The 25-year-old singer has shared photos of her ‘terrifying’ brain scans that reveal signs of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) two years after the Manchester attack during her concert.
Ariana Grande, who has been vocal about her mental health issues since the attack at her 2017 convert, shared the photos on her Instagram, writing: “hilarious and terrifying.”
Grande also shared photos of how a healthy brain should look like and the brain with PTSD.
Dr. Daniel Amen, a leading psychiatrist and brain scan specialist, told Daily Mail that Grande’s brain has the hallmark ‘diamond’ shape of PTSD.
“Trauma can leave a lasting impact in your brain and we can see it with SPECT imaging. And you can treat it with medication or therapy! But without pictures, you’re throwing darts in the dark at people,” Dr. Amen said.
“Most people are just diagnosed on symptoms, and you don’t know what’s really going on in their brain, which makes treatment difficult. This gives (Grande’s) doctors a map to work with.”
In 2015, Dr. Amen broke new ground to show distinct hallmarks of PTSD by publishing a study in the journal PLOS One.
The study involved 20,000 people with either traumatic brain injury (TBI) or PTSD, which manifest differently in the brain but have similar symptoms.
Every participant was scanned with single-photon emission computer tomography imaging, which measures the circulation of blood across the brain. They created a map of what PTSD looks like.
A tell-tale ‘diamond’ shape in PTSD sufferers is evident on the singer’s scans.
Dr. Amen said Grande being vocal about the issue helps to destigmatize the symptoms many people suffer after traumatic events.
“Most of mental illness is not mental, it’s brain. If we don’t understand that, people often don’t get the help they need and people end up getting shamed,” Dr. Amen said. “By sharing these pictures, she has really helped to normalize it.”
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