By | June 17, 2014 6 Comments

Prolonged stress damages children’s learning, behavior and health

Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that the healthy development of children can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body (especially the brain), with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. This topic will be highlighted at the National Coucil of Juvenile and Family and Court Judges in July in Chicago.

According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child at Harvard University, it’s important to distinguish among three kinds of responses to stress: positive, tolerable and toxic. “When toxic stress response occurs continuously, or is triggered by multiple sources, it can have a cumulative toll on an individual’s physical and mental health—for a lifetime,” the council says.

Key Concepts: Toxic Stress, from Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

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Thank you for posting this Donna along with damaging children stress also causes major issues with adults in and coming out of a abusive relationship.

The yellow highlighted glands show on this diagram are the adrenal glands located at the top of both kidneys. They are the most important gland in the body regulating the bodies blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels and over 50 hormones. The biggest issue with of abuse victims is adrenal fatigue (PTSD) which needs to heal in order to truly heal your mind, body & soul from the abuse. Sites like,,, have good info to learn more on this topic.



You have posted before about adrenal fatigue and I have read the information on the adrenal fatigue website – very helpful. I experience the symptoms – surges of energy and nervousness and then phases of feeling completely wiped out like I had run a marathon – not balanced at all.

When I can get away from my husband and establish my own safe zone, I look forward to healing and this will be part of it. I’m doing what I can now, but I think true healing will come when I am away from the stress.

Thank you for posting the website links and the information – very appreciated.


I was recently diagnosed with Addison’s disease. as far as I know it does not run in my family. My adrenals are basically done. Now I am confined to living the rest of my life on synthetic steroids and other meds to keep me alive. Before I met the sociopath I was very healthy. I had no medical issues, very active, very full of life. Knowing the sociopath really took it’s toll on me and it was such a slow and covert process so I’ve never noticed it the kind of toll it was taking on my physical health. I did know that I wasn’t going out with friends, and I became withdrawn. My husband made a lot of money so I did not have to work and he didn’t want me to work. So basically all I did was take my child to school in the morning and pick her up. And that left me with a lot of time to think about the things that the sociopath was doing to me, and I stressed about it all the time, and I felt anger, bitter, vengeful, I felt like I wanted to retaliate.

I was a very angry person. I felt very depressed and my thoughts just went so fast. My mind raced all the time. I started not being able to sleep. And I did not really feel good but I felt because I felt depressed and angry bed that must be contributing to my physical health. But my body felt like there was something wrong. I hate going to the doctor so it took me a long time but this past year I finally went to the doctor because I had no energy and I just was not functioning. And the doctor diagnosed me with Addison’s disease. This has been a new diagnosis so I haven’t asked the doctor all the questions I want to ask. But he did say that it can be a factor of prolonged stress. And now for the rest of my life – until I die, I have to take medication…

I have been under attack by this sociopath for the past 5 1/2 years. It has been mental hell. And I think after being tormented mentally, feeling afraid, constantly worrying what the sociopath is going to do to me next, what rumor will she start next, what is she going to do to destroy me next, hurt my family next. that it wore my body down.


I dont believe you are doomed to a life on steriods, etc. Find a functional medicine doctor and start the regimens. You can restore some function to your adrenals.
It will involve dietary and stress modifications. You have to get away from the spath. But I know you can do this!
Do not give up yet. There is hope for Addison’s even. Maybe not fully healing, but alot better health than you have now.
It starts with no contact for the spath 🙂


Opal Rose, Your welcome, Yes, once you leave your stress source you can truly heal but I would also recommend that you start healing your adrenal glands now (as much as you can while still living in the chaos of stress). See Dr Wilson’s book and Mia Lundin’s book.

Kay, it’s just sad how many victims of these evil people are left with health issues like yourself. I too like you was so healthily and active prior to meeting my ex, with him I became almost bed ridden due to all of the stress even though I still went to work and did everything around the home I was utterly exhausted. I would highly recommend that you look into a few things because all hope may not be lost in getting your adrenal glands to function healthy again.

Check out Dr Fuhrman’s website and google “Dr Fuhrman PBS you tube” and watch this show and his book Eat to Live. His methods really do work wonders to heal the body…I went to him (he had an office in the town I once lived in). I can assure you he can get your adrenal glands healed. He’s group of doctors in his office do phone consultations and work with people and professional athletes from all over the world. I can tell you from my own adrenal gland issues that within a month of his diet methods you will feel 80% better. He will put you on a vegan diet, I was so desperate for help to improve my health I was game for his methods. So glad I did step out of my comfort box. He has been on PBS, Dr Oz (they are friends from med school & dr oz follows Dr F’s methods at home).

I would also suggest you get your hormones tested and balance them out with a good hormonal specialist. You can google “compounding pharmacy” with your city name then call them for a list of doctors. This will give you a lot of energy.

Wishing you good health!

This topic of mental and physical health is so important when rebuilding lives from sociopathic abuse. It’s been 4 years since my x left, and it has taken me that long to get to a better place. I had so many things wrong with me during our marriage .. and like others who have posted, I didn’t realize it was his abuse that was causing it all. I had horrid eczema on my hands. Exhaustion. Insomnia. Anxiety and depression. And I went battled Hodgkin’s. Almost from the day he left our family home, things became better. My hands healed within weeks. I started sleeping more soundly and wasn’t exhausted all the time.

About a month ago I went to a 2 day seminar on neuroanatomy and the new research and findings on brain health. Chronic stress was discussed in length and the relationship to the brain structures in addition to failing memory and sometimes early onset of dementia type symptoms.

Something that helped me to really start focusing on my health (aside from turning 50!) was to purposely begin living more slowly and more gently. This is difficult after living in a hyper-vigilant state for so many years.

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