Hormones are substances produced in our bodies to regulate our biological activities. Body development is controlled by Growth hormones, when we are faced by a threat or crisis stress hormones are released, maturation and function of our reproductive system is controlled by sex hormones etc. Hormones play an important role in our mental health, Hormonal changes clearly influence brain function and certain mental disorders, such as depression, are associated with, and may even result from, disorders of the endocrine system.
Reduction is female sex hormones in women during menopause can produce , depression, and sexual problems. Reduction in male sex hormones in men of older age can produce irritability, anxiety, frustration, and anger and is known as the "irritable male syndrome".
Hormonal imbalance can also occur during certain points of a woman's menstrual cycle as well as right after having a baby. Women may suffer from depression and other mental health problems during these times.
A hormone called ANP (Atrial Natriuretic Peptide) is produced naturally by the body during a panic attack. ANP probably blocks the release of stress hormones and signals the body to turn off the panic attack. As a result, drugs that help the body produce ANP could be an excellent treatment for panic disorder and other anxiety-related problems.
Women are often more stressed and undergo rapid changes in mood compared to men. The mental health of women is controlled by hormones.
Stress hormone adrenaline is released when the body is under acute physical duress such as a physical illness or emotional duress such as a fight with your spouse. If the stress continues it stimulates release of the Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) which in turn stimulates release of the stress hormone cortisol.
The brain of women is more sensitive to CRF, the hormone that helps control the body’s reaction to stress. Thus the woman's brain responds to smaller quantities of CRF than the man's brain. This means that in the woman stress hormone cortisol is released more easily in response to milder stress than in men. Cortisol is implicated in causing depressing, and hence women are more prone to depressive episodes in response to even mild stress.
Regulation of CRF is also disturbed in mental disorders associated with stress. This is probably why women are two times more susceptible to stress-related disorders than men.
Substances that block the action of CRF (known as CRF-1 receptor blockers) are being tried in the treatment of anxiety and depression and have been shown to be effective without causing any significant side effects.
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