Many people claim that after years of hiding their panic attacks, they discovered siblings and/or parents who also suffered from the same condition. Often when a family member seeks help and begins to feel better, they will tell someone in their family about it. When family members become aware that a sibling has received treatment that worked, they will come forward and get help, also. There is still a stigma attached to anxiety disorders, which explains why hereditary studies aren't always conclusive.
Let's say that you are aware that anxiety can be hereditary, but there is no trace of it in your family. There are other causes of someone developing an anxiety disorder. A major stressful event in life can be a trigger. Here are some common examples:
· Grief : Death of a family member, parent, close friend or spouse. · Financial Difficulties : Sudden loss of a job, debt burdens. · Major trauma : A car accident, being robbed at gunpoint, a major natural disaster, a life-threatening illness. · Happy Events (still stressful, nonetheless): getting married, starting a family or a new job.
Some people can pinpoint a major life event that could be the emotional seed that grew into anxiety problems. Others will dismiss the possibility because it's been years since the stress occurred, but experts believe stress build-up can affect someone much later in life.
While it is true that anxiety can be hereditary, it can strike anyone, at any age, for many other reasons. If there does seem to be a lot of anxiety disorders within your family, however, you should probably assume that you are at risk, and perhaps takes steps to prevent it in yourself.