https://vimeo.com/126501517

Great simple video clip explaining how trauma is processed in the brain and how to help the victim.

Fight / flight/ freeze- is a normal survival response. All other functions stop including functions that store memories. Instead the hippocampus pumps cortisol so no pain is felt ie allows you to focus on survival. This is an evolutionary instinctive function.

Trauma= "something that occurs and you feel overwhelmed"----> can lead to ptsd/ vicarious trauma (for professionals working in this field) / secondary trauma diagnoses, complex ptsd- when repeated traumas are experienced (e.g child sex abuse, domestic abuse). Brain becomes jammed. Lots of triggers can set off alarm, confusing the brain into defensive responses.

If you feel: depression, total numbness, experience flashbacks, stress, nausea/ get sick often, shame, guilt, social isolation, get overwhelmed by symptoms- you may be suffering from post trauma reactions. If you abuse alcohol / drugs, self harm, experience dissociation, hypervigilance, changing moods, feel vacant, behave in unexpected ways, this may be a result of living with post trauma reactions. 

Sometimes there are specific symptoms eg dental problems if abused at dentist, warming to abused relationships when have been sex abused "traumatic bonding". These are examples of the brain jumbling up memories. 

It is important as a professional to keep the victim grounded. Give water. Help then recall physical sensations/ memories which will then lead to the facts.

Understanding the neurology and physiology of trauma helps to then make sense of the person psychologically.