Heartland Human Services

Adrenal Fatigue & Mental Health

Diana Moon MS, LPC

“Studies show that a majority of adults will suffer from adrenal fatigue syndrome, but not everyone knows all of the symptoms to look out for.”

The Adrenal Glands and Stress
The Adrenal Glands are small organs located on top of your kidneys.  The Adrenal Glands produce hormones that affect your ability to cope with stressful events that happen in your life. 

Cortisol and Mental Illness Symptoms
Cortisol is produced by the adrenals.  High levels of Cortisol in the body are correlated with excessive weight gain, insomnia, confused thinking, inability to focus, lowered ability to cope with stress, weakened immune system, low energy and problems sleeping.  The aforementioned symptoms are also general symptoms of varying mental illness diagnosis one can find in the DSM IV (Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, ADHD).
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/basic/symptoms/CON-20033813

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and Life Stressors
Life stressors can cause your adrenal glands to become fatigued.  Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is caused by chronic stress: financial stress, death of a loved one, marital stress, loss of a job, excessive weight gain.  Those struggling with mental illness are dealing with one or more of these life stressors when they begin mental health therapy.

Support your Adrenals (Body)/Health coping skills to reduce mental health symptoms (Mind)
The following are coping skills that can help one deal with daily life stress and reduce the risk of adrenal fatigue within the body, thus improving quality of life:

  • Minimize sugar intake, avoid junk food
  • Exercise and stretch
  • Reduce caffeine and tobacco intake
  • Supplement the body with vitamins, ask your doctor about what you can take (Cortisol blockers, adaptogenic herbs, Vitamin C, Licorice, Chromium, Vitamin B, Pantothenic Acid, to name a few)
  • Psychotherapy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/complementary-medicine/200807/is-stress-exhausting-your-adrenal-system-0

Take Action
If you or anyone you know are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or adrenal fatigue, see your primary care doctor or find a mental health therapist to help you improve your symptoms and alleviate your daily stress levels.

Psychologists advise those who have feelings of depression lasting more than two weeks to seek professional advice.  If you or a loved one are experiencing  any symptoms of depression, contact Heartland Human Services at 217-347-7179 or take a free screening at www.heartlandhs.org