In a recent TED talk, Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explained how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.

Before becoming foster parents, my husband and I took a class on trauma and how it affects the brain. We learned that trauma is an extremely disturbing experience, which the brain interprets as life-threatening, and engages the instinctive fight or flight response. It doesn’t matter if the threat is real, perceived, or imagined, only that the brain interprets it as such and reacts accordingly.

Our natural fight-or-flight response is a good thing. It can make us faster, stronger, and more decisive in a dangerous situation. It helps us avoid injury or death. I’m sure you’ve heard unbelievable but true stories of people lifting cars, running quickly while carrying another person, or thwarting disaster in seemingly impossible circumstances. Those heroes can thank their bodies’ incredible fight-or-flight response for their ability to stay alive and help others… read more.

This article was published by adoption.com.

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