Incested into mutilated genitals; beaten into brain injuries & post traumatic stress here. Could NOT heal until I got rid of god, religion and church, who blamed ME for not "honoring" father and mother. Healing very well now, thanks to rational thought, passion for honesty, truth and science. Superstitions of "original sin" and not deserving to live kept me sick a long time. I am very good without god.
Violent homes have the 'same effect on brains of children as combat does on soldiers'By Ted Thornhill
Last updated at 6:43 PM on 5th December 2011
The brains of children are affected by family violence in the same way as combat affects soldiers, according to a study.
In both cases the brain becomes increasingly wary of potential threats.
For children, the changes may increase susceptibility to mental health problems, say experts from University College London (UCL) and the Anna Freud Centre.
Scientists carried out magnetic resonance imaging brain scans on 20 London children with an average age of 12 who had been exposed to documented violence at home. All had been referred to local social services.
While in the scanner, the children were shown pictures of male and female faces with sad, calm or angry expressions. Their patterns of brain activity were compared with those of 23 matched children with no history of family violence.
The children exposed to violence responded in a distinct way to angry faces, the study found. Their brains showed heightened activation in two regions associated with threat detection, the anterior insula and amygdala.
Previous research has shown a similar pattern in the brains of soldiers exposed to violence combat situations.
The scans suggest both combat veteran soldiers and children who witness violence tune their brains to be hyper-aware of environmental danger.
Lead author Dr Eamon McCrory, from UCL's Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, said: ‘We are only now beginning to understand how child abuse influences functioning of the brain's emotional systems. This research is important because it provides our first clues as to how regions in the child's brain may adapt to early experiences of abuse in the home.
‘The next step for us is to try and understand how stable these changes are. Not every child exposed to family violence will go on to develop a mental health problem; many bounce back and lead successful lives. We want to know much more about those mechanisms that help some children become resilient.’
The anterior insula and amygdala are both implicated in anxiety disorders, the researchers pointed out.
Professor Peter Fonagy, chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre and Professor of Psychology at UCL, said: ‘Dr McCrory's groundbreaking research has undoubtedly taken us an important step closer to understanding the devastation which exposing children to violence can leave in its wake. His exciting findings confirm the traumatic effects these experiences have on brain development.
‘The report should energise clinicians and social workers to double their efforts to safeguard children from violence. By helping us understand the consequences of maltreatment the findings also offer fresh inspiration for the development of effective treatment strategies to protect children from the consequences of maltreatment.’
The research was reported today in the journal Current Biology.