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We inherit a lot from our ancestors, but how much the term Genetic Anxiety is true, and if it is true, can it be cured through the same ways(CBT, Exposure Therapy) or it has to be dealt with medications? Put otherwise, is it the medications only that can cure genetic anxiety?

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  • $\begingroup$ Usually better circumstances cures anxiety. In other words, it is not an illness. Thomas Szasz said: "Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society." What we inherit is sensitivity and reaction patterns. It is like inheriting height or tendency to gain weight. Those are not illnesses, just tendencies. $\endgroup$ – user9634 Mar 18 '16 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure it wasn't Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Google search doesn't seem to know your term. $\endgroup$ – user3169 Mar 18 '16 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ @user3169 that's why we ask questions on here; they're questions that Google simply cannot answer, and people on here are supposed to submit the research they've gone through to get to this problem. $\endgroup$ – White Fang Mar 18 '16 at 4:59
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Predisposition to anxiety can be inherited:

Genetics and family history (e.g., parental anxiety) may predispose an individual for an increased risk of an anxiety disorder, but generally external stimuli will trigger its onset or exacerbation. Genetics accounts for about 43% variance in panic disorder and 28% in generalized anxiety disorder.

Treatment for anxiety disorders is not generally modified for genetic component, so therapies such as conditioning or CBT may be used regardless. All anxiety disorders are assumed to involve an environment (non-genetic) trigger that can be addressed through therapy.

Research by Dias & Ressler (2013) suggests that this is not necessarily the case in mice, where epigenetics alone (with no environmental trigger) can cause a purely genetic anxiety. (Layman version)

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I think something like this can only be passed down like an immunity; sort of like cancer.

Your parents can give you a certain amount of immunity to cancer, or even the opposite. I believe that this also correlates to anxiety, more focusing on mental toughness and ability to take more straining situations. This also depends on the person's environment they grow up in and the experiences they are exposed to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Science becomes hand-waving. Things happen because they have "a tendency to occur". I am not dissing you, I just don't see how this question can be meaningfully answered, beyond the statement that people vary. Variation and susceptibility are not illnesses. $\endgroup$ – user9634 Mar 18 '16 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ @nocomprende I tried to convey that in my answer to a degree; does it come across as trying to state that general anxiety is, indeed, an illness? $\endgroup$ – White Fang Mar 18 '16 at 13:55

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