Does anxiety run in families??

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/2/2013 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,

I always knew that I took after my dads side of the family as they were 'worriers' just like me. Obviously the older I've got, for me, it's turned into an anxiety/panic attack problem. My mums side of the family is nothing like this.
But the reason I'm asking this is because my 14 year old daughter is showing signs of health anxiety at night (this is my main problem also) now, I'm really good at hiding my anxiety from my kids and I've never really talked specifics with them, so where does my daughter get it from?
She only has when when she's actually hurt herself, like when she walked into a lamppost I had to sleep in her room with her for days as she was really getting herself worked up about it.
Is this my fault??
I'm so consumed with guilt that I have done this to her!
Could she have inherited this from me?
Im not overbearing to my kids when they've hurt themselves, in fact it's normally me that tells them it's fine etc etc (altho after the event when I'm in bed I do panic about it lol)
My other daughter is not like this and nothing really fazes her at all.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this and what I should do?
Many thanks
Kala x

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 1/2/2013 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
i understand what you mean. i'm 47 and have 7 kids. if my parents or other relatives have/had anxiety/panic issues they certainly never shared it with me.
However, i do believe i have passed it down 2 a couple of my kids. Social anxiety, anxiety attacks. i can tell its real and not them making it up, but they also are old enough 2 know that i suffer daily.
i'm not sure if its medically been diagnosed but in my case i do believe there is some passing down to them.
Glad you brought up this subject but i am sorry your child is struggling with this as well. Best 2 you and your family.
Bipolar 2, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety/Panic Disorder, PTSD, OCD, Depression

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 1/3/2013 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi kalah.;)

To answer your questions...does anxiety run in families? Yes, it is known to. Is this your fault? No!!!

Whether by nature or nurture...anxiety can be evident in our kids...however, no matter how or why as far as the cause goes...what better mom to help your daughter through her fears than you?

You can completely understand, and have way more resources to help her than the average parent would!

Forget about feeling any guilt, and instead focus on helping yourself and your daughter with your shared issues.

I have always been very open with my kids about my anxiety, and they have been very supportive. When they, in turn, are going through a rough time...I can be there for them and help them to breathe through a panic inducing situation, or give them tips from my CBT experience to help them get through a situation that is difficult.

Know that you are a great and caring mom, and that with your help and guidance, your daughter is going to be allright and one step ahead in dealing with her anxieties!

Scaredy Cat

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/3/2013 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I have anxiety and my sister had anxiety; my daughter has anxiety and I know my Dad had anxiety.  When I was a child nobody called it anxiety - I used to go to visit my Grandma and was told she was in bed because of her "nerves" - I figured out after I was an adult what they meant by a nerves.
These factors may increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder:
  • Being female. Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • Childhood trauma. Children who endured abuse or trauma or witnessed traumatic events are at higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder at some point in life.
  • Stress due to an illness. Having a health condition or serious illness can cause significant worry about issues such as your treatment and your future.
  • Stress buildup. A big event or a buildup of smaller stressful life situations may trigger excessive anxiety — for example, ongoing worry about finances or a death in the family.
  • Personality. People with some personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders than are others. In addition, some personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, may be linked to anxiety disorders.
  • Having blood relatives with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can run in families. Reference: mayo staff

According to the experts, yes, anxiety can run in families.  Nothing you did caused your daughter to have anxiety.

I think the good thing nowdays is we are wiser re mental health disorders and you are in a better position to help you daughter learn ways to deal with her anxiety or seek professional help for her should she need it.

I used to hide my anxiety from my children but these days thay know all my problems and they are my biggest support team. 

I wish you peace,


Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/4/2013 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your really helpful replies,
I have felt so bad about this for so long that it's good to be able to see it from a different point of view.
I have told her about panic attacks when she has had them, and even shown her the symptoms on the Internet to prove I'm not making it up lol!
I was thinking that maybe we could take up yoga together as that might help her and me at the same time.
I'm not sure at 14 wether she's old enough to hear all my problems with anxiety but maybe I could be slightly more open, so she understands what's sort of going on.
I havent mentioned it to our doctor as I don't think there is much he could do anyway. She doesn't like the doctors at the best of times and is so shy/embarrassed about things there is no way she would talk to anyone about it.
I suppose I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed it doesn't get any worse, or at least hope that I'm enough to help her get through it.
Thanks again
Kala x

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 1/4/2013 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Your a great mom, don't be so hard on yourself. My daughter and i do yoga together at Nami (National Alliance for Mentally ill), where i volunteer and classes are free. it helps my kids be around other kids that struggle with the same things but they do fun activities for them in my area.

Just being there for her, understanding what its like from dealing with it yourself, and being honest is the best you can give her. Your love for her shows in your words.

Take care of the both of you and all my best wishes.
Bipolar 2/ Borderline, Anxiety/Panic-Disorder, Major Depression, DDA-Dual Diagnosis...Recovering Addict/Alcoholic. 9 years-clean from Meth and 353-days sober.
Lamicatal, Buspar, Gabapentin, Vistaril, Trazadone

Loop ileostomy, Pelvic & Bladder Trauma & Dysfunction, Colon tore thru Vaginal Wall & Colon & Bladder fell out of my body thru Vagina, Vaginal Vault Lift w/mesh, 2-Bladder Lifts w/mesh,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/6/2013 6:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I too worried about son is 15 and is good to go..but as I have gotten older I have had bigger "episodes" of my anxiety and I think youngest has witnessed more. I feel bad as I don't want her to have the problems I do but I notice more anxious feelings with her than what are normal I suppose. I will just try to be there for her and fingers crossed she doesnt feel in life the way I have at times. Just be the best mommy you can be, that's what I am going to do. Good Luck!
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