Everyone has stress in their life. But, some situations and factors can intensify stress to the point at which it just overwhelms a person. At that point, a person can lose total control and fly off into intense rage and violent outbursts. Or, the person can experience panic and terror reactions. These are the opposite sides of the stress response — fight or flight, anger or anxiety.
A major factor setting a person up for stress overwhelm reactions involves abusive situations. These can be from childhood abuse — verbal, physical, and/or sexual. Such experiences so traumatize the child, that the whole experience is imprinted into the child’s mind and body. When we look at the hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) pattern of a person who has endured such traumatic experiences, we see that they tend to still experience very intense reactions to stress in their life even many years later in adulthood. Their adrenal glands tend to be highly sensitized and reactive to stress. One of the major outcomes of such intense adrenal gland reactions to stress is that they can’t retain adequate magnesium reserves in their cells and tissues. They seem to be constantly deficient in magnesium which is the major anti-stress nutrient. A vicious cycle is set up. Stress depletes magnesium and magnesium deficiency contributes to more and more intense stress reactions. This explains why people who have an abuse history are at high risk for stress overwhelm. It is as if their history of abuse has programmed them for stress overwhelm. Quite often, such a person is drawn into abusive relationships in their teens or adult relationships.
When drug and alcohol abuse are added by the abused person, such a combination of substances will further deplete their low magnesium levels to a point at which they easily lose emotional and behavioral controls with the slightest frustration or irritation. They can explode into a blind violent rage that frightens people around them. It is baffling to others to see and experience such intense stress overwhelm reactions that don’t make any sense to most people. Psychiatrist and other “mental health” professionals like to “diagnose” stress overwhelm reactions with a mental health diagnosis that often results in prescribing toxic psychotropic drugs. Such a prescription drug approach is likely to make things much worse for the person experiencing stress overwhelm.
Even when a person doesn’t have a history of childhood abuse, anything that will substantially cause them to lose large quantities of magnesium can eventually set them up for stress overwhelm. If teens and young adults begin to drink a lot of alcohol, that can start a major loss of magnesium in their cells and tissues. Eventually, they can reach a point of stress overwhelm. Then, if they are also abusing stimulant drugs along with high alcohol consumption, that combination can really accelerate magnesium loss, making them highly reactive to stressful situations. Stress overwhelm is more likely to occur.
Stress overwhelm in one person can often destroy relationships because it is extremely difficult to live with someone who is constantly going into stress overwhelm, losing emotional and behavioral control. When other stressful factors in life are added to the situation, stress overwhelm can have devastating consequences. Financial and money issues are experienced by a great many people. Job or school situations can also be highly stressful. Health problems can add to a person’s stress level. Death and loss of a loved one is one of the major stresses in life. Insomnia and sleep disturbances exacerbate the problems related to stress overwhelm.
In my next blog, I will discuss ways that people can learn to deal with stress overwhelm. Prevention is the preferred way to deal with it. But, when it has already begun to occur, there are stress reduction interventions that can be quite helpful in reducing the frequency and damaging effects of stress overwhelm.