No Longer Feel Stress Hormones

Written by Jim Folk
Medically reviewed by Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated November 23, 2021

no longer feel stress hormones anxiety symptom

No Longer Feel Stress Hormones is a common complaint among people who struggle with anxiety and stress.

This symptom of anxiety disorder is often described as still having emotions and feelings but not feeling the physical sensations or “rush” or “surge” of adrenaline or cortisol course through the body.

This article explains the relationship between anxiety and the No Longer Feel Stress Hormones anxiety disorder symptom.

No Longer Feel Stress Hormones Common Symptom Descriptions:

This anxiety symptom is often described as:

  • Even though you have emotions, you no longer feel the physical effects of stress hormones.
  • You no longer feel the rush of adrenaline or cortisol.
  • You feel physically empty inside despite feeling anxious.
  • It feels like your body is numb inside, and even when a stress response has been activated.
  • It feels like your body is hollow and just going through the motions.
  • It can also feel like your mind is “hollow” and empty no matter what you do.
  • No matter how stimulated your body gets, you feel nothing physically inside.

This symptom can occur occasionally, frequently, or persistently.

It can precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety symptoms or occur by itself.

It can also precede, accompany, or follow a period of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and stress, or occur "out of the blue" and for no reason.

This symptom can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe and come in waves where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.

This symptom can change from day to day, moment to moment, or remain as a constant background during your struggle with anxiety disorder.

All the above combinations and variations are common.

This symptom can seem more noticeable when undistracted, resting, trying to sleep, waking up, or you have more time to think.

To see if anxiety might be playing a role in your symptoms, rate your level of anxiety using our free one-minute instant results Anxiety Test, Anxiety Disorder Test, or Hyperstimulation Test.

The higher the rating, the more likely anxiety could be contributing to or causing your anxiety symptoms, including feeling like impending doom symptoms.

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Causes:

Medical Advisory

Since some medical conditions and medications cause anxiety-like symptoms, it's best to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

If you've done that and your doctor has attributed your symptoms to anxiety, you can be confident there isn't a medical or medication cause.

Yes, anxiety can cause a person to no longer feel the physical effects of stress hormones. Here is the reason why:

1. Chronic stress

Anxiety activates the stress response, which prepares the body to “fight or flee.” This survival reaction is often referred to as the fight or flight response.[1][2]

Visit our “Stress Response” article for more information about its many changes.

The higher the degree of the stress response, the more dramatic the changes.

Since stress responses push the body beyond its balance point, they stress the body. A body that becomes stressed can exhibit symptoms.

When stress responses occur too often, the body can become chronically stressed. We call this stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants.

Hyperstimulation can cause all the changes and symptoms of a stress response.[3][4]

Visit our “Hyperstimulation” article for more information about its many effects.

Stress hormone insensitivity

Stress hormone insensitivity can be one of the effects.

When the body is not overly stimulated, it reacts to stress responses normally. When the body becomes hyperstimulated, it can become insensitive to stress hormones.[5]

Stress hormone insensitivity can mute the physical feelings of the stress response.

Hyperstimulation is one of the most common causes of not feeling stress hormones.

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2. Other Factors

Other factors can stress the body, causing and contributing to this symptom, such as:

Medication

Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can mimic, cause, and aggravate anxiety symptoms.

Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about your medication if you aren't sure if its playing a role in your symptoms, including this one.

Visit our Medication article for more information.

Recreational Drugs

Many recreational drugs can cause and aggravate anxiety symptoms. Especially those that affect the nervous system.

Visit our Recreational Drugs article for more information.

Stimulants

Stimulants bring about their stimulating effect by secreting stress hormones.

Increasing the body’s stimulation can cause and aggravate existing anxiety symptoms.

Visit our Stimulants article for more information.

Sleep Deprivation

Going without adequate sleep can affect the body in many ways, such as:

  • Prevents the body from sufficiently refreshing itself
  • Stresses the nervous system
  • Impairs brain function
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Increases blood sugar
  • Increases moodiness
  • Increases cortisol to compensate for feeling tired (cortisol is a powerful stress hormone)

These effects can cause and aggravate anxiety symptoms.

Visit our Sleep Deprivation article for more information.

Fatigue

Fatigue can cause and aggravate many anxiety-like symptoms, such as:

To name a few.

Visit our Fatigue article for more information.

Hyper and Hypoventilation

Over and under breathing can also cause anxiety-like symptoms and aggravate existing symptoms.

Visit our Hyper And Hypoventilation article for more information.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, even within the normal range, can cause anxiety-like symptoms. Low blood sugar can also aggravate existing anxiety symptoms.

Visit our Low Blood Sugar article for more information.

Nutritional Deficiency

Nutritional deficiencies, such as low vitamin B and D, can cause anxiety-like symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies can also aggravate existing anxiety symptoms.

Visit our Nutritional Deficiency article for more information.

Dehydration

Dehydration can also cause anxiety-like symptoms and aggravate existing anxiety symptoms, such as:

To name a few.

Visit our Dehydration article for more information.

Hormone Changes

Hormones affect the body in many ways and can affect each other. Hormone changes can cause anxiety-like symptoms and aggravate existing anxiety symptoms.

Visit our Hormone Changes article for more information.

Pain

Pain stresses the body, especially chronic pain. If the pain is in the high degree range, it can cause and aggravate hyperstimulation.

If you are anxious, hyperstimulated, and symptomatic, pain can aggravate them all.

Visit our Pain article for more information.

