Toxic stress is a prolonged activation of the body’s stress response system in response to adverse experiences. It can have long-lasting negative effects on physical, emotional, and social well-being, especially for children whose brains are still developing. Toxic stress can disrupt brain development and lead to difficulties in regulating emotions, processing information, and forming positive relationships with others. It can also impact physical health by increasing the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Seeking support from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals is crucial in recognizing and addressing toxic stress to maintain a normal and happy life.
These effects might include:
If you are stressed, you might feel:
Some people who go through severe stress may experience suicidal feelings. This can be very distressing.
If you feel unable to keep yourself safe, it’s a mental health emergency.