Scientific Route Cause for Anxiety

So if your anything like me, you've spent all these years looking for reasons, researching your condition etc. Having read various scientific papers, and visited various so called professionals in the health industry, NHS and Private, I have reached the following conclusions.

Anxiety is the result of a misplaced fight or flight reaction. 3 million years of human evolution,and then within 100 years , we are thrust into office work and the technology age.

Basically your lymbic brain, the amygdala, play a vital role in regulating your response to anxiety.

In some people, the response is over the top, and not fitting with the situation. EG. Social anxiety... to other people you seemed fine yesterday, but to you, you had a massive attack of panic when meeting friends for lunch etc etc.

Now you ask, why do some people have an over response?

I have concluded it's the first 9 months in the womb.

If you mother was stressed out in that time period, it's likely that some of that will be passed down physically, and your neuro chemistry and physiology will have been hard wired for anxiety reactions.

Forget the idea that anxiety is learned, or based upon class status or wealth, for sure it can contribute, but take 100 people who lose their partner, and you will find 90% cope ok after a brief normal period of grief, then 10% will develop anxiety symptoms, same goes for many life situations. Study 100 people who survive cancer, or 100 people who divorce, same % anxiety rates prevail. One guy nearly dies and takes it on the chin, the next fellow deveopes an anxiety disorder which plagues him for life.

I'm not going to elaborate any further.

16 Replies

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  • Hi UKMale

    You have actually put into writing something that I have been thinking for many years, but didn't dare to say it. I was 4 months pregnant when I found out, and had already left my husband (that's a different story). So on my own, 4 months pregnant - panic stations!!

    I was so upset my sister hid all the knives and tablets (not that I would have used them, but she wasn't to know).

    When my baby was born he cried constantly all the time - none of the other babies on the ward cried like he did. He cried incessantly for about 18 months, it was put down to teething, colic, hunger, thirst, nappy needing changing. Not even holding him worked. H He improved at the age of 2 years and had a normal childhood - until age 17 years. Then he went off the rails completely - and at the age of 23 years was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I know its not the same as anxiety - but I have always blamed my anxiety whilst carrying him. I think it passed through the placenta to him. I've read everything I can about schizophrenia and I don't think any of the professionals will agree with me.

    I am now doing everything I can to be a good mother/carer.

  • Jessie, please don't blame yourself. 1979ukmale has valid and interesting points, but can you honestly look around at your friends and family, when they were pregnant, surely all of them suffered stress like yourself (probably kept it to themselves too....). You did not cause your son's illness, neither did your mother cause your own anxiety condition, just a fact of life (the bitch!). Mothers are prone to guilt I suppose.

  • My mother had 2 miscarriages , and problems with me, resulting in a choice for a c section, and a rushed flight back from Tokyo (where my dad was working at the time with Lucas UK), to Birmingham.

    I was always a shy child, confident in my self and intelligent, but just socially shy and nervous. When I was 19 it all got too much!

    I'm a fighter though, 34 now and determined to win!

  • Good luck to you, brilliant to hear that you got better. All the best.

  • Very interesting post. It makes sense that if a mother is stressed in pregnancy that the chemicals released as a result (cortisol etc.) would affect her unborn child. But there are very many other factors that could have made us what we are. Heredity is one. Only VERY recently are people speaking out about their experiences of depressive or anxiety disorders. Our parents and grandparents wouldn't have dared speak about such things, they were a complete taboo, a sign of weakness. I believe heredity has a big part to play, but I believe we have a chemical imbalance, many disagree.

  • Hi Agora

    I have read your other posts and I think I now understand that mental disorders can be a combination of all kinds of different factors. My own mother bit her nails right down to the cutical and had a tyrannical nature. (She would be 97 years of age now). Looking back I can probably see now that she had stress and anxiety issues - but they weren't addressed in those days.

    Many thanks for your reply - Yes I agree "mothers are prone to guilt" !!

  • Interesting theory but when I was expecting my second daughter I was totally relaxed and happy throughout the whole preg ancy knew what to expect 2nd time around and when she was born she was the most contented smiley affectionate baby you could wish for.

    Then adolescence hit her and she has suffered severe depression psychosis paranoia anxiety eating disorder was self harming just about every mental illness going !! Thankfully she is on the road to recovery but we still dont have a clue as to the cause.

  • agree , it can be genetic or result from development in the womb, and also life factors, like poverty and abuse/trauma, but I believe personally genetics and the 9 months womb time are crucial :)

    My wife has been relaxed to the max and on a diet of porridge and vegetables :)

  • I'm sure you got the gist but what I meant to say is that in recent generations we've not been made aware about past incidences of mental illnesses in our families because of associated stigmas.

  • stiff upper lip!

    You are right, I suspect people just drowned in alcohol or committed suicide previously

  • There is some recent research - ALSPAC (the longditudinal study of children born in the 1990s) published some research into depression and anxiety in pregnant women and mothers with pre and post natal depression and problems with their children's health and development and they have found a correlation: "Mothers who suffer from depression and anxiety, both during and after pregnancy, are more likely to have children who develop emotional, behavioural and verbal difficulties later in life because the earlier in life a child encounters depression, the more likely they are to be affected by it." You can read more about it here: bristol.ac.uk/alspac/news/2... .

  • I found some interesting science papers about the formation of the brain in the womb, with varying levels of exposure to cortisol , adrenaline, etc etc

  • Environmental factors; coping mechanisms; in addition to difference in chemical compositions also form a large part of the cause for anxiety.

  • I'm a twin.....I am suffering from depression for the third time and also have GAD but my twin is anxiety free.....why do you think this is?

  • very interesting. I don't know anything about the mechanics of giving birth to twins, or in fact anything about twins in general, other than they look similar :)

    Sorry to hear you have GAD etc.

  • thanks anyway....I suppose I am just going through the 'Why me' stage. My twin is so supportive but if I'm honest I wish I wasn't going through it but able to support her

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