Stress is a state of the mind, involving both brain and body. Stress and brain have a very close relation. It is a dangerous condition, where stress dangerously affects your brain by putting you at risk for many mood disorders and other mental issues.
Depending on the lasting effect on brain and body, stress can be understood in two ways. First one is acute stress which has no lasting effect on brain. This kind of stress can help the brain to perform well in the adverse situation.
The second one is chronic stress, which has the ability to destroy brain cells. For overall health, this stress is very bad as compared to acute stress. Physical health problems include weight gain, osteoporosis, digestive problems, hormone imbalances, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes by stress.
Leading cause of stress and brain effects
Some major life events like conflicts with loved ones, pressures of daily life, the burden of work, family responsibilities, personal health concerns and last but not the least is money and work. These are the major causes of stress, which affects the brain and destroy the happiness.
Effects of stress on brain
After understanding about stress, one question arises that how stress can destroy brain? To understand this process one should know about hormone, cortisol.
Cortisol hormone release depends on the production of another hormone that is adrenaline. Stress causes the release of adrenaline hormone in the body. Excess cortisol leads to a host of physical health problems including weight gain, osteoporosis, digestive problems, hormone imbalances, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Stress kills brain cells
Cortisol production due to stress indirectly leads to the formation of free radicals. These free radicals attack the brain, by creating holes in brain cells. Finally, brain cells die. Brain cell death is a natural and normal phenomenon but excessive death is not good for mental health.
Stress puts you in bad lifestyle, which accelerates the free radical formation. To overcome stress normally anyone can indulge themselves in alcohol consumption, smoking and overeating. These habits are the result of excess unbearable stress.
Inhibit production of new brain cells
Daily new brain cells originate and die. A certain mechanism in the body helps to keep new brain cells healthy and stimulate new brain cell formation process. Cortisol formation due to high stress can affect the above mechanism. As a result inhibition in the production of new brain cells.
Stress and brain relation leads to depression
Mood making hormone is serotonin and motivating is dopamine. Low levels of these hormones make you lethargic, unfocused, unmotivated and depressed.
Stress reduces levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and dopamine. Low levels of either of these neurotransmitters can leave you depressed and more prone to addictions.
Men and women behave differently under stress. Men tend to withdraw socially while women seek social support. Women low in serotonin are prone to depression, and anxiety. Men, on the other hand, are more prone to alcoholism.
Stress makes you more emotional
Getting emotional is normal but very often you get emotional when things are affecting you more. Mental strength and decision making power weaken by becoming more emotional. Stress for a long time can make you more emotional.
Mental illness due to stress and brain disorders
A variety of mental illnesses including anxiety and panic disorders, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and drug addiction are results of stress.
Effect of stress on body
Stress associated with high heart rate, alter blood sugar level, increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Other systems of the body under stress works improperly like digestive system, immune system, excretory and reproductive system.