Adrenal glands refer to two (2) small glands, located on top of the kidneys, that are part of the endocrine system and secrete several hormones, including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, that are involved in responses to stress. They are Endocrine glands, located on top of each kidney, that secrete hormones and affect metabolism; that arouse the body, regulate salt balance, adjust the body to stress, and affect sexual functioning.


The adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. These glands are essential for the production of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone, which play crucial roles in the body's response to stress, metabolism, and fluid balance. In the psychology context, the adrenal glands are often associated with the body's fight-or-flight response, as adrenaline and cortisol are released in response to perceived threats or stressors. The proper functioning of the adrenal glands is crucial for maintaining emotional well-being and coping with stress.

Application Areas

  • Stress response
  • Emotional regulation
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Treatment and Risks

  • Behavioral therapies
  • Pharmacological interventions
  • Risks of adrenal insufficiency
  • Effects of chronic stress on adrenal health


  • An individual experiencing a panic attack may have heightened activity in their adrenal glands, leading to increased adrenaline release.
  • Chronic stress can lead to dysregulation of the adrenal glands, resulting in symptoms of anxiety and mood disorders.
  • A person with PTSD may have abnormal functioning of the adrenal glands, affecting their stress response and emotional regulation.

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Suprarenal glands
  • Stress hormones
  • Cortisol production


The adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, are instrumental in hormone production for stress, metabolism, and fluid balance. In psychology, they are associated with the body's fight-or-flight response and play a crucial role in emotional well-being and stress coping mechanisms.