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Changing My Brain . . . Changed My PTSD

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April, our guest blogger, is currently participating in the Brain Highways program with her children. Here, she shares her first-hand experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—and how that has now dramatically changed.

Eight weeks ago, I enrolled in the Brain Highways Pons course. I was looking for help for my kids regarding some behavioral problems. What I did not anticipate was how much the Brian Highways program would help me with my Post Traumatic Stress issues.

When I was deployed, I didn't know about incomplete lower brain development.

 

I was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2014.  During my deployment, there was an insider shooting, and 15 of my coworkers were shot.  Additionally, right as I returned home, there was an IED explosion that killed two more of my coworkers.

Once home, I had great difficulty sleeping.  I would wake up in the middle of the night, completely panicked, with a full-blown adrenaline rush.  I would also go into full-blown panic mode if someone approached my car.  My brain was back to IEDs, even though I was safe and sound at home.

I hated going out in crowds because I was so hyper-vigilant. The things that once brought me joy, like professional sporting events or a concert, were now a source of great anxiety.  My family was constantly on edge because they never knew when an encounter would lead to a confrontation or us having to leave because I could no longer deal with being in a crowd.

After a few weeks of integrating primitive reflexes, creeping, and learning about the brain, something wonderful occurred.  I slept through the night! It was the first time in almost three years that I had slept for an entire night.

As the weeks continued, the nights of restful sleep grew more frequent.  Additionally, thanks to the techniques I learned during the program, if I woke in the panicked state, I could now calm myself and sometimes even get back to sleep.

My entire family has benefited from a well-rested parent, who is not exhausted.  Even better, I was recently able to go to my son’s seventh birthday party at a crowded kids’ place–and truly enjoy the event!  I was not so anxious and on guard that I missed out on the fun.

In the pons course, I learned that my reactive lower brain did its job (so thank you) when I was in Afghanistan, when I was in true life-or-death situations. However, that kind of reactivity was not serving me well in my normal daily actions at home.

So, thank you, Brian Highways, for helping me finish my lower brain development, for teaching me how to calm my brain (so that I can return to my cortex, if needed), and for giving me back the life I once had.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the connection of incomplete lower brain development and PTSD, listen to the audio, “How might PTSD improve with brain organization? (https://brainhighways.com/adults-physical-and-mental-health), or read the transcript (https://brainhighways.com/transcript-how-might-ptsd-improve-with-brain-organization).

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