Is Anxiety Hereditary?

Is Anxiety Hereditary?

Anyone who has felt anxious or worried throughout the day has probably wondered: is anxiety hereditary? Knowing whether feelings of despair and anxiety are inherited can give people peace of mind, help them remove any feelings of guilt or shame.


What is Anxiety?

In order to know “is anxiety genetic”, you need to know what it is. Anxiety is a natural response in your body to challenges you encounter every day. If you are on the road and you see someone speeding up behind you, you might get mild anxiety or feelings of anxiousness because you are worried they might crash into you, but once the car passes you on the road, those feelings go away.


Before a big test or a large presentation at work, you might have feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry, but once you give the presentation or finish the test, all of those feelings go away.


For some people, however, anxiety isn’t just triggered by difficult situations like legal trouble, relationship problems, or financial difficulties. For some, anxiety happens all the time, even over little, everyday tasks like getting up, getting dressed, working, calling someone back, going to the store, and more. With common anxiety disorders, this level of fear and worry can interfere with daily tasks and cause people to collapse in on themselves with anxiety rather than be productive.


What are Common Anxiety Disorders?

There are many types of anxiety disorders, not just one. If you have anxiety inherited from your genes or not, you might suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD, or other phobias. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common. As the name suggests, this anxiety disorder is one where someone experiences severe distress about everyday concerns. They are constantly worried, can’t concentrate, and are restless. 


PTSD or acute stress disorder can take place after a traumatic event. With acute stress disorder, an individual might have physical symptoms that last for about one month after the event, things like heart palpitations, problems breathing, and chest pain. PTSD is a more debilitating form of anxiety that can last, untreated, for the rest of your life after a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms can include paranoia, flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, and hyper-vigilance, especially when situations in everyday life trigger you or remind you of the traumatic event.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is more spontaneous, and it triggers things like chest pain, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, nausea, and problems breathing. People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder might also suffer from panic attacks or panic disorder.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is usually applied to social situations. It can cause panic attacks or other generalized anxiety symptoms when an individual is around other people. It usually results in extreme self-consciousness.


OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a very intense anxiety disorder where an individual has recurring thoughts or recurring actions and behaviors that are uncontrollable. Most people commonly think of OCD and someone repeating the same behavior repeatedly.


General phobias are where people experience severe anxiety because of an irrational fear of certain situations, objects, or animals. Agoraphobia is one such example applied to an irrational fear of being outside around other people.


How Does Anxiety Affect Addiction?

But is anxiety hereditary? For many, yes, it is. And for those who have anxiety inherited from family, it can negatively influence addiction. 


It might be difficult for people with common anxiety disorders to get a proper diagnosis where to find the right medication. Many people are simply encouraged by friends and family to get over their anxiety, not realizing that it is genetic or hereditary. The sad truth is that because of this social idea that anxiety disorders aren’t real mental health problems or people should just have the willpower to get over them, individuals who have legitimate anxiety disorders don’t get the help they need, so they turned to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.


It is estimated that 20% of people with an anxiety disorder also have an addiction to drugs and alcohol.


How to Find Anxiety Treatment Near Me

If you are still wondering, “is anxiety hereditary or is anxiety genetic”, it might be time to find an anxiety treatment center. At Brightside Recovery, we are dedicated to helping you manage your disorder and your addiction. We understand how complicated it can be to get legitimate help for coexisting disorders. Some people have genetic or hereditary anxiety that they have tried to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Others may have used drugs and alcohol, triggering inherited anxiety and making it worse. No matter your situation, our compassionate staff is here to help.


Our facility offers a wide range of therapies for outpatient services. We focus on addressing the whole person, not just the anxiety and not just the addiction. After an initial evaluation, you can start your road to recovery with things like intake for drug and alcohol addiction and, later, individual and group therapy. Part of managing your anxiety disorder might include getting on the right medication so that you don’t need drugs and alcohol to manage your symptoms.

Reach out to us today for help with your anxiety disorder.

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