How the Pandemic Is Changing Your Brain

Chronic stress can physically impact neural connections

To say that people are stressed out during the pandemic would be a gross understatement. What people are feeling isn’t acute stress — the kind that can motivate you in the best of times or force you to slow down in the worst of times — it’s chronic stress, the kind that weighs on you for weeks and months, opening the door to psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. As senior staff writer and former brain scientist Dana G Smith writes in a terrific feature for Elemental, chronic stress can also change the brain itself.

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