How Trauma Affects the Brain

Dr. Jake Porter

I love how Dr. Jake Porter’s podcast explains how betrayal trauma affects the brain.

Simply put, after betrayal, we ruminate on all the facts we’ve discovered. We often ask the same questions over and over because we want to make sense of what happened. We think if we know what’s happened in the past, we will be able to protect ourselves in the future.

In the Lymbic System, the amygdala is the part of the brain that acts like a fire alarm. It is physically affected by trauma and hypervigilant in order to ensure our safety.

(It causes the fight, flight, or freeze responses.) The hypo-campus is like a filing cabinet that organizes all of our memories in the right order to form our story.

When new and traumatizing events happen, the brain automatically keeps reviewing them. It can’t help it—it is a neurobiological necessity, because it is for our safety and it is a matter of survival to make sense of what’s happened.

So if you can’t stop ruminating on the past, don’t give yourself a guilt trip—rather, rest in the knowledge that your brain is trying to help you heal. One more reason for us to give God praise!

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