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Trauma is like a tidal wave on the brain. A massive surge of input and information swell up and come crashing down on the brain all at once, flooding and saturating the brain. Different areas of the brain are affected by either going to hyper action or being slowed down. For example, the amygdala becomes hyperactive in its threat detection and the hippocampus slows down in its memory processing.

The cortex is also affected by trauma. Interchangeably called the cerebrum, the cortex is the biggest part of the brain. Proper functioning of the cortex is important to everyday life because the cortex is where all of the brain’s executive functionings take place. Some scientists have referred to the cortex as the part of the brain which makes us human. The cortex is where our thoughts happen, our actions come from, and the tiny little parts of who we are.

Executive functioning is distinct from other kinds of functioning in the brain, like those which take place in the midbrain. The midbrain is responsible for survival instinct based function, like eating, drinking, sleeping, and reproducing. Sometimes referred to as “lizard brain”, these functions are our most primal and basic. Trauma causes survival functions to overtake executive functions, meaning everything becomes a matter of surviving rather than thriving. Put into a state of hypervigilance, the cortex can no longer function properly in producing logical thought, in cognitive functions, or cognitive control. Many people who are living with symptoms of trauma feel out of control of their thoughts and behaviors, impulsively turning to survival-based thoughts and actions.

Oftentimes, that survival inspired impulsivity results in drug and alcohol addiction. If someone living with untreated symptoms of trauma turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism, they are likely to become attached to it. The interrupted functioning of the cortex, as a result of trauma, contributes to the process of addiction in the brain. Impulsive urges in the brain, a hyperactive brain, a slowed down brain, a brain that is impaired in its ability to regulate, is more likely to become addicted.

We’re proud to call Florida our home state. At The Guest House Ocala, everyone with an experience of trauma is welcomed to our estate to heal in mind, body, and spirit. Our treatment programs are customized on a concierge level of care. Each client’s treatment program is tailor fit to their specific needs and experiences. For information on life at the estate or our approach to trauma care, call us today: 1-855-483-7800