The Brain Reacts To Social Isolation
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Social isolation and the brain

Studies show how social isolation affects the brain and behaviors in mammals.

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Girl Alone On Boardwalk
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As a student studying psychology, I have this passion for mental health and what goes on inside of everyones brains. Fun right? Well, I was on the 'Science Daily' website looking at recent news within the mental health field. With everything happening int he world with school shootings and violent behavior I decided to focus on one particular study.

The study is titled, "How Social Isolation Transforms The Brain," it lays out studies being done with mammals such as mice. They isolate the mouse for about two weeks and then observe the behavior when put with other mice. The mouse who was isolated demonstrated aggression towards unfamiliar mice, hypersensitivity to any threatening stimulus, and even persistent fear. They also observed that the mouse who was isolated would freeze for much longer when they feel threatened unlike the other mice who unfreeze as soon as they don't feel threatened anymore.

Startled Mouse giphy.com

In this article they talk about a certain chemical in the brain known as tachykinin which is produced by neurons in the amygdala and the hypothalamus, both of these affect social behavior and emotional behavior. The isolation can lead to an increase of this chemical. Researchers found that suppressing this chemical in the amygdala did suppress the fear but did not suppress any of the aggressive behaviors. Then suppressing the chemical in the hypothalamus did decrease the aggression but it did not decrease the fear behaviors.

They do mention that even if they used mice for these studies it can show potential for being able to understand chronic stress within humans.

So how exactly will these studies help with humans? What does this all mean for the future of mental health? Why isn't anyone talking about these issues? Who knows. There is still so much that needs to be studied about the brain and about mental health in general.

Society needs to start talking about mental health and related issues surrounding it. It is important and the stigma on mental health needs to disappear.

For those of you out there who are ashamed to talk about it, don't be. I know it's easier said than done but it is such a relief to talk about it and get the help you need. The clouds will go away and the sun will start shining again. You do not have to keep living with hurt and pain. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Maybe these studies can bring us closer to understanding why humans and the world are so cruel. Maybe they can help someone who is struggling with anger issues or isolation. As of right now, we just need to start the conversation. We need to do the research. We need to start addressing important issues and facts such as these.

Mental Health Day giphy.com

If you wish to read this article you can simply just scroll up and click on the title, I have added the link there!

Until next time,

Another ADHD Student

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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