Emotional or psychological trauma can be caused by experiences that shock the mind and create a sense of being overwhelmed, unsafe, and out of control. The subjective nature of trauma plays a major role in the way symptoms are expressed. The more helpless and powerless the person feels at the time of the event, the greater the traumatic imprint left in the brain.
There are many causes of trauma; however, subjective interpretation plays a huge role in the level of trauma experienced. Natural disasters, mass shootings and car accidents are more traumatic to those who are not trained to deal with these events specifically, for example. These events are also more traumatic to those who feel the most powerless, frightened, and helpless.
Childhood trauma causes long-term effects precisely because children are vulnerable, easily frightened, and made to feel helpless and overwhelmed by unexpected negative events. The necessary coping skills simply do not exist in many children. Later in life, unresolved childhood traumas can create abnormal coping mechanisms as adults. Physically, the body ages, but the emotional trauma is still active in the mind and body.
Many adults struggle to understand why they can’t overcome a trauma that happened as a child. Childhood trauma may happen when specific events disrupt the safety of the child. This may include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; separation from a parent; domestic abuse; frequent moving; neglect; and a general sense of an unstable environment.
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For many people, the effects of trauma, especially childhood trauma, can last a lifetime. But there is new hope in the form of ketamine trauma treatment. Unlike traditional antidepressants which can take weeks or even months to work, ketamine provides immediate relief from the symptoms of trauma. In addition, ketamine is non-addictive in a therapeutic setting and has few side effects. Studies are proving ketamine for trauma to be a much needed and highly effective approach.
Current knowledge of how psilocybin works is predicated on an understanding of the “predictive coding” model of how the brain processes experiences. It is also the role of the amygdala and the amygdala “hijack” process. Four key concepts that lead to the successful treatment of depression and PTSD with psilocybin therapy are: neuroplasticity of the brain, the “Default Mode Network,” rewiring of synapses and pathways, and surrendering control.
MDMA therapy is an upcoming, highly effective and innovative treatment approach for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. It combines the psychoactive compound MDMA with guided psychological support, and has shown as much as a 75% success rate in patients suffering from PTSD, setting an unprecedented standard for treatment. MDMA therapy is not currently available, but expected to gain FDA approval in 2024.