Abuse Changes a Child’s Brain

The brains of children raised in violent families resemble the brains of soldiers exposed to combat, psychologists say.

They’re primed to perceive threat and anticipate pain, adaptations that may be helpful in abusive environments but produce long-term problems with stress and anxiety.

For them to detect early cues that might signal danger is adaptive. It allows them to react, to try and avoid the danger. However, a very similar neural signature characterizes quite a few anxiety disorders. Learn more here.

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