View Full Version : do we inherit social anxiety or is it down to experiences?
hail to the thief
08-16-2007, 01:14 PM
it's in your genes
wetting the bed on a school trip
I personally believe it's both.
08-16-2007, 08:59 PM
The whole idea that ANY kind of anxiety could be hereditary is certainly controversial, especially since pharmaceutical companies have such a vested interest in anxiety problems being of a purely biological nature (and thus only 'fixable' by taking drugs). On one hand, having parents with social anxiety does not guarantee that their kids will get it. But on the other hand, they are more likely to. However, it must also be remembered that MUCH of this sort of stuff can be inherited by non-genetic means. Specifically, parents with social anxiety are probably not going to be able to teach their kids the kinds of social skills necessary to be very socially functional. And I believe that THIS is probably one of the most likely ways that social anxiety gets perpetuated.
I think it's both. Personally, I come from a family history of different psychological disorders ranging from depression to anorexia. I also know that my mother was extremely shy when she was a younger child, but then grew out of it as she got older. To me it only seems obvious that my social anxiety, depression, etc. were at least partly inherited. Personally I can't remember ever NOT being this way, and I can't pinpoint one specific experience or set of experiences that could have or might have triggered this in me...only things that made an already existing problem become even worse.
09-05-2007, 06:22 PM
I think it it can be both. In my case, I think I may have had a predisposition towards being shy, and early life experiences nudged me towards social phobia.
09-29-2007, 06:39 AM
I think it is both too. Mild depression and anxiety run in my family. My brother has it but deals with it a lot better than I do.
02-02-2008, 01:15 PM
I kinda think its both too, but I think in my case it was inherited from my mom. Me and my younger brother both suffer from anxiety. Our mom suffers from manic depression, anxiety, and paranoid scizophrenia.So we were just SOL.There's a long line of mental illness in our family.(my mom's father's side) I've also had traumatic experieces in my life that may have triggered it too.
02-06-2008, 08:10 AM
There are some personality traits that are generally accepted to have a fairly strong genetic basis. These include introversion/extraversion and also neuroticism. Unfortunately those of us who are 'blessed' with a genetic tendency towards introversion and/or neuroticism are extremely sensitive to negative stimuli. Therefore I believe that we need to take a little extra effort to face things that we percieve as being scarey, as we feel it so much worse than others. However I also believe that it is possible to overcome these biological tendencies with practice so that we learn that things aren't as scarey as we think they are.
03-11-2008, 11:03 PM
I think it's a bit of both...
When I first told my mother that I was experiencing panic attacks (I was 25) she shocked me by confessing that she had had them for many years when we were small children.
However, at the same token only two others in my family of 7 have had panic attacks - so there's the million dollar question, why don't the others get them as well? Obviously I have no idea, but I guess it's just how our lives have panned out and the stress and anxiety in each of our lives, coupled with some sort of genetic disposition.
08-14-2008, 11:36 PM
Guys, please do the research - especially using databases as medline. I have done extensive research on this (i have SA myself). Science shows that it is largely genetic (>~60%) and the vast amount of people with anxiety disorders will continue to have it throughout adulthood.
Yes non-pharmac. can help and are recommended but pharmaceuticals have a significant role. I do not work for any cooperation here, I'm just saying it how it is.
We like to say it is something that we can control and its not familial, unfortun. somethings just are. We are better off accepting that than fighting something which can't be changed.
''God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.'' Reinhold Niebuhr
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