As a part of human existence, we’ve all been fated to endure life events beyond our control. The death of a loved one, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, and much more can occur, and, whether they are completely unexpected or undeniably prepared for, these events hold a heavy weight on the chapters of our lives. If you can recall a major, devastating life event, you can likely remember the feelings associated with that event, even long after it’s occurred. This is because when a major life event occurs, the brain undergoes a series of chemical reactions involving cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline. If a devastating event has occurred over an extended period, adrenaline can have a direct impact on a person’s memory – directly linking them to the emotions, perceptions, and sensations they experienced during the devastating event. As you can see, major life events can certainly have an impact on the brain.
From a biological perspective, the chemicals in our body respond directly to external stimuli, guiding us through what our senses tell us is an emergency or not. Physically, major life events can cause us great stress if we perceive them to be stressful – but that’s not always the case. Research titled, “Life Events and Stress” claims that major life events can be stressful or not, depending on a person’ subjective experience. For example, a divorce may be extremely upsetting for one person, but for another who has gone through an extremely long, problematic marriage, a divorce could bring a feeling of final peace. If you consider an event in your life to be stressful, however, you’ll likely recognize the signs of it throughout your body. Extreme stress can bring low energy, headaches, upset stomach, loss of sexual desire, elevated blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, and more.
Previous research has shown that adverse life events do play a role in the onset of psychological conditions – especially if untreated, initial feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, shame, and more could turn into a depressive or anxiety disorder, and an addiction could develop if self-medication attempts occur. Immediate psychological symptoms associated with major life events include feeling irritable, anxious, feeling overwhelmed easily, having difficulty relaxing, feeling bad about yourself, isolating yourself, and more. If you begin to recognize any of these symptoms, seek help immediately so that you begin healing and working through your pain.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.