I was a psychotherapist for years before I got involved in the holistic movements....before I became a shaman. I had a strong interest in psychosomatic problems. The popular approach at that time, which is still common, was that many body problems, pains, etc., were all in the head. That there was no actual medical basis for many human problems. I also accepted that as a fact, and saw many clients ....trying to resolve their mental / emotional issues so they would no longer have these false medical complaints, or painful symptoms. [ Many were helped to live better lives with the therapy....but that is not the point of this article. ]
To make a very long story much shorter, let me just say that a range of personal experiences followed by years of personal research led me to become an expert in psycho-physiology. Where psycho-somatics assumed that ' it is all in your head ', psycho-physiology assumes that there is something actually going on in the body causing the symptoms. Then my research / experience took me one step further. I began to realize that many problems were actually comming from the environment, effecting both the mind and the body!
This issue is very complex....I could write books about it......but these tidbits will stay focused on some common adrenal issues....................So if you are suffering with a whole range of symptoms...I can clearly state that [ it's not all in your head ].
First of all, we are not a closed system....yes there is a skin around us but we are really an energy system, and energy around us does get inside us.
Some of this environmental energy helps us, and some hurts us....the environment is a mixed bag, a melting pot of many things.
The adrenal glands.....try to handle all stress......it doesn't matter if that stress is caused by our own internal process or environmental factors.
Among other things, the adrenals work on the [ fight or flight approach ]. That means when they are dealing with a stressor, they will try to get you to resolve the cause of it by fighting with you inside or fighting with something in the environment. Let's say that your fighting with your boss at work...not knowing quite why....the adrenals know why.....they are causing the fight so you will address with your boss the real issues causing the stress. If that doesn't resolve things..the adrenals kick in the [ flight ] approach...telling you to [get away from here before you get too damaged]. The adrenals are trying to protect you [ that is their job ] by getting you to quit and find another job.
However, like most body processes, the adrenal live and work in that part of you called the [ unconscious ]. That means that you don't always know what they are trying to resolve. However, there is always a real issue causing damage to you when they become active.... this is the basis for psycho-physiology! The pain and damage is real....not in your head!!!
Once these glands are reacting to something, they don't stop untill the issue gets resolved. Since you often don't realize what the issue is, often things don't get resolved. So the glands get weaker [ from over use ], over time they become exhausted and can even stop functioning in total failure [ DEATH ].
Other body gland will often try to take over the adrenal's job.....they too can become exhausted. The phrase [ burn out ] is referring to this actual exhaustion of these glands.....it's not all in your head.
You can die, or develop many stress related conditions......or be open to many environmental toxins or infections when the mind-body is weakened by burn out.....the immune system is burnt.
You have a few choices in how to handle this situation......most often people use [ coping tools ]. Some of these tools cause further damage.....drugs, smoking etc. Some help...like taking high doses of [ B Vitamins ].
However, I always suggest that you actually resolve the cause of the stress, rather then just cope with it.