“Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything changes”

Antoine Lavoisier (1743 -1794) – Scientist – Founder of modern chemistry

The International Stress Association (ISA) aims to provide you with scientific facts that will help you take concrete action on the realities and consequences of stress. The sole aim of the ISA is to arrive at the truth, through facts and concrete action on stress, on the individual and global level, by way of information and training for both professionals and the general public.

The international scientific community (Dr Avshalom CASPI, Dr Terrie Moffitt) has proved that the misfortune that might necessarily lead to ill-being, madness, malice, dissatisfaction or even a romantic break-up family disaster is not due to pure chance or some evil witch's curse or any hereditary genetic cause. These geneticists and neuroscientists have established once and for all that "bad" does not exist, only persons who have been subjected to stress either at birth, during their childhood or as teenagers. These scientists have underlined, moreover, that Antoine Lavoisier's universal principal in chemistry also applies to human beings: the main thing is not the stressful experience itself but how you use that experience afterwards. Here are the keys to understanding and working together constructively and with sincerity.

Stress a sign of tension or well-being

Stress is a rigidity in the body and mind that tells us something about the fulfilling of our needs, the expression of our emotions and the quality of our relations. It provides a sense of contentment or relief via the neuro-vegetative nervous system. In our brains, it is connected to fear (menace, danger, the unknown, trust) and moral conscience (empathy, contempt, memory, childhood memories, refusal to accept reality) via the amygdalae, hippocampus and the insular cortex (Dr Joseph Ledoux, Dr Gerhard Roth). Stress arises as a reaction to a stroke received through an act, through a lack or omission or abuse due to a wrong dose, in other words, and in the following order (Dr. Hans Selye, Dr. Suzan Forward, Dr. Arthur Janov):

  • contact causing a wound, whether physical (blow, difficult birth, argument, shout, slap, violence) or emotional (teasing, insult, discrediting, shaming);
  • contact that is distant or lacking, whether physically (lack of breast-feeding, oxygen, early separation, abandonment, mourning) or emotionally (coldness, lack of toys, lack of tenderness and partaking, lack of rewarding or encouraging words);
  • contact that is excessive or toxic, whether physically (too frequent solicitation, precocious pleasure, excessive stimulation, excessive pressure, harassment) or emotionally (brainwashing, control, poisoning, covetousness, excessive mothering, intrusion).

Six statistically verifiable global scourges

Statistically verifiable in official studies by international organizations, (World Health Organization, UNICEF…), six accruable scourges in life subject the world's population to stress on an epidemic scale from the moment of birth, with social consequences including problems with emotional ties (relationships, family), problems with engaging in positive actions (violence, passivity, destructiveness), problems with abuse (addiction, "stuffing", eating disorders, sexual pleasure, perversion) and health problems (fear – anxiety – distrust; restlessness – rumination - dissociation; exhaustion – depression - fatigue):

  • Baby Stress (20% difficult birth, 50% lack of breastfeeding, 50% sleeping alone).
  • Separation and abandonment (1 divorce for every 2 marriages, 10% early hospitalisation).
  • Violence and accidents (65% hit, slapped, belittled at home; 25% at school).
  • Sexual abuse (38% of women and 15% of men abused; 10% of perverts (male and female).
  • Lack of affection (95% of people do not receive Chapman's 5 languages of love).
  • Lack of information (in 2017, 95% of health professionals still do not know the human brain's 7 emotions and the 4 paths to human satisfaction).

The 3 reactions to stress

Stress is recognized through 3 reactions observed in all human beings (Dr. Henri Laborit):

  • FREEZE: remain motionless in the face of the problem: let it go; play dead; clam up; curl up; don't think anything, don't feel anything, don't do anything; forget; wait; ruminate; become depressed.
  • FLY: avoid the problem; run towards another, nicer solution or easy source of pleasure; try to feel and do well; make yourself or others happy; daydream; "space out"; dissociation; illusion; put on a front; stuffing; deceit; lying.
  • FIGHT: overcome the problem; seek to master, to control, power or domination; face up or attack; healthy combativeness or physical, mental or sexual violence; efficiency in facing up to the problem or destructiveness with toxicity, abuse, feeling of guilt.

The 4 stages leading to a closed heart

The ill-being caused by stress takes over a person in four stages (Dr. Henri Laborit, Dr. Claude Steiner, Alice Miller, Dr. Peter Levine):

  • Children live off stress caused by violence / blow, negligence / lack or excess / abuse.
  • They can only accept it, or FREEZE, due to their position in the hierarchy of power and the OLD SCHOOL conditioning they are subjected to: "It's for your own good", "Be a good boy/girl and be quiet", "Don't say anything, there's no need to cause trouble", "Please people ", "Duty, tradition, family, shame", "Be strong, try hard", "Be perfect", "Anger, not nice"….
  • They close up inside a defensive shell, wear a mask, their heart is icy, SHUT DOWN.
  • They experience "stress bugs - side effects" (painful repetition, negative thoughts).

Impact on the person's functioning

FREEZING disrupts the 3 facets of the person's functioning by:

  • Inhibiting feeling and the awareness of feelings (Dr. Antonio Damasio);
  • Suppressing the real personality and preventing the healthy management of needs on the behavioural level (Dr. Henri Laborit, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg);
  • Reversing positive thought about self or others, the constructive mind-set to succeed, confidence, belief in life (Dr. John Bradshaw).

The first consequence of SHUT DOWN is the rise of negative thoughts of powerlessness (anger, irritability) and incomprehension (sadness, solitude). If the level of stress is high, feelings of anxiety (fear, panic), revulsion (disgust, "dirty") and humiliation (shame, devastation) can also appear. Without emotional support or way out, and in this dead end of silence and denial, the nervous system and reptilian brain can set this cocktail alight, sparking hatred, despair, contempt or madness, with a destructiveness or toxicity against oneself or others. The human pressure-cooker is then prone to illness in the much wider sense of the word (Dr. Eric Berne). The extreme version of this state is CUT DOWN, the severing of human ties, which surfaces in psycho or horror stories. The destruction of filiation is a result of abuse (Dr. Vincent Laupies).

The social and economic cost of stress

The human, social and economic cost of stress is phenomenal. The sums allocated to eliminating it are huge: billions spent on tobacco, alcohol, drugs, medicines, emergency services, social assistance, justice, war… 900,000 people commit suicide each year (WHO). In the USA, 1 trillion dollars has been spent on the war on drugs since 1970.

Perhaps this has opened your eyes to the huge importance of stress, that little electric tension we have inside us that can lead to huge problems in the world?! Perhaps you would like to do something about it for you, your children, friends or family? Great, don't worry, we'll get there. We understand, because we've all been through it ourselves. We made the ISA programme for you, and the ISA programme needs you to make it a success. Below you will find the resources we propose sharing with you to move forward together.