Archive for December 2011

can stress from childhood follow you into adulthood

Most people grew up hearing the adage, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” But research done at the Yale Stress Center has revealed that those stressful times might not have made you stronger, but might have hurt you in the long run.

“The stress and motivational systems in the brain are really susceptible to learning and adaptation,” said Sinha. As children we begin to adapt to our environment and learn things from it.”

So essentially, if a child has a pervasive sense of adversity in his or her childhood for whatever reason, the brain responds to that kind of hardship by becoming more sensitized to stress.

“The brain gets hard-wired to react much more strongly than someone else who didn’t experience a lot of turmoil. So, to some extent, you will always have an elevated level of stress.”

Since most of us have experienced some sort of stress while growing up, whether it may be, Parents’ conflict, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, witnessing violence, loss of a parent, divorce or even bullying, this news can be somewhat disconcerting.

But this news isn’t without a light at the end of the tunnel. Sinha explains that as we are extremely adaptive beings our ancestors have given us one of the most effective coping mechanisms: family and friends.

Luckily for us, we’re social animals and being part of a group or any larger entity helps us manage our stress better and not unwind when everything seems to be falling apart.

Another one is having a lot of education. When your brain is more developed and challenged in different areas it will have more ability to cope with difficult situations.

The bottom line is that life is hard. Whether you’re a child or an adult, you’re going to be facing some sort of adversity, but thanks to this research, we have a better idea of what helps us manage the hard times.