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How unprocessed trauma is stored in the body

https://medium.com/@biobeats/how-unprocessed-trauma-is-stored-in-the-body-10222a76cbad

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How unprocessed trauma is stored in the body
When all is well, our brain is the greatest supercomputer on earth. A complex network of about 100 billion neurons, it's not only great at processing and organising information - it's really, really fast. Every second, somewhere between 18 and 640 trillion electric pulses are zipping through your brain.

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Untreated trauma and its negative effects

All individual who has ever dealt with trauma knows that healing can take a lot of time if it eventually happens. Untreated trauma seems to leave scars on our brain, altering the way we perceive...

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Trauma changes our brain

After having experienced trauma, our brain can not function properly anymore, at least for a while. 

Among the negative effects that trauma leads to there is the risk of developing ph...

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Post-traumatic stress disorder

When dealing with PTSD, the three parts of our brain, which are responsible for processing stress, suffer changes: the hippocampus, the amygdala function and the prefrontal/ anterior cingulate f...

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Overcoming trauma

Trauma leaves marks on both our body and our brain. However, these scars do not have to last forever.

In order to heal from a traumatic experience, one can try therapy, meditation and physica...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The human brain vs. the computer

The human brain vs. the computer

When we contemplate which has more problem-solving power, the brain or the computer, we might think that the modern computer would come out on top. Indeed, computers have been built and programmed to beat human masters in complex games, such as chess.

However, humans still trump computers in many real-world tasks, such as identifying a particular pedestrian on a crowded city street. Computers are unable to beat humans at conceptualization and creativity.

Advantages of computers

Comparing the computer and the brain has been instructive to both computer engineers and neuroscientists.

  • Computers are faster with basic operations, at a speed of 10 billion operations per second, while the brain can perform at about a thousand basic operations per second.
  • The computer has considerable advantages in the precision of basic operations. A 32-bit computer has a precision of 1 in 4,2 billion, while the brain has a precision of 1 in 100 at best.

Serial and parallel processing

The brain is not slow nor imprecise in performing calculations.

For example, a professional tennis player can follow the trajectory of a tennis ball after it is served at speed as high as 160 miles per hour, move to the best spot, position his arm, and swing the racket to return the ball within a few hundred milliseconds. It can accomplish all these tasks with power consumption about tenfold less than a personal computer.

This is all possible because the brain employs serial and parallel processing, while computer tasks are mainly performed in serial steps.

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About Consciousness

About Consciousness

Consciousness is everything you experience - taste, pain, love, feeling. Where these experiences come from is a mystery.

Many modern analytic philosophers of mind either deny the existence of consciousness, or they argue that they can never be meaningfully studied by science.

Searching For Physical Footprints

What is it about brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? In particular, the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) - the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any conscious experience.

Consider this question: What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache?

Neuronal Correlates of Consciousness (NCC)

The whole brain can be considered an NCC because it generates experience continually.

  • When parts of the cerebellum, the "little brain" underneath the back of the brain, are lost to a stroke or otherwise, patients may lose the ability to play the piano, for example.  But they never lose any aspect of their consciousness. This is because the cerebellum is almost wholly a feed-forward circuit. There are no complex feedback loops.
  • The spinal cord and the cerebellum are not enough to create consciousness. Available evidence suggests neocortical tissue in generating feelings.
  • The next stages of processing are the broad set of cortical regions, collectively known as the posterior hot zone, that gives rise to conscious perception. In clinical sources of causal evidence, stimulating the posterior hot zone can trigger a diversity of distinct sensations and feelings.
  • It appears that almost all conscious experiences have their origin in the posterior cortex. But it does not explain the crucial difference between the posterior regions and much of the prefrontal cortex, which does not directly contribute to subjective content.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. Events may include:

  • A natural disaster like a tornado
  • Military combat
  • Assault or abuse
  • An accident

PSTD is also known as "shell shock" or "battle fatigue." People with PSTD feel a heightened sense of danger. They are always in the fight-or-flight response mode, causing them to feel stressed or fearful, even in safe situations.

PTSD symptoms

Words, sounds, or situations that remind you of trauma can trigger your symptoms. Symptom categories:

  • Intrusion: Flashbacks, where you relive the event. Clear, unpleasant memories or nightmares about the incident and intense distress when you think about the event.
  • Avoidance: Avoiding people, places, or situations that remind you of the event.
  • Arousal and reactivity: Trouble concentrating, easily startled, feeling of being on edge, irritability, moments of anger.
  • Cognition and mood: Negative thoughts, feelings of guilt, worry, blame, trouble remembering parts of the event, reduced interest in activities you enjoyed.

PTSD treatment

If you're diagnosed with PTSD, you will likely be prescribed therapy, medication, or both.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or "talk therapy" helps you to process the traumatic event.
  • Exposure therapy lets you re-experience elements of the trauma in a safe environment. It desensitizes you to the event and lessens your symptoms.
  • Antidepressants, anti-anxiety drug**s, and sleep aids** may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.