Stress and Brain Health

There's been a lot of accumulative evidence that stress affects your health in a variety of unfortunate ways.

“Stress Hormone” Cortisol Linked to Early Toll on Thinking Ability - Brain changes, visible on scans, are also associated with Alzheimer’s precursors

"The stresses of everyday life may start taking a toll on the brain in relatively early middle age, new research shows. The study of more than 2,000 people, most of them in their 40s, found those with the highest levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception and attention.

"Higher cortisol levels, measured in subjects’ blood, were also found to be associated with physical changes in the brain that are often seen as precursors to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, according to the study published Wednesday in Neurology."

David Trammel's picture

Ways to deal with stress and how to relax will definitely be part of Green Wizardry.

In the short term, as the effects of the next step in Collapse happens, many of us will experience increased stresss and uncertainty in our Lives. Learning to deal with that added burden will be important. Luckily we seem to be in one of the brief upturns that Greer predicted would happen between each downturn.

Politically we're in a mess and next week's election may make it worse, but economically we seem to be doing better, which means we all need to use this time to get better prepared. If you get a Christmas bonus, use it to by something like a food dryer or pressure cooker and learn how to preserve food next Spring, not waste it on something like a big screen tv or xBox.

In the longer term, a Green Wizard will need to know how to teach people around them to de-stress and relax. Especially the local warlord or warband chief that takes control of their neighborhood. There are reasons Kings and Princes had gardens built in their castles. Along with learning to brew beer, knowing how to give a massage or brew a herbal tea might be the difference between living as a peon or living as a valuable advisor.

Environmental Stress Can Be Passed on Through Pregnancy
New research suggests extreme weather can worsen depression in mothers, leaving children more anxious and distressed.

By Marlene Cimons

"Climate change is a growing threat to mental health, particularly in the aftermath of severe storms, floods or wildfires, when victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Now, scientists are wondering if climate-related mental health problems developed during pregnancy can be passed on from one generation to the next.

"The early answer appears to be yes.

"It may sound unusual, but it’s not. Researchers long have recognized that environmental and other external factors can cause genetic changes in utero, the study of which is called epigenetics. One of the most dramatic examples of this occurred after the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944 to 45. The children of mothers who were pregnant during the famine developed a biological response, prompting them to eat as much food as possible. Later on, they became susceptible to metabolic disorders, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, affecting multiple generations.

"Similarly, pregnant people already suffering from depression who then experience the trauma of a perilous storm could pass on that trauma to their children and future generations — an ominous legacy of the hurricanes, floods, drought and heat waves that have become more frequent or intense in recent years as a result of climate change."

Blueberry's picture

Well Sophie was going to title this hen party but that would have set you off!!! After our last big hurricane on day 3 of no grid power all of Mrs B's friends started showing up at the house. The ladies were doing laundry we have a backup dryer in a out building that runs on LP the motor draws like 500 watts. The mood of the young mothers at the end of the day was like WOW. The change in the children was very positive. So we did this about every 3 days for 2 weeks. Glad to see you are back in full force.

Veterans, refugees and victims of war crimes are all vulnerable to PTSD

"PTSD is a consequence of exposure to extreme traumatic experiences such as natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, assault, robbery, rape, combat and torture. Trauma can happen to, or be witnessed by, the person.

"For instance, a refugee child might be exposed to views of mutilated bodies, or torture or murder of loved ones. Chronic exposure to others’ trauma is a common cause of PTSD among law enforcement personnel and first responders.

"A number of people develop PTSD after exposure to trauma. Much research is focused on genetic/biological and environmental factors that lead to development of PTSD in one person and not in another. Researchers know, for example, that childhood exposure to trauma increases the odds of PTSD after an adult has experienced trauma.

"PTSD includes a variety of symptoms that reflect the victim’s brain remaining in 'survival mode' to protect him or her from recurrence of trauma. People with PTSD are highly anxious, always on edge, screening for danger and easily startled. They can also have frequent nightmares disrupting sleep, flashbacks or sensory experiences, as though the trauma is happening here and now, and intrusive traumatic memories. Other symptoms include irritability, emotional numbness, social withdrawal and avoidance of any reminder of trauma."