Many of us who have anxiety or other mental health issues can give citation to someone in linage who had a similar condition. While we don’t have direct evidence yet that there are specific DNA threads where anxiety triggers live, it’s highly likely that the traits conducive to anxiety and mental health are heredity. Of course there are environmental, relationship, financial and a plethora of other reasons why you could have or get anxiety. It’s not an exact science, but it’s being worked on.
I found a good article here That discusses the notion of inheriting anxiety. I thought it was a very good article and certainly worthy of my time and hopefully yours.
From the article: “As with most things mental health-related, the answer isn’t cut and dried. Yes, anxiety and depression are heritable, according to the psychiatrists I interviewed. But environmental factors, like early childhood experiences, also play a role, interacting with your genes to influence whether you actually develop these disorders.”
Further: “Genetics seem to explain certain anxiety disorders — namely obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder — more than others, Potash says. But research to identify the genes involved in these anxiety disorders is still ongoing, partly because recruiting the vast number of participants needed to yield definitive results takes time.”
Understanding where our individual anxiety comes from is paramount to understanding where we may end up, and how best to combat it. I know that’s part of the end game goal for all of us right? One of the exercises we can perform to reveal this is to look back at our immediate family life when we were younger and attempt to understand how things played out. Essentially what you want to do is recognize the adult realities of your childhood. Did you parents struggle? Why? Perhaps this has contributed to your anxiety.
Simply put, we can’t dismiss inheritance of anxiety and mental health issues from our immediate DNA relatives our parents and grandparents. Spending time attempting to understand their lives and why things played out the way they did might be one of the puzzle pieces you need to understand your situation. What were their environmental factors growing up? What was the social situation? Was there unrest and anxiety abound?
I imagine for kids today in 2020 they will be looking back when they are in their 50’s and saying “god my parents must have really been stressed out…”
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