This seems accurate.
“Traumatized brains look different from non-traumatized brains in three predictable ways:
- The Thinking Center is underactivated.
- The Emotion Regulation Center is underactivated.
- The Fear Center is overactivated.
What these activations indicate is that, often, a traumatized brain is “bottom-heavy,” meaning that activations of lower, more primitive areas, including the fear center, are high, while higher areas of the brain (also known as cortical areas) are underactivated. In other words, if you are traumatized and have PTSD symptoms, you may experience chronic stress, vigilance, fear, and irritation. You may also have a hard time feeling safe, calming down, or sleeping. These symptoms are all the result of a hyperactive amygdala.
At the same time, individuals who are traumatized may notice difficulties with concentration and attention, and often report they can’t think clearly. This, not surprisingly, is due to the thinking center being underactivated.
But, before we think that all hope is lost, you can change your brain, it just takes time.
Changing the brain takes effort, repetition, and time. The best gift you can give yourself toward this goal is psychotherapy.”
Too many survivors think they can “heal” quickly without realizing the damage that trauma does to many of us, and also realizing how each brain will respond to trauma differently. Correcting that won’t be an overnight thing.
Most importantly, though, it is possible. Give yourself a break if it’s not happening as quickly as you’d like, or as quickly as some one else might have, that’s OK. We are all capable of getting there.