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Ariana Grande shows 'impact of PTSD' on her brain after Manchester terror attack

The singer has spoken about struggling with symtpoms of PTSD since the Manchester attack in 2017

Sarah Young
Friday 12 April 2019 15:13 BST
Ariana Grande shares important message of self-care with fans

Ariana Grande has shared images of a recent brain scan that she claims suggest she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The singer had just finished her concert in Manchester on 22 May 2017 when a suicide bomber detonated a homemade explosive device, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds more.

On Thursday, the 23-year-old shared a screenshot of a group text she had recently sent to her friends.

In the message, Grande sent a photo of three brain scans: one of a “healthy brain,” which showed very few highlighted areas, and the other of the brain of someone with PTSD, which had several areas of the brain outlined.

Below that text, Grande then sent an image of her own brain scan, which showed almost double the highlighted areas as the PTSD sample.

“Hilarious and terrifying... not a joke,” Grande wrote on the Instagram story.

It is unknown when Grande had the brain scan or in what context it was taken for. And while the post opens up the discussion about the physiological impact PTSD can have on a person, experts claim it is not yet possible to diagnose the disorder with a scan alone.

Professor David Nutt, the Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at the Imperial College London, tells The Independent: "We would need to know what type of these scans are and if they were taken at rest or when reliving the trauma.

"But in general you can't as yet diagnose PTSD from a scan."

In June 2018, the Thank U Next singer spoke about her anxiety and “signs of PTSD” with British Vogue.

“Yeah, it’s a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well,” she told the publication.

“It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss … I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience – like I shouldn’t even say anything.

“I don’t think I’ll ever know how to talk about it and not cry.”

According to the NHS, PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.

(Instagram: @arianagrande)

The condition can develop after a distressing event or prolonged traumatic experience including things like serious road accidents, personal assaults, prolonged sexual or violent abuse, military combat and traumatic births.

Other events such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks or the diagnosis of a life-threatening condition can also lead to PTSD.

You can find more information about PTSD here.

If you are struggling with your mental health and would like to speak to someone about how you're feeling, you can contact the Samaritans by calling them for free on 116 123, email or visit to find details of your nearest branch.

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