Category Archives: neurobiology

Thank You, Amygdala, My Protector

To My Protector   Oh my beautiful shark, sleep now. Rest as I stroke you. Snooze. You have done your job all these years. You have struck decisively, warned me, kept me alive. Even in sleep, your fish-eye— naked, ruthless, wide open.   You have attacked more than needed, heard the ancient threats, real though…

Can We Free Ourselves from PTS Prison?

Talking with folks about PTS, those who have it and those who don’t, I get the feeling that, in general, people believe that those with PTSD will just have to live with it the rest of their lives. Or, folks are a tiny bit hopeful that they or someone can change but don’t really believe…

Just Above Water: Reading Revolutionary Research in Pediatric Medicine

I’m sitting in my well-let living room on a Sunday morning on a hard folding chair, hoping both the light and non-comfy seat will keep me on task: reading the seminal article “Pain and its Effects in the Human Neonate and Fetus” by Dr. K.J.S Anand and Dr. P.R. Hickey published in the New England Journal of Medicine in…

Draw what bubbles up

I was 25 years old, lying in sand by the Pacific Ocean. I had come to the sea to kill myself, depressed again after so many years of trying to make my life work since my suicide attempt at age 21. But I just couldn’t bring myself to harm; I had grown. So I drew…

Newly Wired or The PTSD Moment I Didn’t Have

I’ve changed. My brain has changed!  It’s true. I overrode my automatic Post-traumatic Stress response last night. There I was lying in bed, enjoying an Esther and Jerry Hicks video, when I noticed the LED light behind me reflected onto my computer screen. Freak out!  That round, bright light hovering over me (the computer was on…

A New Pattern

“One of the key practical lessons of modern neuroscience is that the power to direct our attention has within it the power to shape our brain’s firing patterns, as well as the power to shape the architecture of the brain itself.”  –Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation There it was,…

“Childhood Trauma . . . How ‘States’ Become ‘Traits'”

An article by Dr. Bruce D. Perry et al is a must-read for all those trying to understand the impact of infant trauma on a person’s life:  “Childhood Trauma, The Neurobiology of Adaptation, and ‘Use-dependent’ Development of the Brain: How ‘States’ Become ‘Traits.’” I became interested in this article because I believe that there are…

Addiction – A Way to Cope with PTS

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts –  Close Encounters with Addiction,  a book by Dr. Gabor Maté, provides new information about addiction. “He locates the source of addictions in the trauma of an emotionally empty childhood, making it a relational rather than a medical problem,” according to Dr. Harville Hendrix. Maté contends that our brain…

We are not our PTSD

but we have been shaped by it. Case in point: Dead Girl. That’s what I call this photo, my high school graduation picture. To my mind, there is no joy or aliveness in my face. There is image–who I was supposed to be. A mask. Was I happy to graduate? Sad? Full of pride?  Fear?…

The Eye of PTSD

PTSD happens without warning. This week, I stayed at my god-daughter’s while attending The Healing Art of Writing Workshop. Each night before I went to bed, I warmed up the room with a heating lamp; its glow was friendly and warm. I usually turned it off well before I shut the light. One night though, I unplugged…