Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trauma







Bear has been EXPLOSIVE the last two days. A sure sign that what happened on Sunday was real. That feeling of closeness is so scary to them. This morning he was really disregulated. He had many social problems at school yesterday. I pray he makes it through the day without etting expelled. It is finals week.

This is information from the seminar I went to last week. I forgot to tell you it is called New Innovations in Treatment of Reactive Attachment Disorder. The next session is about Trauma. When trauma occurs it is stored in the limbic area of the brain. The traumatic memory is encapsulated along with the emotions, beliefs and body sensations associated with the trauma. Any current reminder of the old threat will automatically tap into the emotions, beliefs, and sensations associated with the trauma. Survival response-The limbic brain sends signals to the vagal nerve system, activating, the fight, flight or freeze response. Stress hormones flood the brain. In other words, any stress that happens sends their brains into panic and into survival mode. Is not a choice, but an actual physical reaction. Chronic high levels of stress hormones lead to changes in the brain that result in an over active limbic brain and an under active prefrontal brain. So their disregulation is trauma related.

They also talked about a "Window of Tolerance". This is where the emotions remain regulated and the child is able to stay socially connected. It is a very narrow window in children with long trauma histories. This is all about the nervous system as well. The sympathetic nervous system arousal looks like this: emotionally reactive, aggressive, impulsive, hyper-defensive, or frozen and paralyzed. In some children it appears more passive. This is when the nervous system reacts with what is called Parasympathetic arousal which looks like this: hypoarousal (not as much), flat mood and expression, numb, memory collapse, slowed feeling, dead, slowing down of thought and physical movement.

When a child is traumatized within his earliest attachment relationships by abuse, neglect, or separations, attachment figures become part of the stored traumatic material. Later non-threatening attachment figures will trigger the negative emotions, beliefs, and sensations associated with the earlier attachment traumas.

I know this is a lot of factual information. It is so important to understand the "why" our children act the way they do. This is the basis of RAD development. Tomorrow: Trauma Plays Out.

1 comment:

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Stopping by to say I hope you have a blessed and very Merry Christmas! ♥ Hugs :) Shauna