Can anxiety be inherited?

Can anxiety be inherited?

Anxiety is a very common disorder. According to some theories there may be a hereditary component.

Can anxiety be inherited?

To some extent, there is a sense that anxiety can actually be inherited; that is, living in an anxious environment and with anxious people often triggers a sort of return anxiety , as if there was a contagion.

The question, however, is a little more complex than that and many questions remain unanswered: is there a genetic component that predisposes more to the development of anxiety or is it more an environmental issue? A lot of research has tried to answer this question, but there is still no real conclusion about the potential inheritance of anxiety.

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Anxiety and heredity, what the research says

Many studies carried out on members of the same family and in particular on twins have suggested a certain influence of genetics on the development of anxiety disorders and, in particular, panic attacks .

Several genes have been brought up but a given hereditary component of anxiety has never been ascertained , that is, that set of genetic conditions that could underlie the familiarity of the anxiety disorder.

According to some hypotheses, in genetically predisposed people, anxiety begins to show its signs from a young age . According to recent studies, in fact, when anxiety develops before the age of twenty, it is more likely that there are other people with similar disorders in the family.

According to the study entitled  Genetic and environmental influences on relationship between anxiety sensitivity and anxiety subscales in children, some traits of anxiety in people who have a predisposition towards anxiety disorders, and in particular towards panic attacks, can already be noted in children around 8 years of age.

Scholars who have addressed the complex topic of the potential inheritance of anxiety have often found that people with anxiety and panic attacks had a first-degree relative who suffered from a similar disorder , but the main question remains the same: is there a genetic component or is the issue mainly attributable to environmental factors?

People from the same family, for example, may have suffered the same trauma , have the same socio-economic difficulties, have experienced a similar stressful situation …

Summarizing, therefore, the potential inheritance of anxiety has been studied for many years and the hypothesis that there may be a certain familiarity of these disorders, at least in some cases, is increasingly gaining ground. Of course, however, much remains to be discovered, as with all the problems concerning the most complex organ we have: the brain .

The good news is that, again based on studies carried out on the potential inheritance of anxiety, cases in which a certain familiarity of the disorder was noted did not prove to be more difficult to treat than those in which no evidence of a disease was found. familiarity. 

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