Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Comments by James_Kowalsky

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  • Hi Corinna, I’d like to discuss this issue more with you. In general, I’m wary of anything that gets labeled as a brain disease. Increasingly, this is happening with drug and alcohol use. I teach service providers about trauma and do include material about ACES and the lasting impact trauma can have on the brain. I think that this helps people recognize that many behaviors we see in people who have experienced trauma are caused by changes to their body and brain–not intentional choices they are making to be “difficult”. Many of those “difficult” traumatic responses or symptoms are attempts to cope and get needs met. These are behaviors that are learned over time and despite causing some problems may have value/function at different points. For instance, being slow to trust new people can have benefit. But, not being able to trust anyone results in isolation and disconnection.

    So, how do you think I can balance being able to take about the impact that traumatic events have on the body and brain while making it clear that it is not permanent? My main thought is, as traumatic responses are learned behaviors, new behaviors can also be learned. Trauma is experiential. People need to experience safety, control and connection before they can know those things are still possible in their world. I’d love to hear your thoughts or Noel.

    Noel, great article by the way. I too often wonder about how different our society would be if we all just understood trauma and its lasting impact on individuals and communities.