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How Does Trauma Impact the Mind and Body

man in flannel looks out a window thinking deeply about the impact of trauma on the brain

Trauma is a complex neurological, physical, and emotional response to life-threatening situations that affects people across the United States daily. Often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of combat veterans or first responders, trauma can affect anyone at any time. As more scientists and therapists study the impact of trauma on the brain, more treatment options become available. A trauma therapy program can help anyone living with PTSD and complex trauma, whether they remember a traumatic experience.

If you or someone you love has experienced trauma, know you are not alone. A Better State is here to help you uncover and treat trauma through our holistic trauma therapy program. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about how our holistic treatment programs can help you reduce the side effects of trauma.

How Does Trauma Impact of Trauma on the Body and Brain?

During a life-threatening event, the brain releases chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, causing a fight, flight, or freeze response in order to survive. This response comes from the oldest part of the human brain and has helped humans survive dangerous situations for millennia. Unfortunately, during a life-threatening event, the body may not fully process these chemicals. This leads to what doctors call “trapped” trauma. Cortisol and adrenaline become trapped in muscle tissue, ready to reactivate when traumatic memories are triggered.

The brain often creates “screen memories” or memories to lessen the impact of traumatic memory. This means that someone may be living with the effects of trauma and have no memory of the event itself. For many, this can make them feel disconnected from their memories or experience unexplained symptoms. Trauma can often weaken the immune system, increase stress levels, and decrease the overall quality of life.

Common Side Effects of Trauma

Trauma “trapped” in tissues can cause many side effects. Because everyone’s bodies, experiences, and tolerance levels are different, traumatic responses can range in intensity and duration. Side effects of trauma cause intense physical, emotional, and psychological responses to non-life-threatening situations. These responses can include the following:

  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Self-isolation
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Self-medicating
  • Paranoia
  • Shaking
  • Flashbacks
  • Reactive behavior
  • Unexplained guilt
  • Shame
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Anxiety
  • Fast heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Disorientation
  • Nightmares

Many people with untreated trauma experience symptoms that don’t align with their reality. They may feel unsafe or paranoid in safe places or have reactions that don’t fit a social situation. Sounds, bright lights, and certain smells are only a few common trauma triggers. By working with a trauma therapist, someone can uncover and desensitize triggers to reduce the effects of PTSD.

Find an Outpatient Trauma Therapy Program in New Hampshire Today

The more scientists and therapists study trauma, the more they understand how natural disasters, domestic violence, illness or injury, and the death of a loved one can cause emotional trauma. Unfortunately, a lack of education and accessible trauma therapy treatment programs keep many people from getting the help they need to recover and thrive. If you or someone in your life is struggling with the effects of trauma, we can help.

A Better State believes in uncovering and treating the root causes of trauma, substance abuse, addiction, and mental health conditions. With a holistic approach, our trauma-informed intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) help clients across New Hampshire with therapies including:

  • ​​Cognitive-behavioral therapy (​​CBT)
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

With daytime and evening hours, our clinic provides accessible treatment options, no matter your schedule.

Learn More About the Impact of Trauma on the Brain from A Better State

Contact us now at 781.412.1488 to learn how our trauma therapy program can support you and your loved ones.