Anxiety.. how do we get an anxiety disorder. Opinions?

Do you think having an anxiety disorder could be genetic? Picked up along the way because of influences? (For instance, my mother is quite an anxious person and this has influenced on me) Caused by a stressful event? Or just that we don't release enough Serotonin? I mean, we take medication that releases Serotonin etc in our brains.

And we're always told to eat a healthy diet and generally, live healthy! My partner doesn't have an anxiety disorder yet his diet is very bad! He never exercises (apart from working, but never actually exercises), he smokes, rarely gets ill and eats junk food all the time.. it's extremely rare for him to eat fruit, vegetables or generally have a healthy diet. My diet is a lot better than his, I exercise and I don't smoke. I often wonder, so why do I have this?! Where do we get our anxiety disorder from?

22 Replies

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  • Its a learnt response.

    I think some may have serotonine problems, and for them maybe drugs are the answer.

    When we think about the future or the past, then get into a dialogue about the possibilities, and go on and on iside our heads, we use a tremendous amount of energy, we get tired our body goes out of balance, and we start panicking.

    when we relax our minds by focusing on the now, the present, and when thoughts enter, say hi, and gently go back to focusing on the now, our minds get time to recharge, it gets better, our energy balances and so does the seritonine levels.

    Thats my take on it.

    Simple really, it only took me 35 years to find the answer that was right in front of my nose :-)

    As to your partner, it will take its toll eventually, for you keep to the diet, fruit and veg no smoking no drinking alchohol especially, why? because your SPECIAL like me :-)

    B

    xxx

  • Thank you for your answer. That completely makes sense.. I remember my CBT counsellor said to me to practice Mindfullness (as I had already told her I practice meditation, though I've been slacking lately haha).. We spend so much time in our own heads (especially us anxiety sufferers) and get so wrapped up in the past and future, that we don't really focus on the here and now. We usually don't just stop, and look at the world around us and notice what we can smell, what we can hear and what we can see. And noticing our breath.. though us anxiety sufferers always notice how we're shallow breathing or finding it hard to catch our breath.. but breath practice really does help. If our mind is relaxed, then our body will relax. It's like the mind is the controller and the body just reacts to how that is.. if the mind feels panicky then the body will too and if the mind feels relaxed then the body usually will too.

    That's true. I'm very worried that he's not so healthy, but only he can make that choice on whether he wants to look after his body or not. I'm very glad that I gave up smoking 2 years ago and no longer drink. Hahaha, thank you. :) xxx

  • Excellent description,

    I just went outside after writing the above and the sun was shining, its warm, the birds are singing, the ponds bubbling away. God, we are so lucky really...........and its us anxiety sufferers that can, appreciate this, so much more than others IF we let ourselves.

    There we go we healed each other :-) although I did have a smoke outside with my soya decaf coffee.

    Thankyou too

    B

    xxxx

  • Ahh that must of been beautiful. Unfortunately, here at the moment it's turned dark and cloudy but it was lovely this morning. And with it being Spring, everything all comes back to life.. like its rebirth. The sun shining, flowers coming back and the birds singing.. when you just look at that going on around you, I do think it helps people feeling better. I can see why people get depressed during the Winter months, seasonal depression? Or something like that. I love the nature, and I do I love walking around.. unfortunately the anxiety has got in the way of that (as I have agoraphobia too) but hopefully with some more sunshine (and more courage).. I'll hopefully push anxiety out of the way and get back to my love of walking and sight seeing. :) But it is good to just stop and look at the world around us. We did :) Haha, ahh I gave up on caffeine too. I fancied a coffee the other day, I must get hold of some decaf. xxx

  • I've had Agoraphobia too, its a blighter to deal with, and the sensitisation of the nerves too, but it can be dealt with.

    Just remember how beautiful those walks can be, do you know all the info regarding Agoraphobia, and your coping strategies.

    I love a book called (and I keep saying this so sorry others :-) )

    Simple Effective treatment of Agoraphobia by Dr.Claire Weekes.

    Its out of print now but you might get a copy if you look about, amazon maybe.

    I have my trusty copy here now, its falling to bits with all the reading of it, but it got me out, and is doing really well at keeping me out and about.

    I do wish you courage to give it a go, these summery days are too good to miss.

    B

    xxx

  • Ah right, I agree it's hard to deal with but it can be dealt with. I stayed indoors for about 2-3 months, but with the support of my parents and partner, and CBT, I was able to go out. I'm now back at the gym, can go in to shops and can go in to a restaurant. Every day is a struggle (I still get very nervous before I go out) but you have to put yourself out there. It's extremely hard, but it must be done. My next big step is to go near town and then in to town, I'm not comfortable with being too far from home unless I'm in a car. But as no one I live with drives, and cab prices get very expensive, I must walk. I will look for that on Amazon now, thank you. And I will, thanks again. :) xxx

  • I'm lucky I drive although I did have panics around that and had to stop at one point.

    I used to park outside the towns, so I could get away if needed. But slowly after lots of continued practice, I can now drive anywhere.

    I understand totally about being near our safe house, our home too. Just keep extending the boundaries of how far you can walk, and the walking is good as it shows you, that whatever happens you can walk back home.

