If you or someone you love has recently experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, it can have a dramatic effect on your psyche. Seemingly, the world itself may have seemed to change. You may have trouble focusing, experience flashbacks or nightmares regularly, or feel like you’re constantly on edge. These symptoms may indicate that you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. If the mental toll of a traumatic event has caused harm to your mental health and wellbeing, you can find relief through a PTSD program, such as the one at Atlanta Center for Mental Health.
However, before beginning treatment, you may be concerned about the potential of PTSD effects on the brain. Undoubtedly, you will have a wide range of questions. When you contact our treatment program at Atlanta Center for Mental Health, you can learn more about PTSD, how to best manage your symptoms, and how to begin a healthier path forward. Begin healing at our PTSD treatment program today by calling 833.625.0458.
The Long-Term PTSD Effects on the Brain
If you are concerned about the long-term effects of PTSD, you’re not alone. Like other mental health conditions, PTSD impacts nearly every part of your brain, making it more challenging to function on a day-to-day basis. The impacts include the following areas.
PTSD’s Effect on the Amygdala
The amygdala serves as your body’s natural alarm, as it controls your fear response. When you experience a traumatic incident, your amygdala reacts, causing your internal alarm to buzz, which, in most scenarios, allows you to stay safe. However, if you’re battling PTSD, the amygdala may be overactive, causing simple signals, like a car alarm or a door slamming, to trigger fear or panic. It may be challenging to behave rationally when the amygdala is overactive, and your body is continually on edge.
The Prefrontal Cortex
This part of the brain allows you to think through each decision. With the help of the prefrontal cortex, you can observe your thoughts rationally and calm yourself if something that triggered your internal warning system isn’t something you need to fear after all. However, when you’re facing PTSD, the prefrontal cortex may not always work properly. As a result, you may feel alert even with no apparent danger. You may experience symptoms such as:
- Being anxious around triggers that have the slightest relation to the original trauma
- Having strong physical reactions to normal situations
- Avoiding anything that might trigger the intense emotions
- Struggling to determine what is a threat and what is not
How PTSD Impacts the Hippocampus
The final area that may experience PTSD’s effects on the brain is the hippocampus. This area of the brain serves as your memory center. Like a computer that copies files to the hard drive, the hippocampus tries to remember the event accurately and process it efficiently. However, because the experience is overwhelming and emotionally charged, the brain can not properly process it. As a result, many people with PTSD find that they can’t remember the details of the event. Conversely, you may experience flashbacks as your brain struggles to make sense of the trauma. In both cases, you may feel that you’re unable to cope.
Learn More by Beginning PTSD Treatment at Atlanta Center for Mental Health
While the long-term effects of PTSD on the brain may feel challenging, there is hope at hand. At a PTSD rehab center, such as the one at Atlanta Center for Mental Health, you can begin to process traumatic events in a healthy way. We may use treatments such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Holistic therapy
With the help of our treatments, you can overcome PTSD’s effects on the brain. To learn more about the treatment options available to you at our PTSD treatment centers, call 833.625.0458 today.