Could anxiety be an hereditary?

Hi everyone..I was just wondering if anxiety could be an hereditary? As a child i can remember my mum suffering with it, her sister also had it and they tell me that there mum my grandmother had it and she can remember her mother having it my great grandmother but theres all started in there later yearsaround 50s but ive only just turned 40 and also i know this is only trivial but ive noticed sine ive had anxiety my hair has started to go really grey has anybody else noticed this? Lisa x

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  • I also believe it can be hereditary, although the Drs that ive asked have told me there is no conclusive evidence to suggest this, but i say they dont know what theyr'e talking about and i truly believe it is. My mother and her mother had anxiety, my aunts and cousins on my mothers side also suffer with anxiety, my siblings have anxiety related issues and most are on some sort of medication for it, either ssri's or beta blockers. Also, heart disease is on my mothers side, as her mum and mine died from it, which i believe is stress/anxiety related.

    Ive noticed a slight change to my hair too, going grey and falling out in clumps since my anxiety has been really bad these past few months

  • Hi. linny. There is no medical evidence that anxiety is caused by genes or any other physical factor. You will find it 'runs' in families because the families are very anxious households. Anyway, does it matter? It is the present we have to deal with and, like it or not, we have to put up with the genes we took over. I have not heard of a gene transplant as yet! Physical conditions can be hereditary but they too often 'skip' generations so it is no good getting up tight about them. I look to some of the ladies on this site to help with your relationship problem as I know a lot have been there. I cannot speak from experience on this. Love. jonathan.

  • It could be, but its not proven. It's all psychological. I'm studying an access course for nursing and part of that is psychology. Some people say its in your genes but others say it can be to do with nurture rather than nature. Your mums personality may have just rubbed off on you over the years. There's no right or wrong answer to it. My nan suffers with her nerves, and just lately I have also been suffering x

  • Hi. kjm. I am not surprised you suffer from nerves! My experience in hospital make me wonder why all nurses haven't gone round the bend the things they have to put up with. What with stroppy patients, arrogant surgeons and rotten wages, you have a real burden to bear. You have my utter admiration and I do wish you well in your studies.. Best wishes. jonathan.

  • I think it can.

    My father suffered from nervous eczema all over his hands (the doctors he saw over the years all said it was psychosomatic) and my mother had the fidgety legs syndrome and bit her nails badly. Whilst my nan, who lived with us until she died when I was 11, was an out and out hypochondriac.

    And guess what - I suffer from anxiety and especially health anxiety!

  • Inclined to agree with jonathan on this one, we may have some predisposition but I believe it's more environmental than hereditary.

  • Ah the old question--nature or nurture---I was watching a documentary on a child whose alcoholic parents had abandoned her upbringing and she slept in a kennel with the dogs....When the case was found, the poor girl crawled on all fours and acted like a dog. this posed the question nature or nurture!!!!!!!

    So is anxiety hereditary, who knows, but I understand that if you live or mix with anxious people you have more of a disposition to be anxious.

    I was brought up by wonderful parents but remember the "watch its" ..watch the roads..watch and not trip...watch that dog...watch and not get into any trouble etc etc etc. it was relentless, but unknown to them and me this form of love and caring was only instilling FEAR from an early age.........So when we say my mum suffered, my nan suffered my sister suffered so therefore I will suffer we are instilling the same fear hence the anxiety!!

    Ok we think our thinking is set in stone, this is something I disagree with as I believe if you went to stay with the dali llama you would soon relinquish anxiety for peace...... It is always possible to change......good luck in your transition nothing in life is permanent......

  • Hi everyone.... The reason i asked is because i dont want to pass this on to my children..although i try and keep my bad days away from children they have seen a few anxiety attacks my son who is 19 has been wonderful and understands and has been of great support but my 4 yr old daughter has started stressing over things like the other day she hurt her toe at school and constantly examined her toe all evening and asked me mummy is my toe going to fall off and will i need to go into hospital and she was sick the other day and hasnt eaten because she thinks she will be sick again. im telling myself its just kid like but i feel terribly guilty and blame myself...Lisa x.

  • lisa, Please don't blame yourself. We get caught up in this cycle of blame and fear so that we cannot see the truth. If you worry your child will worry because it becomes the 'norm'. To a child any behaviour by the parents is normal because children have no yardstick to judge it by.

    Reassurance is important here and it should be explained, in child language, what is going on. The fear must be taken out of the situation. It is well known to social workers that a child brought up by abusive parents will usually grow up to be abusive itself. This is not, of course, cast in stone, but it does happen far too often. I hope you feel better. Love. jonathan.

  • I remember my mother used to panic if I was 5 minutes late home from school, & she was constantly asking me if I felt alright, as I didn`t look well, or so she kept saying!. Well, surprise surprise, I grew up to be an anxious hypocondriac, & my mother took tranquillisers & anti depressants by the truckload, & she still ended up in hospital having ECT. I think she drove herself into that naervous breakdown, & I also think she was trying to take me with her, & I`ll never forgive her for that.

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