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Treatment:

When other factors cause or aggravate this symptom, addressing them can reduce and end this symptom.

When an active stress response causes this symptom, ending the active stress response will bring an end to this symptom.

Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn't be a cause for concern.

When hyperstimulation (chronic stress) causes the No Longer Feeling Stress Hormones symptom, eliminating hyperstimulation will end this symptom.

As the body recovers from hyperstimulation, it stops sending symptoms, including this one.

Symptoms of chronic stress subside as the body regains its normal, non-hyperstimulated health.

But eliminating hyperstimulation can take much longer than most people think. Hyperstimulation symptoms can linger as long as the body is hyperstimulated.

Since this is a symptom of chronic stress (hyperstimulation), it's harmless and needn't cause concern.

Anxiety symptoms linger because:

  • You're still experiencing stress (from stressful circumstances or anxious behavior).
  • Your stress hasn't diminished enough or for long enough.
  • Your body hasn't completed its recovery work.

Lingering anxiety symptoms ONLY remain because of the above reasons. They AREN'T a sign of a more serious medical problem.

Chronic anxiety symptoms subside when hyperstimulation is eliminated. As the body recovers and stabilizes, all chronic anxiety symptoms end.

Since worrying and becoming upset stress the body, these behaviors interfere with recovery.

Passively accepting your symptoms while doing your recovery work will cause their cessation in time. Passive acceptance means not reacting to, resisting, or worrying about your symptoms.

Acceptance, practice, and patience are key to recovery.

Keep in mind that it can take a long time for the body to recover from the adverse effects of hyperstimulation. It's best to faithfully practice your recovery strategies despite the lack of apparent progress.

If you persevere with your recovery work, you will succeed.
We also have to do our recovery work FIRST before the body can recover. It's the cumulative effects of our recovery work that produce results down the road. And, the body's stimulation has to diminish before symptoms can subside.

  • Faithfully practicing your recovery strategies.
  • Passively accepting your symptoms.
  • Containing anxious behavior.
  • Being patient.

These will bring results in time.

When we do the right work, the body has to recover!

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Therapy

Unidentified and unaddressed underlying factors cause issues with anxiety. As such, they are the primary reason why anxiety symptoms persist.[6][7][8]

Addressing your underlying factors (Level Two recovery) is most important if you want lasting success.

Addressing Level Two recovery can help you:

  • Contain anxious behavior.
  • Become unafraid of anxiety symptoms and the strong feelings of anxiety.
  • End anxiety symptoms.
  • Successfully address the underlying factors that so often cause issues with anxiety.
  • End what can feel like out-of-control worry.

All our recommended anxiety therapists have had anxiety disorder and overcame it. Their personal experience with anxiety disorder and their Master's Degree and above professional training gives them insight other therapists don't have.

If you want to achieve lasting success over anxiety disorder, any one of our recommended therapists would be a good choice.

Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to treat anxiety disorder.

In many cases, working with an experienced therapist is the only way to overcome stubborn anxiety.

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FAQ

Is No Longer Feeling Stress Hormones dangerous?

No, because this is just a symptom of stress, it’s not harmful or dangerous. However, it is letting you know your body is overly stressed and needs attention. As your stress is reduced, this symptom should subside.

Can the No Longer Feel Stress Hormones anxiety symptom become permanent?

All anxiety symptoms, including this one, are caused by stress. As long as the body is stressed, it can present symptoms, including this one. Reducing stress and giving your body time to recover will eliminate it in time. Therefore, it’s not permanent.

Is No Longer Feeling Stress Hormones an indication of a serious medical problem?

Generally, no. Since this is a symptom of stress, it will subside when you reduce your stress and give your body time to recover.

However, it’s wise to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to ensure there isn’t a medical or medication cause.

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Prevalence

20 percent of respondents to an online poll we conducted said they experienced this symptom due to their anxiety.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our anxiety disorders signs and symptoms page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including No Longer Feel Stress Hormones anxiety symptoms.

References

1. Berczi, Istvan. “Walter Cannon's ‘Fight or Flight Response’ - ‘Acute Stress Response.’” Walter Cannon's "Fight or Flight Response"  - "Acute Stress Response", 2017.

2. Godoy, Livea, et al. "A Comprehensive Overview on Stress Neurobiology: Basic Concepts and Clinical Implications." Frontiers In Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, July 2018.

3. Elbers, Jorina, et al. "Wired for Threat: Clinical Features of Nervous System Dysregulation in 80 Children." Pediatric Neurology, Dec 2018.

4. Teixeira, Renata Roland, et al. “Chronic Stress Induces a Hyporeactivity of the Autonomic Nervous System in Response to Acute Mental Stressor and Impairs Cognitive Performance in Business Executives.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2015.

5. Hannibal, Kara, and Bishop, Mark. "Chronic Stress, Cortisol Dysfunction, and Pain: A Psychoneuroendocrine Rationale for Stress Management in Pain Rehabilitation." Physical Therapy, Dec 2014.

6. Hofmann, Stefan G., et al. “The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-Analyses.” Cognitive Therapy and Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Oct. 2012.

7. Leichsenring, Falk. “Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the Gold Standard for Psychotherapy?” JAMA, American Medical Association, 10 Oct. 2017.

8. DISCLAIMER: Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, and because each person will have a unique mix of symptoms and underlying factors, recovery results may vary. Variances can occur for many reasons, including due to the severity of the condition, the ability of the person to apply the recovery concepts, and the commitment to making behavioral change.