Stress into Depression

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When the body is under stress there are some serious processes that being to take place in the brain. These reactions show how feelings such as depression can be caused by chronic stress. When a stressor is present, the hippocampus becomes inhibited, this allows the hypothalamus to become activated. The activation of the hypothalamus releases CRF, which then stimulates the pituitary gland, causing it to release ACTH. ACTH then activates the adrenal gland and causes it to secrete cortisol into the body. Coritsol has many effects on the body, including: increased heart rate, conversion of fat and muscle into glucose, increased breathing and increase blood pressure. The effects of cortisol were originally meant to help a person escape from a potential threat, but now when we experience stressors that are not a life threat, the body still responds in the same way. The body always has some level of cortisol present. The body has a rhythm that it regulates, with cortisol levels being the lowest right before bed and the highest when you wake up in the morning. This rhythm is crucial for remaining healthy. For people with a lot of stress in their lives, the amount of cortisol in their body is abnormally high. This high level of cortisol can hinder sleeping and upsets the whole rhythm of the body. In depressed people, it is found that they have higher levels of cortisol in their bodies throughout the day. Some scientist believe that this unbalanced amount of cortisol is one of the main causes of depression. From this information, one can conclude that chronic stress has the ability to cause depression in people, so it is important to prioritize and try and maintain a stress free life as much as possible.

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This page contains a single entry by wing0155 published on December 4, 2011 1:03 PM.

Peer Pressure was the previous entry in this blog.

The Limits of Willpower is the next entry in this blog.

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