What follows are excerpts from an article discussing the science of how trauma affects the brain. It is an excellent article which I found immensely helpful.
The entire article can be found at:-
"There’s a lot to understand about post-trauma recovery.
Beginning to navigate the post-trauma maze starts with understanding basic things. Recognizing the science behind your experience will help you accept where you are and what you notice about yourself, plus give you clues about what needs to be done.
Did you know that the experience of trauma can actually cause neurological changes in the structure of your brain?
Knowing that there’s a biology to trauma let’s you understand in a scientific sense why you can't 'just get over it.' Recognizing that trauma’s effects have been concretely documented by evidence-based data should let you know that PTSD is not a condition completely within your control. The more we know and understand the more we can figure out how to heal.
The good news is the brain is designed to be plastic. That is, it is hardwired to rewire. Neuroplasticity - The brain’s ability to reorganize by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.
It means that despite any neurological changes that PTSD may have brought about in your brain, it is, in fact, possible to reverse them. The brain wants to evolve. The question is determining how.
After trauma... all brains reset themselves... they always try to recalibrate. When things happen to us we don’t go back to the way we were, after trauma, the brain’s job is to remember what happened and develop survival skills for the future. The brain integrates the lesson of trauma; it re-calibrates to do better next time.
If your brain can change in response to one environment that is trauma it can change in response to treatment, too. Our brains are capable of change.
It’s very easy to become overwhelmed, despondent and hopeless when dealing with symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Learning about the possibility to recover, however, will help you have hope, belief and above all, the motivation to seek the right help."