Is Anxiety Really Genetic or is There Something More at Play?

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Some people subscribe to the idea that anxiety is a genetic problem, and in some situations, this can certainly be the case. However, the reality is that anxiety is a much more complex issue that cannot be chalked up to simply one single cause.

Anxiety can emerge as a result of life situations, experiences, and beliefs, and while it’s certainly true that genetics may influence a person’s development of anxiety, it is far from the only cause. This article will touch on how genetics and other factors can influence anxiety.

What Causes Anxiety?

There are a number of things that can cause anxiety, and some things that can make a person more likely to develop an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives. Some of the most common include:

  • Genetics. A complicated issue, genetics may or may not make someone directly develop an
    anxiety disorder. Instead, they may make someone more susceptible to the effects of certain
    situations or traumatic experiences that could trigger latent anxiety.
  • Brain chemistry. A number of things can influence a person’s brain chemistry, ranging from
    addictions to sex, gambling, or drugs, head injuries, or other issues.
  • Traumatic life experiences can make a person develop anxieties, particularly in the case of
    PTSD where they become anxious around situations that remind them of their
    traumatic experiences.
  • Physical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, can also contribute to the development of
    anxiety disorders.
  • Nutritional deficiencies can lead to the development of anxiety, particularly for people who are
    deficient in magnesium or the B vitamins
  • A person’s upbringing. Someone who is raised in an environment where they are unloved may
    develop certain anxieties, whereas people who are raised in environments where they are not
    shown how to properly socialize may develop social anxiety.

It’s important to note that there are many different types of anxiety, and certain triggers may lead to certain forms of anxiety. For example, a person may develop social anxiety if they experience a traumatic situation at the hands of one of their peers during early life.

Genetics and Anxiety

What is interesting about the link between genetics and anxiety is the fact that a solid conclusion cannot yet be drawn. It is understood that there is a link between genetics and anxiety, but more research is required to be certain of that link.

What is certain is that there are a number of things that can contribute to anxiety disorders, most of which fall outside the category of genetics. Environmental influences, social factors, a person’s upbringing, and their physical or mental health can all contribute to anxiety.

However, one should note that having a family history of anxiety may make someone more likely to develop anxiety disorders as a result of any of these conditions. Whether or not anxiety is an issue that can be caused directly by genetics is yet to be understood.

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