Genetics and Anxiety - NeurOasis

How to Avoid Passing Anxiety to Your Children

July 29, 2020

If you’re a parent with an anxiety disorder, you may be wondering if your anxiety is something your child would have too. And if so, if there are things you can do to at least mitigate it.

Anxiety vs. Anxiety Disorders
Being anxious from time to time is normal. It’s a way of coping with scary or stressful situations. However, when anxiety starts to interfere with your lives, including your relationships, it is no longer considered healthy. That’s the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders.

There are two aspects of anxiety disorders. There are the genetic component and the learned part.

Studies have shown that anxiety disorders have a heritability rate of 30 to 67 percent. Some studies show though that anxiety disorders aren’t just about genetics. In one study, it shows that direct environmental transmission of anxiety from parent to child is possible, independent of genetics. The study shows that children and adolescents learn anxious behaviors from parents in different ways; one of which is modeling.

How to Avoid Passing Your Own Anxiety to Your Kids
Below are some strategies on how you can avoid passing your anxiety to your children.

Encourage healthy risks.
When kids are encouraged to push themselves and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses through that, you are giving them an opportunity to thrive better in this world.

Don’t be a helicopter parent.
Allowing your kids to expose themselves to health risks go well by avoiding the impulse to hover. Helicopter parenting only promotes anxiety and interferes with the kids’ abilities to build their own coping mechanisms.

Talk about and practice healthy coping skills.
Kids learn a lot from their parents through modeling. By practicing healthy strategies for coping with stress and anxiety, kids can learn how to manage their own stressors too.

Some of the healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety include deep breathing, journaling, mindfulness, and creating a worry box for putting the worries away.

Find a good support system.
Parenting with a mental health disorder can be challenging so it’s important to have a good support system.

Have someone who can step in when things can feel overwhelming. This can be another family member, friend, or therapist.

If living with an anxiety disorder is keeping you from living your best life and you never felt any improvement with the conventional treatment method, maybe TMS can help.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that has shown to work really well with patients who have depression and anxiety disorders. To find out more about it, you can request an appointment with us by calling (520) 338-2557.


How to Avoid Passing Anxiety on to Your Kids