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Study Finds Painful Memories Last Longer, May Lead to New PTSD Treatment

Study Finds Painful Memories Last Longer, May Lead to New PTSD Treatment

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

By Cheryl Steinberg

If it seems like your memories of traumatic events linger longer than say, pleasant memories, your perception is not off. Scientists say that this is a real thing and that they are gaining an understanding why this is so.

For the first time, studies conducted with laboratory rats have revealed the brain mechanism that converts unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories.

These newest findings support a previous, long-standing hypothesis – one that’s been relied upon for the past 65 years – called Hebbian plasticity. The idea is this: when you experience something traumatic, more neurons than the usual are firing off electrical impulses at the same time, making stronger connections to each other when compared to normal situations. Therefore, stronger connections make stronger, lasting memories.

Study Finds Painful Memories Last Longer, May Lead to New PTSD Treatment

Not only do these new findings advance the understanding of how Hebbian plasticity works but, they may also lead to new, more effective treatments for people who want to forget horrible memories, such as those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study, by researchers at New York University and Japan’s RIKEN Brain Science Institute, appears December 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It’s believed that Hebbian plasticity works when the amygdala, the brain region associated with the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions, allows sensory stimuli to become associated with either something positive (a reward) or negative (an aversion), thus producing corresponding emotional memories. The saying in the field is that “neurons that fire together, wire together,” and therefore forming strong connections.

“Our results not only show that we are able to artificially manipulate memory, but also that this manipulation is correlated with long-lasting changes in the brain,” said Lorenzo Diaz-Mataix, a postdoctoral fellow at NYU and also lead author on the report. “Basic findings like this one will potentially help to understand and treat many psychiatric conditions that share aberrant memory processing,” he told Live Science.

Hearkening back to our primitive state, being able to remember scary events, such as an animal attack, clearly has advantages; we needed to know when to take heed, in order to survive and evolve.

But sometimes memories can be too painful. For people who have traumatizing, painful memories, such as those with PTSD, Johansen says, the new findings offer hope.

“Because of the importance of forgetting aversive memories for PTSD, many labs, including my own, are trying to understand how these types of memories can be forgotten,” Johansen told Live Science. “One possibility is that instead of tapping into ‘forgetting’ mechanisms, we try to reverse what happened during memory formation. Our findings in this paper are important in this regard and may enable novel approaches to enhance the forgetting or reversal of learning of aversive experiences.”

Often times, unresolved trauma is at the heart of substance abuse and addiction disorders. At Palm Partners, we offer Rapid Resolution Therapy to overcome trauma, which is especially helpful for clients with PTSD. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.

Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr.Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility

Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr Jon Connelly at Palm Partners Facility

Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr Jon Connelly at Palm Partners Facility

Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr. Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility  is a process designed and honed by Palm Partner’s own Dr. Jon Connelly. This therapy is so amazing, mental health professionals throughout the country travel to attend Dr. Connelly’s Rapid Resolution Therapy training so they are able to use the technique in their own practices. Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr. Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility is an innovative technique that quickly eliminates the negative influence from traumatic events.

Emotional and psychological trauma results from an extremely stressful or disturbing event that shatters your sense of security. People who have gone through a traumatic event feel unsafe, and this can affect the way they interact with the world around them. We find that many people who come to the Palm Partners Facility for drug and alcohol treatment have suffered trauma either before or during their addiction. Trauma can have both emotional and physical repercussions.

Drug addicts and alcoholics who have suffered trauma often find that the experiences of the past can get in the way of their recovery. They will often relive the pain of the experience over and over, and use drugs and alcohol to numb them. Also, past trauma can trap an addict or alcoholic in the “victim” role. They will use the trauma of what happened to them to excuse their using and drinking. If they don’t let go of what has happened in the past, there is a very slim chance that they will stay clean and sober in the long term.

Trauma can affect you in a number of different ways, both psychologically and physically. Common psychological symptoms of trauma include shock, anger, guilt, shame, hopelessness, confusion, and anxiety. Trauma can manifest itself physically by causing nightmares, insomnia, muscle tension, body aches, and fatigue. These symptoms can last for months to years after the trauma occurs and they can interfere with your ability to function normally.

Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr. Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility is cutting edge approach to healing using multi-level clinical hypnosis. Unlike traditional trauma resolution which requires the client to relive traumatic events, sometimes causing more traumas; Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr. Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility heals the effects of trauma quickly and painlessly.

[Health Professionals and clients discuss their experience with Dr. Connelly and his Rapid Resolution Therapy.]

Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr. Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility  transforms emotions, beliefs, behaviors and even perceived identity. Clients are able to truly let go of the negative feelings associated with the trauma and are able to approach life with an unaffected mind. Unconscious conflicts that may be blocking the client from desired change are brought to light and resolved. Negative habits, behaviors, and emotions are replaced by positive feeling and action, sometimes in only one session!

Dr. Jon Connelly’s amazing Rapid Resolution Therapy is available to all clients at the Palm Partners Facility. He personally treats any and every client who desires healing. It is one of the many innovative therapy techniques available to Palm Partners Clients.

If you or someone you know needs drug or alcohol treatment or wants to know more about Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr. Jon Connelly at the Palm Partners Facility, call us at (877) 711-HOPE (4673) or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.

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