What is toxic stress?
Toxic stress is chronic, excessive, or prolonged exposure to extreme tense conditions. This exposure can harm the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of those experiencing it. When constantly exposed to traumatic events, the body's stress response system becomes overly stimulated. Toxic stress is typically associated with those who feel they have little control or ability to cope. It can result from exposure to various sources, including childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, long-term poverty, ongoing violence, or conflict, and can significantly affect physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
What causes toxic stress?
Factors contributing to toxic stress include adverse childhood experiences, poverty, chronic neglect, family dysfunction, and community violence. Other causes of toxic stress involve illness and disability, mental health issues, substance abuse, and trauma exposure.
Not all stress is harmful and is beneficial in certain situations. Positive pressure, such as meeting new people or starting a new school, is a normal part of development and can help build resilience. However, when stress becomes chronic, overwhelming, and lacks support, it can lead to toxic stress and its associated adverse outcomes.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of toxic stress can manifest in various ways and vary from person to person. Common symptoms may include emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms.
Emotional symptoms of toxic stress are irritability, mood swings, anger issues, anxiety or panic attacks, depression, social isolation, and low self-esteem. Cognitive symptoms are difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, excessive worrying, and confusion. Behavioral symptoms include changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, substance abuse, aggressive or impulsive behavior, and self-harming behavior. Physical symptoms are fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, heart palpitations, and a weakened immune system.
The symptoms of toxic stress can be extremely troubling and difficult to experience. Mental health professionals can provide guidance and support for managing and coping with stress. Early intervention can help prevent long-term consequences on mental and physical health.
How is it treated?
Toxic stress treatment involves the implementation of various strategies and support systems. Standard practices to manage and reduce toxic stress include psychotherapy, social support, techniques, and physical activity. Other treatment strategies are early intervention, engaging in self-care, establishing healthy lifestyle habits, and medication.
The appropriate treatment or management approach depends upon the particular circumstances and the severity of the toxic stress. Seeking guidance from a mental health professional is recommended for personalized support.
How can Brain Frequency™ help?
The Brain Frequency™ AI system is an innovative therapeutic approach to improving brain health and wellness. We use proprietary science-based technology to promote optimal brain functioning across mental, emotional, physical, and social domains. Our diagnostic technology and individualized treatment protocols help decrease or eliminate trauma-related symptoms and various mental health disorders.
The Brain Frequency™ 3 Step Treatment Process consists of; first, performing a Baseline EEG and completing Psychometric Assessments; second, conducting a Brain Frequency Consultation; and third, Initiating Treatment.
An Electroencephalogram (EEG) analyzes brain waves and produces a brain map identifying current and optimal frequencies in 19 areas of the brain. Based on the individualized brain map, Brain Frequency™ will determine possible diagnoses of various mental health disorders or brain trauma for the provider to consider during treatment. Brain Frequency™ AI software provides clinicians with an "Approval Ready" treatment plan using personalized protocols based on each patient's needs.
Those suffering from mental health issues caused by toxic stress can efficiently and effectively treat their symptoms using the Brain Frequency™ AI system. Our innovative system drastically reduces the time needed to properly diagnose and construct treatment plans leading to a faster recovery and greater quality of life.
Tammy C. Perez, M.A., NCC, LCDC, LPC
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Murray, Desiree W., Rosanbalm, Katie, Christopoulos, Christina, and Hamoudi, Amar (2015). Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress: Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Developmental Perspective. OPRE Report #2015-21, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Nguyen, J. (2022, October 14). What Is Toxic Stress? Verywellmind. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from https://www.verywellmind.com/toxic-stress-signs-symptoms-effects-stress-relief-tips-6504391