Whenever we’re in a threatening situation, the adrenal glands located above our kidneys flood our bodies with the stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline. Basically, it’s the biochemistry behind your response—it helps you either run from danger or stand tall and fight.
In times like these when there is a global pandemic, economic distress, and widespread civil unrest all at once, a lot of people are left feeling overwhelmed. Off-track. Some would say numb at this point. But, according to psychologists at the National Center for PTSD, it’s all perfectly natural. They call it crisis fatigue.
Our bodies are wired to handle temporary agony, but they can get overloaded by the endless pressures of this dreadful year.
“Our bodies can’t sustain that level of nervous load,” says Adrienne Heinz, a clinical research psychologist at the National Center for PTSD. “Things start to fail, the wheels start to fall off. We experience a whole host of consequences—right now we’re seeing an uptick in national anxiety and depression. You start to see insomnia, relationship distress.”
Heinz goes on and says, “On the one hand, we hold hope for real and meaningful change—and, on the other, we feel deep despair. Sitting with that paradox is exhausting. If we can somehow let both the loss and gain sweep through us, then we experience humanity authentically, and perhaps that is cathartic.”
@Matt Simon (wired)