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Dr. Drew

Driven by current events, "Dr. Drew" on HLN focuses on the human - and human behavior - at the center of the story.

Rejection hurts! Literally

  • Stress can impact the immune system for the long term, study says
  • Factors of stress evidently increased inflammation in youth at risk for depression during study
Rejection hurts! Literally

So you’ve been dumped, let go, or perhaps, didn’t get the part you wanted in a school play or musical. When you’re rejected, you may very well be tempted to indulge in what’s not healthy for you -- but a recent study indicates you may want to just stay in bed and take care of yourself.

The findings were published last month in the journal Clinical Psychological Science after scientists from the University of British Columbia, Brandeis University and the University of California, Los Angeles concluded that stress can impact our immune systems for the long term.

As reported in the Huffington Post, researcher Michael Murphy identified stress factors as moments of “targeted rejection” that evidently increased inflammation in youth at risk for depression during the study.

Researchers spent two-and-a-half years tracking 147 teenage girls with no other or previous diagnosis of a mental condition, examining their mental health and immune system inflammation and tracking instances of rejection in their lives.  Noting the teens’ perception of their social status was critical, too, for linking social influences to adolescent health.

A 2010 study at UCLA also seemed to suggest that there is a correlation between instances of rejection and immune system response, where people who were made to feel rejected showed increased levels of inflammation.

Ultimately, instances of stress and social rejection are inevitable.  Does their connection to your immune system scare you?  Let us know in the comments section below.

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