    I did a 8 mile round trip from home, and it just broke all those worries, and I realised wow, I can really walk a long way, even though I was housebound for over 5 years.

    Its all about staying in the moment, taking one step at a time as we walk.

    Sounds like you have it on the run, do you take prescribed drugs or are you doing it drug free?

    I'm drug free now, and it feels great, but it does take time.

    B

    xxx

  • That's great! Well done for extending and going out of your comfort zone. I agree, it's important to extend the comfort zone until you can get anywhere. I'm on Mirtazapine, I came off of the drugs and then my anxiety came back worse than ever. I wish I didn't have to take them, I'd like to be drug free sometime soon in the future. That's great that you're drug free and it works for you. :-D xxx

  • Such a very helpful comment I will try remember it. I was also told to acknowledge the thought because if we try hard no to notice it will just shout louder to make it self heard.

  • very true, it is our thoughts after all.

    We run we fight, we block out and anxiety gets bigger, we do the opposite and it dissolves, because it is no longer important.

  • This is a brilliant way of looking at it my therapist did say to me the other day to stop fighting as the more you fight it the more it fights back. Its learning how to (I suppose) laugh it in the face so it is no longer a problem and dissolves as you say. Easier said than done but an excellent way of looking at it x

  • love your panics, they hate that :-)

    I mean really love them, that feeling, smiling eyes, open heart,

    B

    xxx

  • hi chellebells,I do believe anxiety and depression can run in families .i have it,2 of my sisters and my 2 brothers,have it,i have recently found out my niece has it very bad,i dont ever remember my mother having it,but my father had depression, i have agoraphobia too,so i will look about the book you mentioned,I am not on meds,but do take xanax when I need it.the cure for anxiety is inside ourselves,if we could just let go of the fear,it would have no control over us,easier said than done,i know..take care.xxxx

  • That's quite interesting. My mum is quite an anxious person, so is her brother and so was her mum. They don't have full blown anxiety issues, but quite anxious people. I agree, we have this fear but for no reason. Perhaps it's the fear of not knowing what will happen, yet we get our little crystal ball out and start predicating the future. Take care too xxx

  • Hi chellebells, I did a psych degree and studied anxiety disorder. There's two beliefs, one is that it comes from the environment we're in or that it has a biological basis involving levels of serotonin. I believe it is often a combo of both but is dependent on the individual. There is scientific research to suggest it can be inherited! Xx

  • What you say very much fits with my own experience, eg a combo of oth enviroment/experience and genetics. Mine started in childhood (age 9) and I now believe I was soaking up my parents anxieties, both were anxious people. Tell tale signs in family eg breakdown, agrophobia, ME, anxious sister. My Mum never worked and am convinced she only escaped what Ive been through because she didn't have to deal with supporting herself, earning money etc.

    My anxiety/depression fed by death of a partner, and other not pleasant life experiences. Maybe if Id had help aged 9 my life would have been very different but at that time no one believed children suffered from anxiety/depression, they were just badly behaved and awkward! It took a serious suicide attempt in my teens to get some kind of diagnoses.

    Even if it is partly inherited I still believe you can do things to ease symptoms, am still working on that though.

  • Hi Rose-Mary, I believe too that even if it does have a biological basis you can still do things to lessen your symptoms. I was sad to read that it took a suicide attempt before you got a diagnosis, my disorder also started young and it took me a long time to get a diagnosis and I had to deal with a lot of ignorant drs and therapists which put me off seeking help.

  • Ooh right, again that's quite interesting. Mine started from a stressful event (we were faced with homelessness, due to house being on sale.. 'family' were selling it and not having another place.. long story short, we eventually got somewhere else) and I started getting anxiety attacks. It stopped and then started again when I was at my job. So I think the stress + that I have a family of anxious people on my mum's side.

  • I learnt that there is often a trigger for anxiety disorder, like a life event, for me it was moving house. So it sounds like your trigger could have been being faced with homelessness? Does your Mum react to situations with a lot of anxiety? it could be that you learnt to respond to stressful situations with anxiety or could be that there is a biological basis that you've inherited from your Mums side? This is all just guessing tho, I feel my anxiety has a biological basis but it may be I've just convinced myself that's the cause!

  • Agree it is in our family too but also we had a stressful life, all of us, so I do believe it is reactive if we are sensitive to triggers. I know it helps me to remember worrying does not help, sometimes easier said than done. Are we just over-caring, over-emotional, I am told I am - lots of peeps say "why do you care?"

  • My mum doesn't get a lot of anxiety, but she is a very anxious and worrying person at times. So I really do think that I get that from her. I do think it's partly biological or at least the environment that we're in.

  • Personally I don't think anxiety attacks are genetic. Mine seem to stem from an incident in my teens which shattered my self confidence. I was able to hide it for a bit but in the past few years it's come to the fore and I am really suffering. My doctor got me CBT on the NHS but it didn't do very much for me. I'm now having counselling which I find more helpful, as the counselor is helping me address the original cause of my anxiety (and having to cope with me crying all over him) so one day I might be like other people again.

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