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Flashcards in Traumatic Experiences Deck (22):

Adverse Childhood Experiences study

ACES lead disrupt neurodevelopment which has a direct relationship with social, cognitive, and emotional impairment which leads to adoption of high risk behaviors resulting in disease and early mortality. ACEs come in groups, produce behaviors that create chronic disease. Many of these behaviors are adaptive for dealing with the ACE, but are problematic for the rest of their life. Cumulative ACEs increase complexity of case


Activation of defenses and possible outcomes

See slide! Defenses work: energy dissipates, system relaxes. Defenses do not work, threat does not resolve--> energy is held somatically. There can either be effective treatment leading to system relaxing or system remains emotionally charged and can be triggered internally or externally. In this last case, system stays charged and hyperreactive; behaviors are aimed at trying to calm the system down.


Trauma informed care

Three Rs: Realize the widespread impact of the trauma, Recognize signs and symptoms of trauma, and Respond by integrating knowledge of trauma into policies


Variables affecting effect of trauma on an individual

Genetic vulnerability, developmental state at time of trauma, nature/severity of event, frequency/duration of trauma, strength/adaptiveness of defense, strength/clarity of one's sense of self prior to incident, extent of previous trauma


Categories of trauma

Impersonal trauma (disasters/accidents) vs Personal trauma (human initiated).


Types of Personal Trauma

Attachment trauma: partner/family/etc. Interpersonal trauma: acquaintance or stranger. Self-directed trauma (self-harm/suicide). Systemic Trauma: social, cultural, political, economic, etc


Characteristics of worst trauma

Repetitive (chronic), human initiated (especially if intentional or by caregivers), normal fight/flight response not possible, and lack of emotional support following the trauma


Attachment trauama

Trauma related to an attachment (partner/family member etc) in the individual's life. When an attachment seeking response is activated (via fear or need) but the attachment figure is not available, there is grief and mourning. Core bind in attachment trauma is "How do i stay in proximity to this attachment source when they're also a source of danger??"' Chronic attachment trauma frequently produces individuals unable to form supportive relationships .


Fear (emotional) system

Amygdala --> Hypothalamus --> release of stress. HPA axis. Rapid, general ideas about avoid/approach/flee/fight. Instinctive


Reasoning/Cognitive System

Path through sensory cortex; longer path, takes more time, more precise and discriminating



Receives input from senses and transmits stimuli to neocortex and limbic system. Relay station


Limbic System

Regulates survival behaviors via SNS/PNS (FREEZING) signaling. Plays role in parental care and play. Regulates emotional expression. Influences memory processing



MATURE AT BIRTH. Operates at implicit level. Center of negative and emotional memory processing. Becomes active while RECALLING a negative event. Can take over consciousness by emotion



Matures by 2-3 years. CONTEXUALIZES an event by giving it time and place. When did it happen/what came before it? Declarative memory



Oriented to outside world. Problem solving. Helps decide which stimuli are important and which ones are not. Predicting outcomes of behaviors.


Types of memory

Explicit (Declarative), Implicit (Procedural)


Explicit Memory

Concious, facts, autobiographical information. Hippocampus


Implicit memory (Procedural)

Unconscious. Encoded on nonverbal sensory level. UNCONSCIOUS SKILLS. Relatively unaffected by disease. Located in occipital cortex, striatum, and cerebellum.


Most important things we learn



Process of remembering

Memories are reconstructed each time you re-remember something. Confabulation: make up something to fill memory void.


Traumatic Recall

Thalamus can send signals directly to amygdala, bypassing neocortex. Does this in times of extreme stress/fight or flight mode. Triggers pre-cognitive emotion. Emotional system can act independently of cognitive system. Ergo, emotional memories can be activated without involvement of cognitive conscious processes. High levels of arousal in amygdala can interfere with hippocampal functioning --> experience is not evaluated and categorized. Sensory imprints of experience are stored from memory, but context is not organized as a whole.


Effects of chronic stress on hemispheric activity

increased right hemisphere activity --> emotionality/sensititivity. Decreased left hemisphere activity --> difficulty using language and reasoning to control emotions