Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.

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Overview of the
HPA-Axis
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
PACER Integrative Behavioral Healthcare
Objectives
 Learn about the HPA-Axis, how it impacts all other major neurotransmitters and hormones and symptoms of imbalance.

What is the HPA-Axis
 The HPA-Axis is one of many systems in the body designed to ensure survival.
 The HPA-Axis is primarily responsible for the fight or flight reaction
 The HPA axis helps regulate many homeostatic systems in the body, including the
 Cardiovascular system
 Metabolic system
 Immune system
 Reproductive system
 Nervous system
 The HPA axis integrates physical and psychosocial influences in order to allow an organism to adapt effectively to its environment, use resources, and optimize survival

Overview of the HPA-Axis
 Stress causes the secretion of cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, glutamate
 Cortisol causes the release of glucose for energy and as a steroid, acts as an anti-inflammatory suppresses the immune system
 During an immune or injury response, proinflammatory cytokines are released and pass through the blood brain barrier where they activate the HPA axis
 Under conditions of hypocortisolism or glucocorticoid resistance cortisol is unable to suppress inflammation
 Adrenaline and norepinephrine tell the pituitary gland to release endorphins

HPA-Axis Dysfunction Related Issues
 Physical
 Cardiovascular Disease
 Pain and inflammation
 Autoimmune issues
 Insomnia
 Fatigue
 Reduced Libido
 PCOS
 Cancer
 Diabetes

 Affective
 Post Traumatic Stress
 Depression (all types)
 Anxiety and Chronic “stress”
 Cognitive
 Impairment
 Dementia

Considerations
 Source of the stress
 Physical
 Nutrition
 Sleep
 Health
 Pain
 Affective
 Dysphoria
 Euphoria

 Cognitive
 Unhelpful thoughts
 Neurological differences (autism, schizophrenia)
 Environment (smell, sounds, light)
 Relationships

Summary
 The HPA-Axis is crucial for survival in the face of distress
 Dysfunction of the HPA-Axis is involved in a variety of physical, affective and cognitive issues
 The breakdown in the system will likely continue to get worse even if you do find ways to temporarily mask it.

#HPA-Axis #depression #autoimmune

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