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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 42 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.
Dr. Michael Blumenfield
Psychiatry 57 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.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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