Are Anxiety Disorders Genetic?

Are Anxiety Disorders Genetic?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, you may wonder if there could be a genetic link. Understanding your family’s mental health history is essential, especially if certain conditions run in your family. Whether or not certain disorders have a genetic component can be complicated, so let’s talk more about anxiety disorders.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are very common. While they’re often discussed alongside depression, they’re a separate category that requires a diagnosis from a professional.

Everybody experiences some form of anxiety, but those with anxiety disorders often have a level of worry that interrupts their daily lives. Understanding the difference between healthy anxiety and an anxiety disorder is important, especially because not all anxiety is bad. 

Anxiety is what tells us to run from danger and make the decisions that will benefit us the most. There are ways that we can use our anxiety to help us throughout our daily lives, but for some, it becomes overwhelming.

There are different types of anxiety disorders. These are typically classified depending on what the main source of anxiety is. There are multiple different types of medications that are recommended for those with anxiety disorders. While medication is a highly personal decision, many anti-anxiety medications have high success rates.

Professionals typically diagnose anxiety disorders by asking the client to complete questionnaires, as well as describe their symptoms and give an overview of their mental health history. Another critical component for the professional to understand is if any mental health struggles run in their family.

Do Anxiety Disorders Have a Genetic Link?

If there are people in your family with anxiety disorders, then you may wonder if you may be at a higher risk.

There needs to be more research done to truly find an answer as to whether or not genetics can cause an anxiety disorder. Current research suggests that there can be a link, as children of parents with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are more likely to have the same diagnosis.

Many professionals currently subscribe to the idea that anxiety has a genetic component. However, genes aren’t the only risk factor to keep in mind. Genetics can contribute to an anxiety disorder, but they typically aren’t the only cause. This means that genetics can present a disposition for an anxiety disorder, but developing a disorder won’t be guaranteed.

If people that you’re closely related to have an anxiety disorder, then it can be helpful to speak with a professional. The Alter Mental Health San Diego team is always here to answer your questions and provide you with mental health support.

What Can Cause Anxiety?

It has been established that anxiety disorders can be influenced by genetics. What other factors can cause anxiety? There are a variety of lifestyle and environmental factors that are important to note when discussing what can cause anxiety.

Your Diet

Even something like your diet can play a significant role in the brain’s function, including the production of hormones that result in anxiety. Looking at your diet is an excellent way to lessen anxiety symptoms and fuel your brain properly. When it comes to diet, one of the most important things to keep in mind is caffeine consumption. Caffeine has been known to cause anxiety, so you may want to rethink your daily cup of coffee.

Movement and Exercise

The body and the mind are very connected, so it’s no surprise that exercise can play a role in anxiety management. If you find that you’re feeling anxious throughout the day, it may be helpful to go for a walk or a swim. Moving your body is a great way to recenter yourself and get out some of those anxious feelings. Never underestimate the power of movement.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are often significantly correlated. Finding ways to reduce your stress in life can have a positive impact on your anxiety. Consider making a list of all the areas in your life where you’re feeling the most stressed and then coming up with solutions to bring more calm into your life.

When our home is messy, sometimes our thoughts also feel unorganized. Doing little things like cleaning up your room or unloading the dishwasher are great ways to take care of your space and make sure that you feel comfortable in your home environment.

Facing Anxiety

Everybody deals with anxiety in different ways. If you think that your anxiety is impacting your daily life, then it may be time to speak with a professional. Anxiety can feel overwhelming and isolating, but you’re not alone. Making an appointment with a mental health professional is a great first step if your anxiety is difficult to manage. You do not have to face anxiety alone. 

At Alter San Diego Crisis Intervention, we understand the importance of credible, accurate information about mental health. We’re here to answer questions you may have about anxiety disorders and ensure that you have access to treatments that may benefit you. We work with families to ensure everybody is educated and supported. This kind of education both advocates and brings awareness that help the community continue to grow. Our goal is to help you and your family confront the challenges of anxiety disorders and work together to overcome them. If anxiety runs in your family and you want to talk to someone about your mental health, then call Alter San Diego Crisis Intervention at (866) 986-1481 today for help.