The Damaged Neurobiology of Adopted Child Continue Through Adulthood
Inhibitory Neurotransmitters & Trauma
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s VALIUM-like substance”. When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain. GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing; it is used to calm the excitatory neurotransmitters. Impaired growth of GABA has been seen in brain imaging studies of abused and neglected children, due to the excessive amount of stress hormones released during these traumatic events.
DOPAMINE is a special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory and inhibitory. Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.
TRUAMA Inhibitory neurotransmitters are developed in infancy and over time especially through touch and having ones needs met; a baby cries to be fed, he is held and receives the milk he needs. However neglect, wrongful touch, malnourishment, or being present for traumatic events, can send mixed messages to the brain and therefore it is unable develop an optimal amount of these inhibitory neurotransmitters. This often leads to the inability for one to control their responses from excitatory neurotransmitters and contributes to children living in a state of fear and/or hyper-vigilance.
Excitatory Neurotransmitters & Trauma
This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present. Long term STRESS or INSOMNIA can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low). Epinephrine also regulates HEART RATE and BLOOD PRESSURE.
Their inhibitory neurotransmitters were not fully developed and they are now running on excitatory neurotransmitters, unable to calm themselves down, or develop proper inhibitory support.