EPIC Blog: The Impact of Trauma on the Brain - 4KIDS
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EPIC Blog: The Impact of Trauma on the Brain

June 17th, 2024 l Author: Ken Lacy, EPIC Clinician

Trauma can be described as the aftermath of a deeply distressing event or circumstance that can lead to a person becoming fearful, anxious, overwhelmed, and experiencing related symptoms. When it comes to coping with challenges in daily life and processing emotions, trauma can also have negative physical impacts on the brain and body. 

The Brain’s Response

The brain is a complex organ made up of many parts, one of them being the amygdala. After trauma is experienced, this part of the brain begins to overwork and go into “survival mode,” which can oftentimes create more anxiety or stress. The part of the brain used for regulating emotions and retrieving memory is also negatively affected when trauma has played a part in someone’s life. Even traumatic events can seem fragmented due to memory loss.  Because of higher cortisol and adrenaline as a stress response, the body can undergo higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, sweating, gastrointestinal problems, hypotension, cardiovascular problems, and more. 

Steps to Reduce The Effects of Trauma

Although the impact of trauma on the brain can seem overwhelming and a bit daunting to try to counteract, here are a few steps you can implement to reduce its effects and strengthen your child’s resilience:

1.) Create a safe and open environment where children feel safe and supported   

2.) Encourage your children to have open communication and express their feelings 

3.) Seeing a trauma-informed therapist helps children develop healthy coping mechanisms

4.) Establish daily routines 

5.) Promote self-care 

Final Thoughts

When caring for kids who have experienced trauma, it’s important to remember that the healing process takes time. Take each day as it comes and be patient with yourself and your child. The path of helping children heal is both a messy yet beautifully redemptive journey. Be kind to yourself in this process!  

“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” – Jeremiah 33:6