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  • Writer's pictureKasi Drummer

Anxiety Decoded: Understanding its Heredity, Difference from Panic, and Coping Tools

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It can manifest in various forms, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Understanding the nature of anxiety, its hereditary aspects, and the difference between anxiety and panic attacks can help individuals manage their symptoms more effectively. In this blog post, we will delve into these aspects and provide some coping tools that can be beneficial.

Is Anxiety Inherited from Mother or Father?

Anxiety, like many other mental health disorders, has a genetic component. Research indicates that children with at least one parent who has an anxiety disorder are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder themselves. However, it's not as simple as being inherited from either the mother or the father. Anxiety disorders are complex and are likely caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, both maternal and paternal influences play a significant role in the development of anxiety disorders in children. However, the mechanisms through which these influences operate are complex and involve both genetic and environmental factors.

What is the Difference Between Panic and Anxiety Attacks?

While the terms "panic attack" and "anxiety attack" are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. According to Healthline, panic attacks involve sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. They can occur at any time, even during sleep. On the other hand, anxiety attacks are often related to a perceived threat or fear and are less intense than panic attacks.

Panic attacks usually peak within ten minutes and then subside, but they can leave you feeling fatigued and worn out. Symptoms of a panic attack can be so severe that people often feel they are having a heart attack. Anxiety attacks, on the other hand, vary in intensity and may wax and wane over a prolonged period.

Do Anxiety Blankets Work?

Weighted blankets, often referred to as anxiety blankets, have become a popular tool in the battle against anxiety and sleep disorders. These specially designed blankets are filled with materials like plastic pellets or glass beads, adding weight to create a soothing, swaddling effect.

According to scientific research, the gentle, even pressure exerted by weighted blankets can stimulate the release of serotonin, a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating mood. Serotonin is often referred to as the "feel-good" hormone, as it helps induce feelings of relaxation and well-being.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that 63% of participants reported lower anxiety levels after using a weighted blanket. The sensation of being swaddled can mimic a therapeutic technique known as deep touch pressure (DTP), which has been shown to have calming effects on the nervous system.

However, it's essential to note that weighted blankets are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The effectiveness can vary depending on individual preferences, the weight of the blanket, and the underlying causes of anxiety. While many find relief with weighted blankets, others may not notice a significant difference.

Furthermore, weighted blankets should not be considered a replacement for professional medical treatment for anxiety disorders. They can be a complementary tool, used in conjunction with therapy, medication, or other treatment methods prescribed by a mental health professional.

In conclusion, while more extensive research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms at play, current studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that weighted blankets can indeed be a helpful tool for reducing anxiety symptoms. If you're considering trying a weighted blanket, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it's a suitable option for your specific needs.

What Makes Anxiety Hereditary?

Anxiety disorders can be hereditary, meaning they can be passed down from parents to children. According to Healthline, genetics can influence the development of anxiety disorders. If a close family member has an anxiety disorder, you may be at a higher risk of developing one yourself.

However, genetics is just one piece of the puzzle. Environmental factors, such as stressful life events, and learned behaviors can also contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.

Can My Parents Be the Cause of My Anxiety?

Parents can unintentionally contribute to their child's anxiety. According to MedicineNet, parents who are stressed, anxious, harsh, or hostile may transmit or cause anxiety in their children. However, it's important to note that this doesn't mean parents are to blame for their child's anxiety. Anxiety is complex and usually results from a combination of factors, including genetics, environmental factors, and learned behaviors.

At Anew Counseling DFW, we have a team of skilled therapists ready to walk with you on your path to healing and growth. Each of our therapists brings their unique expertise and approach to the table, ensuring that you receive care that's tailored to your unique needs. If you're grappling with anxiety, we're here to help. Please take a moment to fill out our intake form, and let's start with a free 15-minute consultation. Because, at Anew Counseling DFW, you matter and your mental health matters. Get Started Here

This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider about any health concerns you may have.

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