At the EBT Annual Meeting last Saturday, the EBT Research Group announced a new diagnosis. Increasingly, researchers are proposing that we treat stress itself, which biologically points to the errant stress circuits that trigger the chronic secretion of cortisol.

Physiology is the diagnostic criterion

Dr. Igor Mitrovic's comments launched the meeting, explaining the diagnosis: "The problem in today's society in particular, we have a huge amount of chronic stress, which we can talk about as Chronic Physiologic Stress Overload."

He went on to clarify the role of physiology in stress: "The reason I would agree with the term Chronic Physiologic Stress Overload for everything is that psychology does not exist outside of physiology."

The primacy of physiology in mental health

In a time when the diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders list 265 diagnoses and half of the patients treated for depression do not get better and only one third remit, it's time to focus less on diagnostic criteria for any one disorder and instead address the root cause: CPSO.

Chronic stress drains serotonin and dopamine and compromises executive functioning, which is the source of self-regulatory control to promote stress resilience and health.

Treating stress overload easier with a diagnosis: CPSO

This new diagnosis will help usher EBT into healthcare faster. In the 1980s, neuroscientist Peter Sterling coined the term "allostasis." In his initial article on allostasis, he wrote: "While summarizing this material for another essay collection, it hit me that when you name an idea, it has a better chance. So, we coined a new word, “allostasis.”

Allostasis did catch on, and we hope CPSO does as well. Chronic allostasis causes mental health problems and chronic diseases, so finally, we can speak about this silent killer with a proper term. It makes sense that the EBT researchers would be the ones to propose the diagnosis, as EBT is the only skill set that targets the very circuits that cause Chronic Physiologic Stress Overload.

So now, instead of saying, "I'm stressed," we can say, "Oh, that stress? It's my CPSO acting up." Fortunately, we don't have to take drugs for that problem. We just need a sturdy dose of EBT.