Stress Hormones, Depression, and the Loss of Vigor (Part 1)

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt?

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:
*Lose Weight
*Get in Shape
*Reduce Stress
*Get Healthier
*Win the Lottery

The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment.

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at or at your favorite library or bookstore.

Stress Hormones, Depression, and the Loss of Vigor
Just as overexposure to certain hormones is detrimental to health, so is underexposure. Consider the effect of the primary stress hormone, cortisol, on the brain. We’ve known about the links between stress and depression for decades. In the United States alone, stress-related depression accounts for more than $30 billion in annual medical expenses and lost productivity.

Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, in London, have determined that stress-related depression actually progresses in two distinct phases. The first phase is characterized by an overexposure to cortisol, creating a “toxic” effect whereby too much cortisol actually destroys crucial brain cells responsible for good mood. The second phase is a compensatory mechanism where the brain becomes resistant to the effects of cortisol as a way to “protect” itself from cortisol’s damaging effects. So the brain cells (neurons) are now deprived of cortisol, creating a dramatic underexposure that leads to a host of memory and psychological problems.

Unfortunately, this syndrome of cortisol resistance leads to a deepening of depression and symptoms of fatigue and confusion, a combination that is very much like the symptoms seen in people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). A similar scenario occurs for other hormones, whereby over- or underexposure leads to a host of physical and psychological dysfunctions, which are alleviated upon restoring metabolic balance.

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