Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the impact on the brain (from Diane Cranley)
It’s important to understand the basics of PTSD and how it may be affecting your children and you. Mayo Clinic provides a good description to start with https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967. The level of post-traumatic stress differs for every person and throughout their lives. The keyword to focus on here is “disorder” – if it is affecting your daily life, it would typically be considered PTSD. But remember all mental health diagnoses are just a way to describe a set of symptoms so that they can bill the insurance companies. We should take on any diagnosis as part of our identity but just look at it as what we are currently experiencing. We do not want to label our children and give them one more burden to carry.
As I was looking for a written explanation of how the brain processes trauma memories, I found this on a burn website and I thought it had some valuable information though doesn’t explain it quite the way I did - https://www.phoenix-society.org/resources/calming-trauma. The article references Daniel Amen – he is located in SoCal where I am and I have had my children’s brains scanned by him and you can “see” where PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. resides in the brain and then use specific treatment methods to correct and balance the brain activity. He has clinics in other parts of the country as well. This is still pretty high l level.
There is also a great book called “The Body Keeps Score” that I highly encourage you to read. It will help you understand how brain function is changed by trauma. We have to remember our children are not being defiant when they refuse to pick up their socks or can’t get through their homework or can’t hold a job. They are struggling with the emotional AND physical impacts of their trauma. Here is a link to the book https://www.amazon.com/Body-Keeps-Score-Healing-Trauma/dp/0143127748.
As with everything under resources, take the time to see what is the best fit for you and your family. This information has not been vetted by KKC Cares, Inc. This information has been shared by parents as a tool they have come across and/or found helpful. Please share anything that you have found so we can add it to our page as a resource for other parents. Thank you!