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Anxiety Can Be A Genetic Disorder: Do Not Be Ashamed

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Anxiety is a complex mental disorder about which scientists and the medical community as a whole still have so much to learn. Take a peek in any prominent medical or psychiatric journal, and you’ll find varying opinions on how much your genetics affect your experiences with anxiety.

Although a lot of research indicates that environment plays a major part in your overall mental health, genetics links seem to play a role as well. While the research is still young and needs to be explored further, it has been estimated that the younger you are when your first symptoms of anxiety manifest, the more likely it is that other members of your family have some form of anxiety as well.

The good news is that you do not have to let your genes rule how you handle your anxiety. If you have a family history of anxiety and want to combat your own symptoms, here are some steps you can take:

1. Live A Healthy, Active Lifestyle And Avoid Foods That Seem To Trigger Anxious Feelings

When you feel so anxious it seems hard to enjoy life, taking part in basic self-care measures like exercising regularly and fixing yourself healthy, satisfying meals can seem impossible. The good news is, the more often you do these things, the less severe your symptoms may become overtime. Some studies have shown that regular exercise can decrease anxiety by as much as 20%.

2. Practice Meditation To Put Yourself In A Better Frame Of Mind.

Sometimes the best way to take control of anxiety is to step back and relax. Some have found meditation to be an effective way to reduce its most debilitating symptoms. If you’re unfamiliar with how to meditate, various apps for iPhone and Android can lead you through the process

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk About Your Emotions With Family Members And Trusted Friends

Sometimes people with anxiety are reluctant to reach out to others when they are struggling, even those closest to them. They may fear judgment or even being a burden on their loved ones. Understand, however, that those who mean the most to you likely feel similarly about you and want nothing more than to see you thriving. You do not have to announce your troubles to everyone, of course. However, just reaching out to one trusted friend can make all the difference.

4. Read Articles And Books That Discuss Anxiety And Offer Advice For Anxiety Sufferers

Sometimes the best way to make something seem less intimidating is to learn more about it. This is certainly the case with anxiety. While you should never diagnose yourself and should always seek the counsel of a professional before undergoing any treatment, understanding what anxiety is, what causes it, and who suffers from it can make you feel a lot less confused and alone. Seek out resources online or from your local library.

5. Seek Help From A Therapist If Your Symptoms Severely Diminish Your Quality Of Life

For many, the final step on that list — seeing a therapist — raises mental red flags. In many circles, a strong stigma exists around therapy, its cost, and its effectiveness. However, among those who suffer from mental disorders like anxiety or have taken the time to understand it, therapy has gained a reputation as a great way to help oneself deal with anxiety and other mental illnesses.

If you’re on the fence about whether therapy is the right choice for you, consider these common benefits:

  • A trained, impartial source of advice with whom you can voice any problems or concerns
  • A medical professional authorized to prescribe medication if needed
  • Therapists can ask you challenging questions that may cause you to make improvements in areas of your life where they are needed
  • A setting in which you can relax, leaving behind the stresses of the outside world to spend time on your personal health

There’s no reason for those with anxiety to suffer in silence. Therapists provide a gateway to a calmer, more confident life, so don’t hesitate to start therapy and reach your full potential!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit our Anxiety Counseling page or call 919-647-4600.

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