Stress, Cortisol & Secondary Trauma

Published January 11, 2016 by thefamilyof5

This has been viewed a lot today so I thought I’d re-share it, it was quite popular when I first wrote it back in 2013, hope you find it useful again.

The Family of 5's Journey

Stress
Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to an environmental condition or stimulus, also known as a stressor. Stress typically describes a negative condition that can have an impact on an organism’s mental and physical well-being.

Cortisol
Cortisol is released in response to stress, sparing available glucose for the brain, generating new energy from stored reserves, and diverting energy away from low-priority activities (such as the immune system) in order to survive immediate threats or prepare for the exertion of rising to a new day. However, prolonged cortisol secretion (which may be due to chronic stress) results in significant physiological changes.
Children who have suffered early neglect or abuse have higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels throughout their lives. High cortisol levels are associated with abdominal weight gain, sleep disorders, anxiety, cognitive issues (learning, memory). If your child had a difficult start in life (which can include prenatal trauma or…

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