I just posted "From Bedridden to Hiking I Healed." I developed chronic anxiety. It can sneak up on you. Your adrenals are involved because the anxiety is draining them. Thoughts that are negative or if we experience something we don't like, hear bad news, have some health issues causes our brains to release a series of hormones. Even the tiniest little thing like reading an email that you don't like puts stress on our bodies because of the release of hormones and resources our bodies need to keep us calm and help us deal with the emotions. There are other contributing factors sometimes as well. Maybe you went through a breakup, are working out too much, not eating right or had a virus.
Anxiety after awhile comes like a drug for your brain. Your brain gets stuck taking anxiety pathways instead of the happy pathways. Thus causing your body to use up more resources and stressing your thyroid and adrenals out more. I had to get on top of the thoughts, all of them. I was extremely sick and my anxiety was all day everyday. I had slipped into a place were I was having panic attacks all the time. I could not even watch TV or read. I could not function because I did not have the fuel my body needed to cope with stress anymore and my brain was stuck. The ongoing anxiety causes an impairment of the limbic system. You get stuck in fight or flight.
I actually ended up using a brain retraining program which is hard work. I had to help my brain get out of the anxiety mode. I had to change a lot about my thoughts and what I was doing to get my brain back to taking the pathways of joy and happiness and not triggering my emotions of fear. It became a job to get my life back, but I did and now I don't have problems anymore.
The other thing that helps is if you can take supplements. I could not when I was so sick. Amino acids, B complex and minerals. The real key is the amino acids. You body burns these to cope with stress. When you use them up without replenishing them you get mood swings, anxiety and inability to cope. There is an awesome book about this called "The Mood Cure." There is a written test in it you can take to see what amino acids you need most. It's cheaper than taking an amino acid panel. It can take up to a year and a half to replenish aminos.
I too had elevated cortisol. I had tried Seriphos years earlier and it had helped for a few days then it didn't. Years later I learned that Phosphorylated Serine has been given at higher doses to ADHD kids. Meaning it can hype you up at higher doses. I was taking the recommended dose for calming me down but it was still too much. In the past 6 months I stumbled upon using Turmeric to reduce my cortisol. It takes about three weeks to take effect. Then you need to monitor your dosage to not reduce cortisol too much. Turmeric is really good for inflammation too and also kills staph infections.