I’ve heard this said way too much in the last year. People who suffered from bouts of anxiety or depression have said it, I’ve also come across a few people who’ve had anxiety because they lost control of something. Let’s call this “term anxiety” for the purpose of clarity here. When someone experiences anxiety for a month, or maybe a year because of something that happened, it’s completely different then when someone has chronic anxiety. This is something I’ve done a lot of research into.
Since my first child was diagnosed with Autism I’ve had a little bit of an obsession with the brain and all its invisible wonders. He was also diagnosed with ADHD type 2 and an impulse control disorder. You see he is literally missing types of neurons in his brain that help carry information. Once we found that out, I was then very interested in how other mental illnesses can physically affect your brain.
In Fact, It’s In Your Whole Body
When someone has chronic anxiety. The type that they’ve had since childhood, that they’ve carried with them through everything and now still drag around as an adult. That kind isn’t just in your head. Most of the people with this type of anxiety do in fact have something physically different in their head. The difference is also in their genes. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering our genetic makeup is what makes us WHO we are. It’s decided at conception what kind of flowers you will like, what colors you will be attracted too, and what you will look like. It’s also decided if you will have anxiety, autism, depression or any other mental disorder.
People who have chronic anxiety usually carry the “neurosis gene”. Neurosis is what mental illnesses not involving psychosis used to be referred to. This gene is physically defective. It’s usually too short and so doesn’t produce enough transport protein to carry serotonin across the synaptic gap. What happens is the resulting anxiety symptoms. The serotonin sits there in the gap and instead of stimulating the appropriate nerves that make you feel calm and happy, it stimulates whatever ones it can. But that isn’t the only thing the transporter proteins job is. It also helps your cells absorb that serotonin, so those with chronic anxiety actually can’t absorb that wonderful chemical as well as those without.
Chronic Or Not
While the symptoms can be triggered due to outside factors, it’s not the same as actually possessing the defective gene. That means that if your situation improved, you may feel better. It may even be possible for you to pull yourself out of that feeling and those symptoms of anxiety. For those of us with that gene though, it means it’s a physical problem that cannot be fixed. It’s not some slump you can just pull yourself out of by constantly pushing yourself to think positively. It can’t even be fixed by medication or therapy, these things make it possible to survive with it. Unfortunately, our genetic makeup is one thing we can’t change.
If you have that neurosis gene, it sucks. On top of that, sometimes you also have those outside factors as well. I’m not trying to belittle people with the outside factors, I believe that type of anxiety is just the same as chronic, it just isn’t a lifelong problem. Except when those outside factors are lifelong. Like for example PTSD.
Did you know that those who mother autistic children have the same stress levels combat soldiers?
Do you or someone you know struggle with chronic anxiety or other types?