That's the message from brain scientists studying the relationship between stress and problems such as depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Researchers at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans presented studies showing how stress caused by everything from battlefield trauma to bullying can alter brain circuitry in ways that have long-term effects on mental health.
Jennifer Norris was a devoted member of the Maine National Guard.
"I was ecstatic. I absolutely loved serving in the military," she says.
Norris still wanted a career in the Guard even after she was sexually assaulted by other members of the military. After she was raped, she says she got psychological counseling.
But then it came time to renew the security clearance she needed for her job as a satellite communications technician. One question on the form — Question 21 — asked whether she'd sought help from a mental health professional over the past seven years.