Even a single instance of severe stress, can cause problems for you. Yes, delayed and long term trauma can trouble you for at least few months that can lead to depression, anxiety and anger, says a new study by a group of scientists from National Centre For Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem).
A woman has shared that she went through psychological trauma after an incident of chain snatching happened to her on busy streets of Bengaluru. One of the thieves on a bike, grabbed chain that she was wearing around her neck. She fell down and was dragged along in the wake of the bike. The chain snapped away within few seconds but she got mild bruise on her neck. She was dazed by the incident and it lasted for a few days and she got better in a week’s time.
But after a period of one week, she started experiencing nightmares in which she would struggle with phantom chain snatchers. This continued and every time she felt anger and depression. She fell prey to psychological trauma for a several months.
The team has found that a single stressful incident can lead to increased electrical activity in a brain region known as the amygdala. This activity is delayed, occurs around ten days after a single episode of stress and is dependent on a molecule known as the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor (NMDA-R) - a protein on nerve cells known to play crucial role for memory functions.
Professor Sumantra Chattarji from NCBS and inStem who has led the team, said: "This work pinpoints key molecular and physiological processes that could be driving changes in brain architecture. The amygdala is small, almond-shaped groups of nerve cells that are located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain. This region of the brain is known to play key roles in emotional reactions, memory and making decisions.
Changes in the amygdala are linked to the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - a mental condition that develops in a delayed fashion after a harrowing experience."