As years come to pass, more and more people are experiencing poverty as more and more rich people are gaining more assets and poorer, less fortunate individuals are left with almost nothing. Because of this, more people suffer from the effects of poverty socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Here are five effects of poverty on the brain.
- It decreases the size of the thymus gland. According to psychologists, children born into poverty have decreased sizes of their thymus gland. The thymus gland is in charge of producing T cells for the immune system which helps children gain immunity from sickness. The decrease of the size of the thymus gland is caused by stress because at such a young age, children are already exposed to an unjust world where they do not have enough food to eat, shelter to sleep in, and clothes to wear. Lack of nutrition and constant exposure to dangerous environments cause stress thus limiting brain growth.
- It can affect the adult brain. Because of the drama that children have been exposed to during their young, formative years, the trauma from the past will be wired in their brains until they get older. As their brains are exposed to something they are yet to encounter, it will be hard for the brain to process things because of their lack of understanding and education. Thus, when these children become older, their brains will not be functioning the same way as normal, healthy people would.
- It affects cognition and understanding. Due to poverty, these children will not be able to enjoy education because their parents will not be able to afford it for them. These children will grow up to be ignorant of the proper ideologies that they should be following as they grow older. They will not easily understand how to do things because of lack of formative training and will result in less suggestive ways of living their lives. Poverty affects cognition and understanding by providing a thick barrier for poor children from experiencing the life they deserve.
- It will cause the brain to atrophy. Because of the lack of nourishment and proper care, the brain of a young individual will waste away. It will not be able to develop well and will surely pave way for a person to become a more unfortunate individual.
- It affects the genes. Although the brain is the main topic in this social issue, poverty will also be affecting the person’s genes. The damaged brain will not be able to fully develop to its greatest potential thus embedding another problem in the person’s family tree now that they will be having a history of mental illness passed from generation to generation because of poverty, of not being able to live comfortably, and not being able to receive the needs they deserve.
Nothing good ever comes out of being deprived of one’s needs which is why it is best that before deciding on becoming a parent, one should be sure that they will able to provide for their children and be able to give them the proper care and nourishment to be able to live healthy.