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Learn how stress can affect children

Learn how stress can affect children

Stress can affect people of any age. "The body of a pregnant woman exposed to stressful events produces certain substances that affect the brain of the fetus and modify its structure, influencing neurodevelopment," explains the child psychiatrist Arthur Kummer, a professor at the University Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

A survey of the Psychological Center for Stress Control showed that 32% of Brazilian children suffer from the problem. As in adult life, in childhood the stressors are equally diverse. There is no single cause. "Some examples include abuse and neglect (such as starvation or cold), prolonged parental leave, excessive charges, overloading of activities, bullying, family conflicts, trauma, loss of loved ones, among others." > Stress can also affect children - Photo: Getty Images

An activity-packed everyday can also be stressful. "An overburdened child or adolescent with no time to play or sleep can suffer from stress. Overcharging can also be harmful," says the specialist.

Acute stress x chronic stress

The psychiatrist divides stressful events between acute stress and chronic stress. The former occurs only occasionally, but are usually of great intensity. The second, which are stressors of smaller magnitude, are almost everyday. "The death of a loved one or being a victim of an assault would then be acute events, while bullying and overloading activities are usually chronic stresses," he exemplifies. Differentiation is important from the biological point of view of the impact each type has on the body.
But how do you know if a child is stressed? Change in behavior is the answer. "But there is no single way to react to stress." Many children react by internalizing the problem (getting depressed, anxious, inhibited) or externalizing (getting angry, agitated, birrenta, aggressive.) The important thing is to be attentive to significant transformations and constant moods of the children.

Treatment and prevention

From the moment that the stress is detected in the child, it is necessary to revert the picture.In the case of an overloaded daily life, the reduction of activities can solve.According to Kummer, there are even bigger situations that require highly complex public policies. "Imagine cases of children living in risky areas, harassed by trafficking, in the midst of war, for example.If it does not improve after the distress of the stressor, it may be necessary a specialized help with psychologists and psychiatrists, "he says.
Reflexes in the future

Stress at certain periods of development may affect the structure and function of c organs that can persist for life. "The impact is not only psychological, making adolescents and adults more sensitive to stress and mental disorders, but also physical, it makes us more susceptible to metabolic, cardiac and musculoskeletal diseases," concludes Kummer.


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