Friday, July 27, 2018

Stress and Gender

You probably know that unmanaged stress is linked with several chronic diseases. But did you realize that stress reactions may differ for males versus females, especially when comparing the now with later? Every brain needs effective stress-management strategies, but these strategies may be even more critical for females as their brains appear twice as vulnerable to stress-related disorders such as PTSD and depression—likely because the female stress-signaling system appears more sensitive from the start. Studies with rats have shown that when the stress response is triggered, male neurons activate a mechanism that reduces the amount of Corticotropin Releasing Factor that is absorbed. This process does not occur in female neurons. This means that males tend to under-react and females tend to over-react to the same stressful situation. Other studies have shown that the male brain is at increased risk for a major depressive event 25 years later. Understanding differing stress responses to a similar incident can help you avoid harboring hurt feelings or retreating to your own corner when dealing with members of the opposite sex during stressful events. Instead, meet in the middle and brainstorm a solution that represents neither underreacting nor overreacting.

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