Why Stress Causes Adrenal Fatigue – By Ben Warren

Stress fatigue has been studied for quite some time, but became a hot topic again in 2020. During a recent examination of stress fatigue, researchers returned to the work of Diane Meyers and Leonard Zunin, medical experts in trauma, who in 2000 developed a widely used conceptual framework of disaster response and recovery. According to this framework, communities confronted with a disaster typically experience 6 emotional phases:
Pre-disaster: The fear of the uncertain.
Impact: The shock of the crisis.
Heroic: Feelings of altruism as communities unite.
Honeymoon: Feeling of camaraderie and optimism things will return to normal.
Disillusionment: Feelings of discouragement and abandonment creep in.
Reconstruction: Feelings of recovery as people adjust to their new normal.
It’s during the disillusionment period that people typically experience stress fatigue, when the feeling of togetherness that initially arises to fight a crisis wanes, and people begin to feel mentally, physically, and emotionally drained by the situation they find themselves in.
While this research applies to dealing with disasters, we can feel stress exhaustion in all areas of our lives when stress compounds. If left to spiral over time, this can have a significant impact on our health and happiness.