Facets of a Diamond - Blog

“Birthing Trauma and the Amygdala”


Photograph by John Diamond, M.D.

The major precursor of our later amygdala responses is, I believe, in the very nature of our birthing. We are an evolutionary experiment. Due to our adoption of the full upright posture, the foetal head has become bigger and the female pelvis smaller. And so to enter the world (in itself a trauma), the head and body must undergo 180 degree twist.

This twist causes what I call birthing trauma and tends to persist throughout life. The whole body but especially the head and neck retains this twist. And the consequent effect on the brain leads to what I call misprocessing, such that even an expression of love can be apperceived as a very opposite. And then the amygdala is alerted.

All later traumas are superimposed on this misprocessing. And only when it is significantly reduced can we deal with the vicissitudes of life with the cortex and not the amygdala.

To paraphrase Freud:
Where amygdala was, there shall cortex be.
Where fear was, there shall Love be.


Holism & Health,