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21 April 2011

Abused kids become depressed teens

Adolescents with a history of maltreatment and a mild level of depression were found to release much more of the stress hormone cortisol.

Adolescents with a history of maltreatment and a mild level of depression were found to release much more of the stress hormone cortisol than is normal in response to psychological stressors such as giving a speech or solving a difficult arithmetic test.

At severe levels of depression, Harkness' team saw that the youths with a history of maltreatment had a total blunting of the endocrine response to stress. These findings suggest that the normal operation of the stress response system can break down in severely depressed adolescents.

 
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