Stress and mental illness

Hwa Young Lee, Byung Joo Ham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Suicide is a significant public health issue and a major cause of death in Korea. Almost 95% of all persons who commit or attempt suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder. Depressive disorders account for 80% of this figure; schizophrenia accounts for 10%. Stress has an impact on the onset and course of psychiatric disorders. The stress response is monitored by measuring the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Numerous studies have identified changes in HPA axis activity and glucocorticoid action in psychiatric disorders. Various stressful life experiences (prenatal stress, adverse early life experiences, ongoing or recent psychosocial stress) are important environmental factors enhancing the sensitivity of some individuals to stress in adulthood. In this review, we introduce the association between stress and psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun


  • Mental disorders
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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