First let me clarify that this in an opinion only and derived from situational awareness that is observed in my everyday life. Let's start with The News. It does not matter what source it's delivered from it's designed to get a reaction from you by stating any sort of negative action. When is the last time you can remember seeing an entire day of Good News in any media? Got kids? They can add a lot of worry into your otherwise peaceful day. How is your car running? Boss giving you a hard time? Bad weather approaching, fires, floods, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, drought, etc! YOU COULD BE AFFECTED. I can almost guarantee that you are and you're not even aware of it. By what, you ask, it's STRESS.
Chicago murders, ISIS, North Korea, Parkland School shooting, Jim Acosta and thousands more interactions all combine to give stress every second of every day. How does it manifest itself in our bodies? Our bodies combat it with a little hormone called Cortisol. Here's where my theory kicks in. Somewhere between Addison's disease and Cushing's syndrome is that fine Balance we once had that properly regulated the bodies dispensing of Cortisol into our blood. It's a steroid and they can be wonderful but they are also extremely powerful.
As humans we can handle acute stress pretty well with small doses of cortisol coupled with some adrenaline when that old "fight or flight" reaches the brain. You know the stories of Mom's lifting cars off of their child in order to save them. And do you ever wonder how an old man can beat down bullies and barely get a bruise. I am not saying it always happens only that it has happened. We're designed to survive and this is our built in mechanism to do that.
Now the tricky part, chronic stress, this creeps up on us and we don't even realize it. Oh, the cortisol is still in the picture but is somewhat on a drip campaign, literally in constant production, numbing the overall effect of the day to day stresses we bear. The more chronic our stress the less ability we have to handle the acute variety. What occurs is a simple trigger can put you over the edge. You get yelled at work or cut off in traffic or it could be a perceived threat because the cortisol in both high and low levels can fatigue, disorient and virtually alter your normal reaction to this stress input. This is what happens in my opinion to those perpetrators of horrific acts to others and why its diagnosis is so, so difficult.
Got too much on your life's plate? Hate your job? Caregiver to a sick relative? In a bad relationship? These would be conducive to having a chronic stress problem. If it's sudden money problems, road rage, death of a loved one or even being a victim or witness to a crime this can result in feeling acute stress. The two can be a lethal combination and you need to do something about it before it's too late. Want a sobering statistic, in about half of all cardiovascular disease cases the first symptom is death.
Stress is not going away, we are designed to handle it but I want you to be able to identify it and seek help for it if necessary. Making fists, a hot head, rapid heartbeat and breathing, clammy hands or cold feet can be signs of acute stress. Mood swings, anxiety and depression accompany chronic stress but the most telltale symptom I see is a large belly and relative "skinny" arms and legs in their proportion. When observed I know that Cortisol is rampant in that body.
What to do: See a Professional, Exercise, Meditate, Breathe correctly and get a hobby! You're going to be all right!