This is called the denial phase because typically we see a gradual onset of symptoms which increase over time, eventually leading to a crash. However we ignore or deny that there is anything wrong as many people can manage the symptoms for a very long time and will find many ways to cope. However, what this means is that it is not always obvious that our health is deteriorating as it becomes our norm without us realising it.
This is the phase where we experience lots of annoying aches and pains and increasing tiredness. It may take us longer to complete tasks and we notice that we are ‘losing our edge’. We start to have difficulty sleeping. Our immune system is weakened and we constantly pick up viruses and find it hard to recover. We may self-medicate with caffeine, alcohol or other substances and these may help for a while.
Despite the tiredness, our personality type means that we just keep going, pushing through, getting things done however we can, but we may become anxious as we start to see the decline in our health and vitality. You may eventually see a GP and have various tests which often come back as inconclusive, leaving us frustrated that there are no answers, or we may feel like it is our fault, we are just being lazy.
However, these early warning signals are our body’s way of trying to get our attention, but when tests come back as all clear we ignore these symptoms and soldier on until the body is forced to work beyond its capacity. This is when adrenal fatigue begins, which in turn sets up the domino effect which cascades into a health crisis. You may seek help for individual symptoms, whereas what is needed is to consider the whole picture.
At some point the body reaches a very low state. A combination of gut issues, increasing fatigue, neurological symptoms and a weakened immune system leave the body susceptible to that final trigger which acts like the straw that breaks the camel’s back. This may be a virus, an injury or a trauma, and this is often what sufferers think was the start of their illness, however we can see from the build-up that is simply the point at which the body can no longer cope.