Fibro/Anxiety disorder...Genetic?

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 11/30/2008 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a therapist tell me last year that anxiety disorder has no genetic component to it...that is learned behavior that comes from watching how family members cope etc.  Also...that Fibro is basically another form of anxiety therefore that too is a by product of whatever you were exposed to as a child.  "Monkey See, Monkey do'.  I have two boys with anxiety disorder and now I am starting to feel guilty, everytime they tell me about another symptom...My mom had fibro.  I personally think he is full of ...well, you know.  But it still lurks in the back of my mind that I might have contributed in some way to their angst!
What do you think?

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Date Joined Aug 2007
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   Posted 11/30/2008 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Bunk!!! Many in my family have anxiety and depression disorders and we were not raised together, some I did not meet til we were grown. Neither of my parents had anxiety problems but my paternal grandmother spent most of her adult life in institutions for a "nervous disorder" she died in 1956 before anti-depressants. I am the only one out of 4 children that got the problems although my oldest sister has developed anxiety in the past few years. My niece has problems, I have two nephews with problems, my middle son has problems but his two brothers don't and I have several cousins with anxiety and depression problems. Two of my dad's siblings committed suicide.
I can almost pick by the personality which of my grandchildren may develop anxiety problems later in life. I hope they don't.
luv and hugs
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   Posted 11/30/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I think that as you work on your anxiety, you will learn to help them too. So don't feel guilty for something that you can not control.

Just keep working on getting better, they will follow. Anxiety is fear. Fear can be controlled.

Best wishes for a lovely day

HUgs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 11/30/2008 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
There have been many reputable scientific studies that show a possible genetic link for anxiety and depression (and other mental or emotional illnesses). 
Also, fibromyalgia is not a form of anxiety any more than diabetes or lupus are.  Fibromyalgia often co-exists with anxiety (and many other problems), but many people have fibro without any problems with anxiety.  I think your therapist has stepped way out of line with this one.  He needs to get a little more training.
My mom had anxiety, I have anxiety, and my daughter has anxiety; however, my sister, who was raised in the same household as I, has never had an anxious thought in her life. 
I believe that having anxiety can be attributed to genetics and personality - not how we are raised.  We can learn better coping skills, and we can teach our children how to cope better with anxiety, but I don't believe the root cause of anxiety can be laid at our parents' feet (other than the genes they gave us).
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 11/30/2008 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
i definitely think that there is a biological component to anxiety disorders. i have anxiety issues, as does my father and many others in my extended family. granted, my father expressed a lot of anxiety around me while i was growing up (he was one of those "don't do that-you'll get hurt!" kind of parents) so that probably has some influence as well, but i don't think it's the total cause at all. my maternal grandmother had serious issues with anxiety, but yet my mother doesn't have anxiety at all. i guess i would say it's a little bit of both, like many things.

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17497
   Posted 11/30/2008 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, here's my 2 cents worth!  No one in my family has ever displayed anxiety...except me.  I was in church when my first attack happened and I didn't have a clue what was going on.  I only knew that I thought I was having a stroke!
FEAR!  We were designed with the "fight or flight" in us.  I think anxiety could happen to anyone and it shows up when you have difficulties handling life's problems.  That's the fight or flight response...the adrenalin flowing.  That causes the rapid heartbeat and fear jumps in for the fun of it!  Your mind then kicks in and you start thinking of all the things that you are feeling which makes the anxiety worse.  Then worry decides to join the party.  The name of the party is called "Misery".
I did this for several years and found it to be quite debilitating.  I finally put two and two together and came up with FEAR!  So, I asked myself what I was afraid of?  I wasn't going to die.  I was checked out by doctors and was basically fine. I decided to get a handle on this fear.  I sure didn't like what it was doing to me and I had a long life to live.  I knew I didn't want fear a part of that life so I have been able to recognize the start of an anxiety problem and can basically dismiss it.  I focus on something else and get busy.  The anxiety leaves because it doesn't have an audience.  This has worked for me for decades.  Before I started doing this, I was on so much Valium that it was changing my personality. 
You can get a grip on fear and not let it get a grip on you.  We are all very strong people and our minds are strong, too.  We are capable of doing far greater things than we do right now!  So, try to recognize fear and kick it out of your life.  You have too much life to enjoy!
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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