trauma situations include military people in a combat zone, people living in domestic abuse and childhood abuse. There are many other examples and I do not mean to leave anyone out.

When we are subject to severe threat to our body or our mind, for an extended period of time, the amygdala in the brain malfunctions . It no longer knows how to turn off.

The brain is attempting to protect us by having our body prepared for a fight to the death or to run for our lives.

This state of ” fight or flight”  is not meant to be endured for long periods of time. People with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)  have to endure the extreme fear alert of their brains , even when there is no immediate threat of danger.

The brain perceives everything as a threat. It can no longer tell what level a threat is. Anything that triggers a memory of severe threat , takes us right back to the feelings of the original trauma.

Of course , life is full of all types of threats. There are threats to our job. There are illnesses and physical conditions that can threaten our health.

We feel threatened walking to our car in a dark parking lot. A phone call from our ex abuser is a legitimate threat. These kinds of “real threats” can be severely traumatizing to the PTSD brain that had already been injured.

PTSD is a difficult thing for people to understand , who have not experienced it. It is hard for PTSD sufferers  to get help and support from loved ones. The more support we can find the better we will heal.

Our support may come from unexpected sources. In cases where there is no family support and friends do not understand, the person may need to reach out to others. There are closed groups for PTSD on facebook. I belong to 2 of them.

There is blogging . Yay ! My favorite source of external support. And there are some other sources on the internet like Tumblr which has live mental health support. Please feel free to put any internet support groups you want to share in the comments below.

Then there is support in the “real” world, like therapy and groups. I have found that wordpress is my best support. But that is an individual choice and is based on my personality and situation.

In many cases, someone will need more than one support place, in order to create a network of support for themselves. Especially during certain phases of the healing process.  Personally, I was in a sort of denial of how bad my trauma was for a while and i repressed feelings for many months.

So at the point things started bubbling to the surface and interfering with my ability to manage my life, I was able to find wordpress and that helped me.

Any thoughts about when you started your healing process and if there was a delay, are welcome .


8 thoughts on “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a Broken Brain”

  1. I did the same thing. I tried to just immediately move on. Did not remember or speak of what had happened. That really did backfire. It turns out that avoiding memories makes them seem more important to the brain, and you never desensitize to them. So not only are you stuck in fight or flight, but those memory triggers end up stronger with avoidance. The physical aspects of PTSD are fascinating. I still don’t want it, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well I find that it is helpful to read about the brain and do research. If you have any links anytime to send, feel free. You are right , I think the postponing of the dealing with the memories makes things worse
      Thank you for reading.


  2. Annie, I really love how you wrote this post. But, I am a huge fan of you and your blog. As I think everyone should be 🙂

    I,also, found WP to be a huge lifesaver for me. Being able to write and process, as well as people interact at the same time. Wow. That was amazing to me. Also, the community here is wonderful. My problem is finding support in my real life. Having no family, and having moved, I have not had a chance to make friends. I am on disability and so how does one meet people? Usually they do through work. I just can’t seem to figure out how to do this. Couple that with anxiety in the first place and PTSD, and usually any groups are in the city..haha…I have been perplexing over this for a year now that my migraines have become somewhat manageable.

    But really good post as usual, ohh, I have always had PTSD, so, I cannot really give any help to that great question you asked. -CC

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The meaningful interactions that I have with people are almost all entirely on the internet or over the cell phone. I speak with my boyfriend over the phone every night but I rarely see him. It is sad because of the situation we are both in. I see him maybe once every other month. Other than my daughters who live with me, i do not like interacting with anyone on a personal level. I do not go out. I have a few women at work that I speak to at work but not about personal things. Maybe I am not a good person to use for an example of what normal interaction with people is. I am very introverted and the more anxiety I am under , the more I just want to stay in my bedroom. My bunny is running around in the room right now, keeping me entertained. 🙂 He is the best company.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Broken brain syndrome. Your explanation is very interesting and helps to understand how the things in our lives affect us; PTSD from being raised with the fear of abandonment issues, being in an abusive marriage, from remarrying ten years later into yet another type of emotional abusive marriage, from the death of my teenage son, from the death of both my parents, and a car accident that has resulted in chronic pain and fibromyalgia. Time to un-break my brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am new to facebook. Actually I have had an account for a while I just never use it. How do you get in a closed group for PTSD? What does it mean to be a closed group?


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