Ariana Grande shares picture of her brain scan showing the effect of PTSD two years after Manchester bombing

ARIANA Grande has revealed the effect post-traumatic stress disorder has had on her brain following the Manchester Arena bombing.

The singer, 25, has been battling the condition since her concert was targeted by terrorists in 2017. 

Raising awareness of how PTSD can affect the brain, Ariana shared her recent brain scan on Instagram.

The image showed three brain scans, one of which was the chart-topper's own.

The first graphic showed a healthy brain and the brain of somebody suffering from PTSD side by side.

Ariana then revealed her own scan which showed double the amount of PTSD activity using a highlighting technique.

She wrote across the snap: "Hilarious and terrifying," before bluntly adding: "Not a joke."

PTSD affects around one in three people affected by severe trauma – things like serious accidents, personal assaults, military combat, being held hostage and terrorist attacks.

Experts don't know why some people develop the condition, while others don't.

But, it's thought those affected by anxiety or depression in the past might be more vulnerable to PTSD. And then there's evidence to suggest it might have a genetic factor, that predisposes certain people to the mental health condition.

Some experts also believe that in people with PTSD, parts of the brain appear different, according to the NHS.

Part of the brain – the hippocampus – can appear smaller.

It's thought changes in this part of the brain can affect fear and anxiety, memory problems and flashbacks.

If that part of the brain doesn't work properly, it can mean the brain fails to process flashbacks and nightmares properly – causing a build up of anxiety – and making a person more likely to develop PTSD.


  • Re-experiencing: This is the most common symptom.
  • It often takes the form of flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images or sensations, sweating, pain, nausea and trembling.
  • Avoidance: Avoiding certain people and places that remind the person of the experience.
  • Many people avoid talking about the trauma – and may distract themselves with work or hobbies.
  • Some people attempt to numb their emotions completely, which can lead to them becoming isolated and withdrawn.
  • Hyper-arousal: Leading to angry outbursts, irritability, insomnia and a lack of concentration.
  • Other mental health problems: Including depression, anxiety or phobias.
  • Self-harming or drug/alcohol misuse.
  • Physical symptoms: Headaches, dizziness, chest pains and tummy aches.
  • In children: Bed wetting, separation anxiety or re-enacting traumatic events through their play.

The Thank U, Next star has been open about her battle with PTSD and anxiety following the horrific terror attack on her Manchester concert that killed 22 people in May 2017.

While her music career has continued to flourish, Ariana has admitted life behind-the-scenes has been tough and recently told British Vogue the bombing is "very much" still with her.

She has complained of dizziness since the attack, adding: "That's what everyone was telling me. It's hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss.

"But, yeah, it's a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well."

Ariana went on to admit that she still can't talk about the attack without crying and getting upset.

She said: "Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn't even be talking about my own experience – like I shouldn't even say anything."

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