How Long-Term Stress Causes Serious Mental Disorders

Posted on April 10, 2017

Stress is a feeling known to all. Most of us feel stressful at some point in time and one may even argue that a healthy dose of stress can help us achieve success in life! Yet, it is perhaps critical to note that a prolonged period of stress brings about physical changes in our body, leading to mental disorders and anxiety in the later part of our life.

Research has shown that long-term stress can upset the balance between the white and grey matter in our brains. A long period of stress leads to fewer neurons and more myelin production. Neurons is the grey matter of the brain which help us store and process information. Myelin on the other hand aids the flow of information around the brain. When the balance between our grey and white matter is tilted, it may lead to mental disorders. For instance, people who have post-traumatic stress disorder have higher levels of grey matter in comparison to white matter.

Such disruption underscores one of the biological causes of serious emotional disorders. This is evident from the research, which provides insights into how there are changes in the white matter of our brains in conditions such as schizophrenia, autism, depression, suicide, ADHD and PTSD.

A change in the delicate balance between the white and grey matter can disrupt how different parts of our brains communicate with each other and this may serve to be a catalyst for mental disorders. For instance, if various parts of our brains are better connected, our fear responses may be much quicker and can help us to deal with stress better. On the other hand, our ability to respond effectively to stress may be impeded by poorer connectivity between the various parts of our brains, snowballing our stress into emotional and mental issues. With that being said, it is important for us to manage our stress in order to live a healthy and meaningful life.

Category(s):Stress Management

Source material from Psyblog

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