Abuse, Trauma & the Body/Brain

I am listing articles and posts that I think may give helpful information on how abuse in early childhood affects the physical development of the brain and what that can mean for healing and for later life. I believe it is very important to understand this.

When the brain physically develops differently…it can have lasting effects. We need to know about these things so that we can work toward finding a way to undo that…or at least find a way to work with it and around it.

I also believe it is important to understand so that we are not beating ourselves up about things over which we have no control. Sometimes, it is not about more counseling or therapy. It is not about more meds. In fact, there might not even be a med that can help! It is not about “getting over it” or “moving beyond what happened to us” or “hanging onto things”. Sometimes, it is more (or even only) about learning how to live with what is. I am not saying that the learning is simple or easy…only that we need to recognize that the issue may not be what we think it is. It may not be emotional or mental, but rather something physical which is affecting the emotional and mental.

The more we understand about how abuse physically affects us in the long term…or even permanently (barring, of course, discoveries to aid in healing)…the more we can walk with heads held high and stop wasting energy on feeling badly about ourselves and focus more on discovery and working with what is.

I think it is also important because it will help us to educate others who may not understand why we are the way we are.

If anyone has links to suggest, please let me know.

I am not a doctor, therapist or scientist. I cannot vouch for all the information given here. I can only share what I have found. Hopefully, you will find something of use to you.

Child Abuse Leaves Mark on the Brain

SCARS THAT WON’T HEAL: THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF CHILD ABUSE—By Martin H. Teicher      Author bio:  Martin Teicher, MD, PHD

Child Abuse: Permanent Effects on the Brain? by Dr. Richard Moskovitz

The Neurological Basis for the Theory of Recovered Memory by Neil Brick

Recovered Memories by Child Abuse Wiki

How Our Brains Work to Erase  Bad Memories By Meghan Holohan

Peace and War:  Trajectories of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Before, During, and After Military Deployment in Afghanistan

Embattled Childhoods May Be the Real Trauma for Soldiers With PTSD

Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress

Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins

Factors underlying variable DNA methylation in a human community cohort

The Role of Neuron Creation in Anxiety Disorders

Traumatic stress: effects on the brain by J. Douglas Bremner, MD

Childhood Trauma Leaves Lasting Marks on the Brain by Kayt Sukel

Brain Development During Childhood and Adolescence (Fact Sheet) by NIMH

How Trauma Affects a Child’s Brain by Ruth Buczynski, PHD

Effect on Brain Development by Office of Population Affairs

How Trauma Affects Learning, Memory and Attention by Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch

Emotional and Psychological Trauma by Helpguide.org

New report finds that effects of child abuse and neglect, if untreated, can last a lifetime By Brigid Schulte

Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain by Jon Hamilton

Developmental trauma, complex PTSD, and the current proposal of DSM-5 by Vedat Sar

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder by Wikipedia

Reconceptualizing Child Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare  by Ally Jamieson, MSW

Part Four: From care to where? Early brain development susceptible to neglect, abuse – Emotional, physical trauma in childhood can cause delays in brain maturation, say experts by Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun

The Leadership Council is a whole site dedicated to sharing information and helping those who have been traumatized and/or abused. They cover all aspects of the effects of abuse and trauma, including when these people hit the legal system.

And here is an article that goes into some history, as well as current things going on. While not “therapeutic” in nature, it does give some understanding of how trauma is manipulated to get a result.  Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory by Brian Moss, MA, MFT


  1. The link for the “Scars that won’t heal…” by Martin leads to a website which says the domain name is for sale.

    • Thank you. I fixed it. 🙂

      • MnHL: very sad indeed. Let’s hope nothing bad happen to them. Eugene: I notice that most parents in rural areas couldn’t care less about their children. Daddy: That’s true. Thanks for dropping by. Alice Phua: Sad to say, they didn’t think further.

        • I have not been on this blog for awhile and just now saw this. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Your resource list is very thorough; you’ve motivated me to update mine as well.
    I’ve enjoyed browsing your blog; you have so many great articles and your readers are very wise, too.
    Nice to ‘meet’ you here.

    • I am glad to be of help. I don’t reach a lot of people, but I am OK with that. If I can make some kind of positive change in my little corner of the world…if I can help even one person…then it is worth it. 🙂

      Nice to “meet” you, too!

