The brains of children raised in violent families resemble the brains of soldiers exposed to combat, according to an article in Wired.
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,” said psychologist Eamon McCrory of University College London. However, “a very similar neural signature characterizes quite a few anxiety disorders.”
Absolutely nothing surprising there. Bad things keep happening, so you develop a strong tendency to react quickly…and you’re stuck with it. A lifetime of feeling extra, exaggerated fear and dread. What a gift.
It’s not at all surprising but it’s deeply sad.