How Religious Indoctrination In Childhood Can Fuel OCD

Indoctrinating the child with certain religious beliefs relating to how one should think can provide extremely fertile ground for the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) due, in part, to a phenomenon known as THOUGHT-ACTION FUSION. The phrase ‘thought-action fusion’ refers to the dysfunctional belief that to merely THINK about doing something unacceptable is as morally […]

Effects Of Childhood Trauma On The Stress Hormone Cortisol

We have seen from many other articles that I have published on this site that severe and protracted childhood trauma can greatly impair our ability to control our stress levels as adults (meaning we are more adversely affected by stress than the average person, both in terms of our physical and mental health). Cortisol is […]

3 Types Of Childhood Stress : Positive, Tolerable And Toxic

  Stress can be defined as ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances’ and is, of course, an inevitable part of life. Whilst we often complain about stress due to the fact that too much of it can have damaging or even catastrophic effects upon our wellbeing, […]

Childhood Trauma Linked To Agoraphobia

The term agoraphobia derives from the Greek word ‘agora’ which translates as ‘open place’ or ‘market place’ so ‘agoraphobia’, in literal terms (as opposed to clinical terms) means fear of ‘open places’ or ‘fear of the market place.’ Agoraphobia is listed by DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition – sometimes […]

Being Traumatized ‘Like Having Foot On Brake And Gas At Same Time.’

The traumatized state has been likened to the effects of the simultaneous depression of both a car’s gas pedal (accelerator) and brake. I explain why below : Our physiological state of arousal is determined by the interplay between our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and these two systems have the following functions : THE SYMPATHETIC […]

Childhood Trauma, Social Anxiety And The Spotlight Effect

  I have written elsewhere on this website about how, if we experienced significant and protracted childhood trauma, we are at increased risk of developing social anxiety in adulthood. This is especially the case if we have been constantly criticized and denigrated during childhood by our parents / primary caretakers and we have internalized their […]

Possible Adverse Effects Of Maternal Stress On The Unborn Baby’s Brain Development.

A study carried out by Sarkar et al. at Imperial College, University of London and published in the scientific journal Clinical Endocrinology suggests that, if a mother is highly stressed during pregnancy, her consequent excessive production of stress hormones may adversely affect the brain development of her unborn child from about seventeen weeks after conception […]

How Parents’ Anxiety Levels And Behaviors Affect Their Child’s Anxiety

A study involving 98 pairs of mothers and infants (the infants were aged from 12 months to 14 months) was carried out to investigate how the level of the mother’s stress affected the level of the infant’s stress (as measured by the reactivity of their respective nervous systems). METHOD : The mothers were separated from […]

Neurofeedback And Reducing Activity In Brain’s Fear Circuitry.

According to Mobbs, the brain consists of two areas involved in how we experience fear as shown below : It is becoming increasingly recognized that overactivity in the brain’s fear circuitry may be of fundamental relevance to not only complex-PTSD and PTSD, but to many other psychiatric disorders as well and it clearly follows, therefore, […]

Reducing Anxiety By Calming The Amygdala

We have seen from other articles published on this site that severe and protracted childhood trauma, resulting in the child being frequently subjected to extreme stress, can damage the development of the part of the brain known as the amygdala, which is intimately involved in generating feelings of fear and anxiety. Indeed, in individuals who […]

Traumatic Memory : Flashbacks, Fragments, Nightmares And Repression

  Remembering traumatic events is in some ways beneficial. For example, it allows us to review the experience and learn from it. Also, by replaying the event/s, its/their emotional charge is diminished. However, sometimes the process breaks down and the memories remain powerful and frightening. Sometimes they seem to appear at random, and at other […]

Effects Of Unpredictable, Toxic Childhood Stress And Stress Inoculation

Many children who grow up in dysfunctional family homes find themselves living in a state of hypervigilance, never knowing how their parents are going to respond to them at any given time (for example, this is often the case in homes where one or both parents are alcoholics or in homes where the parents are […]

Possible Long-Term Effects Of Highly Stressed Mothers On Infants

Mothers who are suffering severe and protracted stress (e.g. due to an anxiety disorder) for a significant period of time whilst bringing up their infants are likely to be less attentive to their off-spring than are mothers who are mentally healthy. In such a deprived environment, the part of the infant’s neuroendocrine system known as […]

Hypervigilance And Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Complex PTSD).

If we have grown up in a chronically stressful and traumatic environment in which we often experienced anxiety, trepidation, stress and fear we are at high risk of developing a fundamental, core belief (on a conscious and/or unconscious level) that the world is a dangerous place and that we need to be constantly on ‘red-alert’ […]