  3. 1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299467247_The_Impact_of_PTSD_on_Refugee_Language_Learners
    2. http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/66806-how-trauma-affects-learning-memory-and-attention/
    3. https://traumasensitiveschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Helping-Traumatized-Children-Learn.pdf
    4. https://traumasensitiveschools.org/trauma-and-learning/the-problem-impact/
    5. http://blog.teslontario.org/ptsd-second-language-learning-alternative-pedagogy/
    6. http://www.nctsn.org/resources/audiences/school-personnel/effects-of-trauma
    7. http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma
    8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3089672/
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402358/ (check references)
    10. http://www.practicenotes.org/v17n2/brain.htm
    11. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_silent_epidemic_in_our_classrooms
    12. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/teaching-traumatized-kids/490214/
    13. https://traumasensitiveschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Helping-Traumatized-Children-Learn.pdf
    14. https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/8-ways-support-students-who-experience-trauma
    15. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/helping-students-who-experienced-trauma-alex-shevrin
    16. http://www.nctsn.org/resources/audiences/school-personnel/trauma-toolkit
    17. http://www.nctsn.org/resources/audiences/school-personnel/effects-of-trauma
    18. http://www.elc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Trauma-Informed-in-Schools-Classrooms-FINAL-December2014-2.pdf
    19. https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u57/2013/child-trauma-toolkit.pdf
    20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3287974/
    21. https://traumasensitiveschools.org/
    22. https://asurvivorsthoughtsonlife.wordpress.com/abuse-and-the-brain/ (go down to see all links)
    23. http://www.empowher.com/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/content/effects-trauma-and-stress-brain
    24. https://www.ncb.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/NI_docs/resource%20list_0.pdf
    25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2366105/
    26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181836/
    27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2977921/
    28. http://www.unhcr.org/556725e69.pdf
    29. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309623363_Post-Traumatic_Stress_Disorder_The_Importance_of_Apoptosis
    30. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1011138332712
    31. http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/media/users/ggg5/Working_Paper_02-13.pdf
    32. http://www.apa.org/pubs/magination/441B084.aspx
    33. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.5054/tq.2010.232338/epdf
    34. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/12/14/the-brain-science-behind-student-trauma.html
    35. http://www.childhoodtrauma.org.au/2016/september/how-trauma-hijacks-learning
    36. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/12/when-grit-isnt-enough/418269/?utm_source=fbb
    37. http://stella.catalogue.tcd.ie/iii/encore/record/C__Rb15408780__SThe%20Body%20Remembers:%20The%20Psychophysiology%20of%20Trauma%20and%20Trauma%20Treatment%20__Orightresult__U__X4?lang=eng&suite=cobalt&loginReason=doDefault
    38. http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Body-Remembers/
    39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12136501
    40. https://www.google.ie/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1NHXL_enIE740&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=what+happens+in+children's+brains+during+trauma
    41. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283753247_Cognitive_assessment_of_refugee_children_Effects_of_trauma_and_new_language_acquisition
    42. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673611600512
    43. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709611254
    44. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/amp/50/9/782/
    45. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002713809602600
    46. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1993.tb02092.x/abstract
    47. https://books.google.ie/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bEBi_boGsYgC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=effect+of+war+trauma+on+child+language+learning&ots=Ft0rgBl6fS&sig=WSQS5dsde6Mu42nk4Y6_axnUq9s&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=effect%20of%20war%20trauma%20on%20child%20language%20learning&f=false
    48. https://www.google.ie/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1NHXL_enIE740&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=what+happens+in+children's+brains+during+trauma
    49. https://www.google.ie/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1NHXL_enIE740&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=ethnography:+chidlren+learn+L2+
    50. https://www.google.ie/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1NHXL_enIE740&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=special+education+needs+for+L2+learners
    51. https://www.thoughtco.com/repair-speech-1692044
    52. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15292630?log$=activity
    53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15457106
    54. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19658072
    55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14512209
    56. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10553030
    57. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12635561
    58. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16697695
    59. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?sid=d5bb50b6-1e41-49e1-9539-41b981efd558%40sessionmgr4010&vid=0&hid=4213&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=14460517&db=edo

    • Thank you for all these links! I just now saw this. Obviously, I have not been on this blog for awhile.

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