Did you know that various forms of trauma can affect the area of the brain involved with our emotional health? The brain changes its structure and function and when the limbic system is not functioning properly, it can make us think and feel in ways that may be shocking to us. Something we hear over and over again from clients battling chronic illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities and fibromyalgia is that they no longer feel like themselves.
On top of dealing with chronic illness they are also depressed and often feel out of control emotionally – even though they know they were not like this before they suffered from limbic system impairment. When the brain is stuck in a fight or flight response it is easy to understand how we can get stuck in negative thinking and feeling patterns. Even people who once considered themselves positive and easy-going can morph into someone that they no longer recognize as themselves. We may find our thoughts become fixated on past hurtful events, or that negative emotions like shame, resentment, sadness and anger slowly creep in and take over.