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On, I wrote an article on Youth, Trauma and the Brain. In this article I detail out how a brain that has been exposed to chronic, complex trauma develops throughout childhood, which results in an overdeveloped limbic system and underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex. The limbic System is responsible for our "fight, flight, faint or freeze" responses. For person exposed to a stressful or scary situation the limbic System kicks in and goes into protective mode, while taking the pre-frontal cortex (the rational part of our brain) offline while in this protective mode. If the brain is constantly under threat, it makes sense that it would develop more neural connections to aid in the response of the limbic system and take the focus off of the logical/rational part of our brain.

Dr. Dan Siegel is an interpersonal neurobiologist that focuses on the integration of different parts of the overall self to support whole functioning of an individual. "Mindsight" is the term used to describe this. His over all focus is on the brain, the self and it's effect on the body, relationships and societal impact. A specific focus of his is on the adolescent brain and parenting. To learn more from him visit:

From 1995 to 1997, a study was done on the effect of traumatic/stressful/scary events on a person's health and overall well-being. This is called the ACES study and has brought increased attention to the trauma and abuse epidemic that affects the health of millions of individuals in the United States. There is a quiz that can be taken; however I do not recommend taking this without being in the care of a mental health professional. Learn more here:

In "The Body Keeps the Score", Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD outlines the effects of trauma and how trauma is under recognized by the professional community. He provides information, hope and insight into the life of a person that has experienced traumatic events in their life. To Learn more from him visit:

A little overwhelmed? That's okay, I was too. Guess what? There's hope! Continue exploring this section to support building your knowledge and awareness base.

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