Psychobiology of Trauma
Trauma: A real or perceived experience, one time or ongoing, that affects a person’s coping ability
Secondary traumatization: trauma that affects people indirectly; a result of hearing about someone else’s trauma or a traumatic event (not firsthand)
Coping ability is individual, variables:
- lived experiences
How we respond and rebound from trauma is largely based on our coping ability.
Amygdala: implicit memory, not available for conscious awareness, stores senses and emotions (this memory can only be triggered)
Hippocampus: explicit memory, conscious memory, facts, events, etc. Also moves short term to long term
Hypothalamus links to nervous system –activates sympathetic nervous system during stress
- racing heart
- sweaty palms
During trauma hippocampus shuts down, amygdala and hypothalamus are active.
- this chemical helps create the trauma bond
Trauma bonds occur when brain chemicals interfere with memory consolidation and increase feelings of bonding (RE: oxytocin)
State Dependent Form: someone has to be in similar state they were in when they were traumatized in order to remember it (ie. triggered)
- Important RE: processing trauma