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Mental Health

Processing trauma: a complex operation

Processing trauma: a complex operation

Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was a great teaching moment is U.S. history. The testimony depicted how the human brain selectively processes life threatening information, the emotional ramifications of trauma, the role of hormones and neurotransmitters, and most importantly, impairment in functioning subsequent to the traumatic event. It is no surprise to mental health professionals that Ms. Ford’s testimony triggered traumatic memories: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network saw a 338 percent increase in hotline traffic in the first few days following her testimony.

Formation of trauma-related memories is as complex an operation as formation of any memory in the brain....

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