“Adapting to Stress: Understanding the Neurobiology of Resilience,” an open-access article published online on August 21, 2016 in Behavioral Medicine, examines the way human bodies, specifically human brains, become “stress-resilient.” There is a significant variation in the way individuals react and respond to extreme stress and adversity—some individuals develop psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or major depressive disorder—others recover from stressful experiences without displaying significant symptoms of psychological ill-health, demonstrating stress-resilience. To understand why some individuals exhibit characteristics of a resilient profile, the interplay between neurochemical, genetic, and epigenetic processes over time needs to be explained. In this review, the authors examine the hormones, neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, and neural circuits associated with resilience and vulnerability to stress-related disorders. Concerning the importance of their article, the authors state: “In a period of international conflict as well as domestic pressures within the NHS (UK), the study of stress and resilience has again become a prescient topic for both military and medical communities. The experience of extreme or prolonged stress does not necessarily result in mental health problems, which is an increasingly overlooked point and one of real significance to the field of psychopathology. Scientific evidence has consistently shown us that a high number of individuals are able to overcome stress and adversity and to continue on with productive lives.
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