Wow, I was pretty impressed to be honest when I heard that aria posted a picture of what her PTSD brain looks like in comparison to a normal one. It’s funny because when I was at a speaking event last week, a teacher came up to me afterwards talking about the brain scans between different disorder and how the brain looks so different. She said to show it to people who need a true visual to understand mental illness. I am happy Ariana Grande decided to use her platform for some awareness and stigma reduction.
Ariana Grande has openly talked about struggling with both PTSD and anxiety after the traumatic bombing at her 2017 Manchester, England concert.
This past Thursday Ariana posted a screenshotted text conversation of brain scans. One image was the comparison between a PTSD brain and a normal brain. The images how the difference in the PTSD brain as more areas are highlighted, indicating the increased activity.
Under this image she posted another image where she wrote “My brain”. Her brain scan shows even more lit up activity. She commented “Hilarious and terrifying” and “not a joke”.
All of this is very true. I have bipolar disorder and the brain scans are quite different as well. PTSD and traumatic stress has clearly been shown by research to alter the brain. It can cause changes to different brain structures such as the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, causing lasting changes.
One of the most common stress responses for people with PTSD is hypervigilence. It is being in a state of perpetual alertness from the brain being in a state of hyperarousal. I have suffered PTSD alongside my bipolar disorder for years. It is very hard for people to understand who have not experienced it. I am always alert, scanning my environment, not sleeping because my brain wont shut off that “alert” button. I have a hard time trying to explain that sometimes the world is just too noisy, and everything is too triggering. I experience flashbacks and intense feelings of paranoia and anxiety. It is easy for me to isolate to try to diminish the feelings of overwhelm and intensity.
Thank you for Sharing Ariana.