A stressful event can actually change your DNA, according to a University of Michigan scientist.
According to Monica Uddin, a molecular epidemiologist with the University of Michigan, being in a car accident, an abusive relationship, or a war can alter a person's DNA, reports Discovery News.
To reach the conclusion, Uddin's team studied a group of Detroit residents with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and compared their brain chemistry to a set of non-PTSD adults.
After analyses, they found chemical tracers on DNA sequences, particularly those related to the immune system. Participants with PTSD had detectably different levels of a particular chemical than those without the disorder.
"Our findings suggest that those with PTSD have immune systems that may be in overdrive or overactive in some way," Uddin said.
"The evidence that we were able to provide through this study is that an externally experienced traumatic event ... can actually work its way under the skin and get translated into adverse physical and mental consequences," she said.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can show up after you've experienced a horrible event like abuse or a natural disaster.