Trauma-Stroke: Trauma Blocks the Frontal Lobes – “Verbal Physiotherapy” Can Unblock Them


The following three paragraphs are an excerpt from an article by Bob Johnson, MD, entitled Trauma Blocks the Frontal Lobes – “Verbal Physiotherapy” Can Unblock Them, published by Mad In America on 16 October 2018:

“Way back in 1996, in his book Traumatic Stress (page 193), following groundbreaking work with traumatised people, [Dr. Bessel van der Kolk] coined the telling phrase “speechless terror.” Look at that term. Here terror stops you from speaking. Is that significant? Does it apply more widely?

In a recent video ( Bessel calls this having a stroke. I call it a trauma-stroke. He gives us the wonderful notion that trauma makes the frontal lobes and the speech centre go “off-line.” So look closely at what he did. He played an audio tape of music, say, to someone whose brain he was scanning, and all was well. He then played a tape of the gunshot, the car crash, whatever that traumatic event had been, and to his surprise, and my delight, the frontals and Broca’s area of the brain (which is linked to speech production) no longer worked — they shut down.

I put this evidence centre stage. This is the one and only brain scan evidence that applies universally in psychiatry. The mind is difficult to read at the best of times, and impossible to read with a machine, so here we have something scientific, something objective, something available to anyone with the right equipment: trauma stops you from thinking straight. What could be more obvious?”

Here’s the link to the full article:




16 thoughts on “Trauma-Stroke: Trauma Blocks the Frontal Lobes – “Verbal Physiotherapy” Can Unblock Them

  1. muffythedramaslayer March 9, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    This is so amazing! I’m a writer, and never at a loss for words, unless it has anything to do with the trauma of my marriage relationship. When it comes to that situation, I literally cannot remember what I was just about to say. I have to trick myself into getting the words on paper without feeling anything while I’m writing, so that I can read them later when I need to remember.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote March 9, 2019 / 1:05 pm

      Me too! I have been trying, off and on, to write my real-life horror to healing story for 45 years! I now have a granddaughter older than I was when I first tried to write my mrmoirmrmoir.

      But, thanks to years of good therapy, several sessions of neurofeedback, and reading plenty of top notch self help books and relatable blogs, now I am finally writing my story.

      Probably the biggest help, for me, is a book called Mini Habits by Stephen Guise. His scientific method for getting things done, things like exercising, decluttering, and writing a book, is working for me! The Mini Habits way to write works perfectly with my PTSD!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking for the Light March 9, 2019 / 12:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing, it’s a complex illness and doctor’s do not understand the brain. Like other Invisible Illnesses it’s a bitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. hawk2017 March 9, 2019 / 2:42 pm

    Amen. Years ago, military husband came home from Viet Nam the second time. We were walking on sidewalk and siren sounded and he hit the ground. He saw a snake and freaked out. Seems that the Cong put snakes in tents or barracks to kill our men. What a terrible thing this can be. Ty:))

    Liked by 1 person

      • hawk2017 March 10, 2019 / 11:13 am

        So sad. What a useless war.:)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. hawk2017 March 9, 2019 / 2:46 pm

    wanted to reblog from your post. could not:(


    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote March 9, 2019 / 8:19 pm

      You should be able to reblog this post. Someone else reblogged it earlier today. Maybe there was a WordPress glitch when you tried to reblog it? I just checked, and the reblog button is working now. 😊


      • hawk2017 March 10, 2019 / 11:04 am


        Liked by 1 person

  5. sandyfaithking March 14, 2019 / 3:12 pm

    So why do I feel like a freak, or a troublemaker, or a hypochondriac, when I say I need help? And why is it so hard to get actual, decent therapy? I haven’t even had an actual diagnosis – I had to diagnose myself! I was astonished when I read the DSM:V description of complex PTSD, because it seemed to fit so well. I so desperately want to get well. I mean, I have come a long way on my own, and with the EMDR I had back in 2015, but I feel like I’ve been hung out to dry since then. I just want to get well. To live a normal life. To have a job. That would be amazing. I have not had a paid job in 20 years (for various reasons). I hate feeling so different to everyone else.

    Sorry for grumbling… I’m just frustrated because I see that therapy does exist and people can and do improve. I want to be a whole human being instead of a partial, emotionally-blocked one. But I figure you understand! God bless you – and thank you for this blog. It helps to know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote March 14, 2019 / 5:59 pm

      I absolutely get what you are saying, Sandy. My PTSD symptoms began in 1965 when I was 12 years old, more than 15 years before PTSD became an official psychiatric label in 1980. Even then, I wasn’t diagnosed with PTSD until 2003, a few weeks before my 50th birthday.

      I still probably would not have that diagnosis, if I hadn’t taken thousands of dollars that I had just gotten from a hard won divorce settlement, and used a huge portion of my settlement money to check myself in to a private psychiatric clinic. I lost my health insurance and my monthly support payment in the divorce. So I had to pay cash for everything in the clinic, and I left there not knowing how I was going to survive when my remaining settlement money ran out. But it was so worth it to finally get the right diagnosis!

      1967 was the first time I went to a therapist. 2017 was the last time. I have seen quite a few therapists, in between — when I had the means, that is. And I can tell you from my experience that a good, knowledgeable, trauma-informed, empathetic therapist is almost impossible to find.

      The best help that I have found is through reading good self-help books and blogs on the topic of surviving trauma. Neurofeedback helped me a lot, too. But you have to find a therapist who knows how to do it right, otherwise it can actually be very dangerous. Also, insurance does not cover NFT at all. My husband and I had to go deeply into credit card debt for that. But I *think* it was worth it.

      No need to apologize for venting. I totally get it, Sandy. ((HUGS))

      Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote March 14, 2019 / 6:25 pm

      I also want to point out that the MDs, PhDs, therapists, and psychiatrists who write articles for Mad In America are the rare, out of the box thinkers. The typical psychiatrist, in my experience, buys into the “chemical imbalance” and “defective genes” cause for psychiatric disturbances. That way, all they have to do is prescribe a pill to numb your brain and see you for 15 minutes once a month for a med check. It’s so much easier and far more profitable than developing a caring therapeutic relationship with their clients. And it keeps Big Pharma very happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandyfaithking March 15, 2019 / 4:02 pm

        Thank you. I’m loving reading The Choice by Edith Eger for the nth time. Always helps. Can’t recommend it highly enough, btw. Things are a bit different here in the UK, but accessing decent psychological or psychiatric help remains elusive (and expensive).

        Liked by 1 person

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