Areas of the brain involved in the stress response include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in these areas of the brain. Traumatic stress is associated with increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it's important to understand how different parts of the brain work.
Post-traumatic stress is a normal response to traumatic events. However, post-traumatic stress disorder is a more serious condition that affects brain function and is often the result of trauma experienced during combat, disasters, or violence. Both the amygdala and the media-anterior cingulate cortex are overstimulated when a person has post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the hippocampus, the right inferior frontal gyrus, the ventromedial PFC, the dorsolateral PFC, and the orbitofrontal cortex become hypoactive, some to the point of atrophiing.
Trauma can change key structures in the brain, which are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Three of the major changes are the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions such as fear and pleasure, evaluating threats and activating the nervous system. The prefrontal cortex helps cognitive functions, such as making decisions about how to react and determining the meaning of stimuli.
It's also related to attention, memory, and impulse control. The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory. PTSD is born out of traumatic experiences, although no type of trauma will automatically cause PTSD. Not all people with post-traumatic stress disorder experience the same symptoms or have exactly the same pattern of brain changes.
Therapies and medications are the first lines of defense against PTSD, especially when symptoms significantly negatively affect your life. Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that affects the brain's ability to regulate the fear response after experiencing trauma. By Erin Maynard Erin Maynard is a writer, president of PTSD Survivors of America and a passionate advocate for people living with PTSD. As a result of high blood pressure, research has found that people with post-traumatic stress disorder are also at greater risk of suffering a stroke or cardiovascular disease.
My post-traumatic stress disorder began as a result of childhood trauma that was further triggered in adulthood by work trauma and other heartbreaks that made me feel insecure in this world. While you can't prevent all traumatic situations or how they affect you, you can control the symptoms of PTSD later. The good news is that patterns that might seem permanent can actually be reversed: with the right focus and knowledge, you can change your brain toward healing. When the hippocampus isn't working optimally, it affects how a person remembers and remembers memories, especially memories that contain an element of fear, such as those related to trauma.
Research has found that reduced cortical thickness in certain areas of the brain associated with emotional regulation and response inhibition, including the right frontal gyrus, is related to impulse control problems in PTSD.