MJ: If we start out with a good functioning brain, and then we go through trauma, does our brain change? Or is just our thought patterns? Since the trauma changed it one way, is it safe to assume it can be changed back into a good way just with changing how we think?
Percell: In a word, yes, yes, and yes. The brain is a physical part of our beings. Its functions are therefore physical as well. Of course, the complexity and perplexity of the brain has forever been on the thin line between physical and non-physical function.
Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in the brain. These changes are of course increases / decreases of chemical reactions. But lasting is relative. The brain physically changes several times during our lives; early childhood to mid-teens, late teens – early older ages (encountering changes such as menopause, for example), and then later in life. So, trauma at different stages of life will have different effects on the brain depending on the stage of brain development when the trauma occurs. Whether this can be changed back is questionable.
However, we are not talking about physical brain trauma and change. We are talking about psychological brain trauma and change. Chemical imbalances can and do affect our thought patterns, but they do not control them. These are Super-Conscious functions… not Conscious functions. Thoughts are non-physical. Our physical reactions are conscious and subconscious responses to a super-conscious impetus. Here is where the difficulty lies. This, all things being equal, absolutely can be changed back into better ways of thinking.