For years, I have helped countless clients overcome adrenal burnout.
I know so much about adrenal burnout I could probably write a book about it, but one thing that I will tell you is that 100 percent of my clients in stage 3 of adrenal stress (the last stage, exhaustion) are depressed.
I tell them, “You’re not crazy, you are just exhausted.”
Technically, stage 3 of adrenal stress happens when your total cortisol for the day is 20 or below.
Cortisol is one of the two primary stress hormones released by your adrenal glands. The other one – adrenalin – is released when you are frightened or angry or running away from tigers, literally or figuratively.
If your cortisol for the day is 20 or lower, it’s like having $10 in the bank – you basically have no reserves.
So when you are in that stage 3, exhaustion, if you have a bad day, lose sleep at night, get in an auto accident or have any half-way traumatic event that is bound to happen to any of us sooner or later, you are basically totally wiped out.
I tell people that by the time you have reached stage 3 of adrenal stress, you have been ignoring your mind-body warning signs for many years.
It’s as if you have been driving down the road of life and you got to a red stoplight.
“I am so busy and important,” you say to yourself, “that stoplight obviously doesn’t apply to me!”
You keep going.
Then you reach the next stoplight.
“Gee, I feel awful, my thyroid is burned out, my doctor tells me I have (fill in the blank chronic disease), I can’t lose weight, these antidepressants I have been taking don’t seem to do a thing to help and I can barely slog through the day, BUT I am still very busy and important and clearly have to keep pushing myself towards that cliff that I can see straight ahead.”
If you intuitively understand that you are not crazy, you are just exhausted, you may do well to find out what is going on with your adrenal glands.
Symptoms of adrenal burnout include:
- Lowered thyroid function
- Inability to lose weight
- Digestive problems
- Exhaustion, either all day long or from 4 p.m. onwards
- Degenerative diseases of aging
- Joint pain
- Lowered body temperature
- Suppressed immune function
- Poor circulation
- Low blood pressure
- Inability to regain your energy no matter how much you sleep
- Depleted brain chemistry leading to depression, anxiety, difficulty thinking or remembering
If you have any of these symptoms and are also considering taking antidepressants, you may do well to ask yourself if your core issue is actually adrenal burnout because treating your adrenals will finally allow you to recover your mental-emotional well-being.
There is no doubt that many severe life events can leave us exhausted.
If any of this is ringing any kind of bell in your fuzzy, tired-feeling brain, I recommend you go back and read one of my previous blog posts, https://catherinecarrigan.com/where-are-you-on-the-stress-scale/.
Put a number on your stress.
If your total score on the Holmes and Rahe scale is 300 or more, more than likely life has had its way with you and it would be wise to take time to recover.
If your score is 150 to 299, you still want to be allowing time in your schedule to rest and recover.
If your score is below 150 and you still feel exhausted, it would be wise for you to get a medical intuitive reading from me and find out if there are major health issues that you could be paying greater attention to that are causing you to feel so tired and depressed.
Understand that the higher your score on the stress scale, the more you would need to be doing to cope.
During a recent three-year period, I went through a ridiculous amount of stress. It seemed like every other day something majorly traumatic was in the middle of my path, whether I liked it or not.
Being a health professional and a stress management expert, as soon as I saw where my life was headed, I immediately instituted a stress management plan for myself:
- Sunday tai chi class
- Monday meditation class
- Tuesday/Thursday yoga class
- Wednesday qi gong class
- Hands-on healing, Tuesdays
And this was for starters. I did a major activity every day of the week to lower my stress level. As a result, I managed to get through those three ridiculous years with my mind-body intact, I tackled all the challenges with grace even though I frankly wasn’t having a lot of fun.
I also took supplements to support my brain chemistry, which is a far wiser approach to take because antidepressants have numerous side effects.
One of my clients recently called me on the way to her psychiatrist’s office. She had experienced a death in the family and was so despondent she knew she needed extra help.
“Don’t judge yourself,” I advised her.
She took the antidepressants the psychiatrist gave her for three days, during which she suffered from a headache all day long every day. She stopped on her own and asked me for a session.
I have since sent her supplements to support her brain chemistry to allow her to recover while she is also exercising and receiving counseling.