We inherit many traits from our parents. You may have your parents’ eyes or build or tendency to carry weight in your hips or belly. You can have a genetic propensity toward developing certain diseases, although that’s not set in stone. We now know that our lifestyle and habits can turn certain genetic switches on or off.
You may well have “inherited” your mother or dad’s propensity to be a worrier, although I believe that is not so much inherited or genetic as it is just learned behavior.
Well today anxiety disorders have become the most common mental illness in our nation. We all seem to live busy, stressed out lives in this 21st century. So you may be thinking – well, of course we are all anxious. There can be numerous underlying contributors besides stress including diet, exposure to toxins and artificial additives, dyes, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, exposure to EMFs, nutrient deficiencies including magnesium, vitamins D and B, Omega 3s and even breathing incorrectly!
What I found very interesting was that this predisposition to anxiety, particularly in high risk children, can be passed from parents to children. Researchers have discovered an inherited brain pathway that increases the risk of anxiety in monkeys. If this research translates to humans, it could have huge implications for treating overwhelming anxiety.
While this research is ongoing and not conclusive yet, extreme early-life anxiety is one of the biggest risk factors for anxiety disorders and depression. Most current treatments address symptoms (a factor in the opioid epidemic) rather than the underlying problem. The more we can learn about the how anxiety disorders develop, the more likely it is that future treatments will be successful in preventing the disorder from developing.
Do you believe you may have inherited a predisposition to anxiety from your parents?
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Such an interesting topic, Ann. Like you said in the first paragraph, lifestyle plays a huge role. I inherited lots of quirks. It’s hard to know what’s biological and what’s learned behavior. But I truly believe that I have the power to change it either way. I also agree with addressing the underlying problem. So while I tend to worry, and I think that’s part of how I’m wired, it doesn’t control my life.
Good for you Holly! That’s great. We have all inherited a lot that we often don’t even realize but you are absolutely right – whether they are learned behaviors, inherited or biological – we don’t have to let them control us!