Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten per cent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it’s a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering.
Trauma is any negative life event in which the brain perceives a real sense of danger, horror, and helplessness. PTSD occurs when people are directly exposed to, repeatedly exposed to, or witness horrific events, such as death, abuse, domestic violence, or war. During these events, the body’s stress response kicks into overdrive. Studies show that women are more likely to experience sexual abuse as children, whereas men are more likely to experience physical assault or witness death.
A person’s PTSD symptoms may prove indiscernible to others. When people are reliving their trauma, they sometimes stare off into space as if they are watching a movie.
Oxygen forms about 21% of the air around us. In your body, oxygen forms a vital role in the production of energy in most cells. But if gases can only efficiently diffuse across tiny distances, how does oxygen reach the cells deep inside your body? Enda Butler tracks the surprisingly complex journey of oxygen through your body.
In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 percent of adults and 66 percent of adolescents are regularly sleep-deprived. This isn’t just a minor inconvenience: staying awake can cause serious bodily harm. Claudia Aguirre shows what happens to your body and brain when you skip sleep.
Our hard-wired stress response is designed to gives us the quick burst of heightened alertness and energy needed to perform our best. But stress isn’t all good. When activated too long or too often, stress can damage virtually every part of our body. Sharon Horesh Bergquist gives us a look at what goes on inside our body when we are chronically stressed.