U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 18-year-old male asked:

I'm 18 and have been dealing with major chronic stress/ptsd for 5 years/still. i'm talking very intense. will this cause me cancer or brain damage?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Not a linear thing: "stress" is an extremely variable concept, and there are no direct or automatic links between it and cancer. There are more clear relationships between certain behaviors like smoking, alcoholism, and exposure to toxins like asbestos, and cancer -- but even these are not 100%. Chronic stress can shrink the hippocampus area of your brain at least temporarily, but this can resolve.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Michael Blumenfield
Psychiatry 58 years experience
No- Consider therapy: There is no known relationship between chronic stress/ptsd and cancer. The same with brain damage unless some brain trauma casued the ptsd. The important issue is that the symptoms are persisting for 5 years. Hopefully you are seeing or will see a psychiatrist who can evaluate you for psychotherapy possibly with medication. Such treatment can be effective and help you.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Sep 28, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.