Is Anxiety Genetic
Have you struggled with feelings of anxiety? Maybe someone in your family displays typical symptoms of anxious behavior, so now you wonder, is anxiety genetic?
Anxiety disorder can manifest with serious symptoms and interfere with daily life, but thankfully there are ways you can get treatment for inherited anxiety.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders come in many shapes and sizes but at their core, what they share is excessive, intense, and persistent fear or worry about everyday situations that can sometimes manifest in the form of panic attacks. Some examples include:
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Or specific phobias
The severity of anxiety disorders differs in individuals based on the causes like inherited anxiety versus acute anxiety.
- In the cases of acute anxiety, this is something that people feel at least a few times in their lives, usually surrounding a critical, significant, or nerve-wracking event. This type of anxiety only manifests during a situation like a job interview, a child who has been injured and is awaiting treatment in the hospital, or even something like going to a new school or moving to a new town. Once the situation is over, the acute anxiety symptoms go away.
- In the cases of inherited anxiety, chronic panic attacks or similar symptoms of anxiety occur. These symptoms take place regularly, without a distinct cause or noticeable event. Someone could be going about their daily life and suddenly have a panic attack.
For many with these episodes and excessive panic attacks, it is easy to wonder is anxiety genetic, especially when the same symptoms show up in more than one family member. With an official anxiety disorder, these feelings of anxiety and these panic attacks can be challenging to control, and they can happen to such a degree that they interfere with daily tasks.
What Causes an Anxiety Disorder?
There are many causes of anxiety disorder.
Trauma, especially at a young age, can cause significant anxiety if left untreated. This type of anxiety can take the form of generalized anxiety disorder or things like selective mutism in children, separation anxiety disorder associated with parents, or people who have a parental role in a child’s life.
Medications or Medical Conditions
Sometimes medications or medical conditions like physical health problems can lead to or exacerbate an existing anxiety disorder.
Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Persistent drug and alcohol abuse is often used as a form of self-medication to treat anxiety, but long-term exposure can alter the brain’s chemistry and lead to a vicious cycle of ongoing anxiety, which can only be quelled by continued drug and alcohol abuse.
In short, for those wondering is anxiety genetic, there are, in fact, cases of inherited anxiety. Inherited anxiety can be passed down through your genetic makeup to yourself and multiple members of your family. Many people who struggle with generalized anxiety disorder do not realize that the root cause lies in their genetics, so treatments are never sought to address the real cause.
Is Anxiety Genetic?
But is anxiety genetic?
Yes, for some, genetic traits are the cause of an anxiety disorder. In order to determine whether your situation is genetic, getting comprehensive genetic testing done can help reveal markers for a predisposition to anxiety.
What to Look for in Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Good anxiety treatment will tackle a comprehensive range of problems contributing to your anxiety. For many people, anxiety does not exist in isolation. It is coupled with other mental health problems (some of which are also rooted in genetics) like depression, alcoholism, or drug abuse.
When evaluating anxiety disorder treatment, find facilities that help you determine the underlying cause of your anxiety first, and then work to create a custom treatment plan that tackles the co-existing problems with which you are struggling. Doing so will address the root cause, not just the symptoms of anxiety.
For some people, anxiety treatment needs to include coping skills, a way to address the symptoms of anxiety disorders when they arise. This can include a mixture of therapy, medications, and holistic treatments. Holistics treatments and evidence-based practice can teach cognitive-behavioral changes, meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, exercise, and other ways to naturally manage anxiety when feelings of panic arise.
Let us help you manage your inherited anxiety.