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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amygdala - deedah - and Zombies. Nothing New Under the Sun

So all this new research is out suggesting a much closer biological / psychological link as evidenced in how our brains process and change when experiencing trauma. The area(s) of our brains that is (are) very active whilst we are in a daydream state apparently get hard-wired to our amygdalas as a result of the traumatic event(s). And all those big brainy folks finally have proved (aka conceded) that one doesn't have to experience trauma directly in order to develop PTSD. GENIUSES!

Last time I checked, my brain has always been connected to the rest of my body. Of COURSE there is a bio-psych link. And being traumatised is not always about having our lives threatened - not sorry DSM-IV. I am human, just hearing about someone else's horrific experiences gets to me. I was once a therapist, so I heard a great deal, and it is incredibly humbling to have met so many people who have retained the courage to keep living - in loving ways too. Sometimes I don't want to live, and I often feel anger instead of compassion. And I think that it can take a great deal of courage to end your life, or to choose to live, neither is an easy choice. Sometimes the emotional pain is so physical - more bio-psych link.

What remains true, I believe, is the persistence of the "symptoms". For me this is the direct evidence that anyone who lives with PTSD knows to be true. We get hard-wired. We get stuck - sometimes in a kind of frozen or numb state (and if we are overmedicated, the numbness removes us from the feeling world) and , for me anyway, envious of the living-energy we see in others.

In this case, I detect hopeful underpinnings (yes hope!). That is to say, if my brain can get hardwired one way, is it not also true that there is some way to repair the wiring? My brain is powerful, look at all of the weird shit it does - I think it is capable of changing back. I am waiting for research to catch up. Yet, art helps me channel some of this misfiring brain into less destructive actions.

So, thank you universe for art. And here's to all of us out there, with or without voices, let's take care of ourselves. Let's be kind to us.


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  2. Sometimes I think I am running on batteries that are not hard wired. I hope the research does catch up. Dakota

  3. I appreciate your writing about this brain research - especially the hard-wired vs. elastic imagery. You are right that we are already experiencing this and just waiting for scientists to concede reality, All the same, their validation helps us get by in the world. I hadn't gotten as far as thinking about elasticity - I've been on a trip about having thinner skin, literally. I was looking at trees in an area frequented by forest fires, and noticing how some have thick enough bark to survive, while others, like me, look to be ready-made kindling.

  4. Thanks Jessica, enjoy the tree metaphors nature provide so many answers, so much guidance we only need to look Take care