Anxiety And Genetics: Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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Just as autism has been found to have a congenital factor, there is also precise research revealing that our genes predispose anxiety. As a matter of fact, scientists observed a family relation for anxiety even before understanding how genes or DNA operates.

 

If you have a close family member diagnosed with anxiety, your chances of having it are approximately three to six times higher than a person who has no family member with anxiety. Your chances are even higher if you happen to have an identical twin that has anxiety, as you share identical genes, even if, say, you were raised in two separate households.

 

Today, all of us are aware that specific genes come with the threat of having anxiety. We are also aware that genes can be switched off or on depending on the triggers that you are exposed to in your environment. A complex condition like anxiety is most probably dependent on an array of activated and inherited genes.

 

Additionally, experts are working to find out precisely which genes may result in anxiety. They’ve found several different options. A lot of the genes they found did cause anxiety in many people, but not in everyone. Soon, there will be more research and studies done so that we will have a better understanding of why that is the case.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  

Does anxiety run in the family?

 

Experts have discovered that anxiety disorders have a genetic predisposition and that these disorders have biological evidence, just like diabetes, allergies, and other conditions. Anxiety disorders may result from a multifaceted group of risk factors, including brain chemistry, life events, genetics, and personality.

 

How much anxiety is genetic?

 

People get a predisposition to being overly worried, and about 40% of the variability is associated with genetic factors.

 

What triggers child anxiety?

 

Events that occur in a child’s life can stress him out, which can be difficult for them to deal with. Serious illness, violence, abuse, or a loved one’s death can lead some children to become anxious. Additionally, children growing up in families where other members are frequently anxious or fearful can also lead a child to become anxious.

 

Can parents pass on anxiety?

 

Parents pass on to their kids the risk of developing mental health diseases, including anxiety and depression. Children can actually get hyperactive brain circuits that link all parts of the brain, leading them to become more susceptible to having depressive and anxiety disorders.

 

Can yell at a child cause anxiety?

 

If shouting at kids is bad, shouting accompanied by verbal abuse and insults can qualify as emotional assault. It has been found to have longstanding effects, such as low self-confidence, increased aggression, and anxiety.

 

Is anxiety all in your head?

 

Anxiety somehow begins in the head. Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives, as this is the brain’s way of preparing us for confronting danger or escaping it. The brain is getting us ready to face a stressful event.

 

Can you ever be cured of anxiety?

 

Unfortunately, anxiety cannot be permanently cured. However, there are several means to avoid it from becoming worse. Getting the appropriate treatment for your anxiety may help you deal with it more effectively to function normally and move on with your happily.

 

Can anxiety go away forever?

 

Anxiety does not disappear forever. Anxiety is just like any feeling that you may experience – happiness, anger, sadness, love, frustration, and so on. Just as you cannot ever avoid feeling these emotions, you are also unable to get rid of anxiety once and for all.

 

What is the fastest-acting anxiety medication?

 

Tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines, are the most popularly prescribed form of medication used for treating anxiety. Examples include diazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, and clonazepam. All of these work quickly, usually providing relief within 30 minutes to one hour.

 

What helps severe anxiety?

 

When done habitually, relaxation strategies like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation can help decrease anxiety symptoms and improve emotional well-being. Also, regular exercise is a natural stress reducer and anxiety reliever.

 

What is a drug that calms you down?

 

SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed form of antidepressants for treating anxiety. Examples include Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and Prozac. SSRIs have been utilized to manage generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

 

What is the best mood stabilizer for anxiety?

 

Lamotrigine (e.g., Lamictal) may be the most potent mood stabilizer used for treating depression, although it is not effective for treating mania. The initial dose of lamotrigine must be very low and augmented very gradually throughout the span of four weeks or more.

 

Does anxiety lead to bipolar disorder?

 

Having bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder has been linked to reduced function and quality of life and a heightened risk of substance abuse and suicidal attempts. Another common symptom of anxiety disorder, insomnia, is also a suggestive trigger for manic attacks.

 

Is there a happy pill for depression?

 

Anxiolytic drugs Valium, Miltown, and Prozac (antidepressant) are known as ‘happy pills’ for providing amazingly effective results over the last fifty years. The first drug that became popular in the 1950s was Miltown.

 

Can a mood stabilizer help with anxiety?

 

Stabilizing a person’s mood is basically the priority in addressing anxiety. Polypharmacy is the principle in treating comorbid anxiety and bipolar disorders.

 

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Getting Help

 

The initial step in seeking help for anxiety is to visit your doctor. Anxiety is very common, and it is unlikely that your doctor would not be asked about it.

 

Various treatments are made available for anxiety, and there is tremendous support for many of those who have it. Therapy, medication, or a combination of these two are usually effective. The most recommended medications are SNRIs or SSRIs, which help improve the levels of specific brain chemicals. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches various strategies to help people deal with their anxious thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns.

 

Anxiety has a genetic connection, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that you are sure to have it or pass it on to your kids. Whether you will develop anxiety or not is complex and is also dependent on the situations of your life. This is why we cannot always know who has a higher likelihood of developing it. The most crucial thing you could try doing is to be aware of your anxiety symptoms and learn to manage them when they emerge.

 

 

 

Worrying Too Much About Your Child’s Autism (Mental Health Discussion)

Worrying about your child’s autism diagnosis is normal. As a parent, you feel a little pressured because you think that people around you are constantly asking you why your kid experienced a psychological problem. Understandably, you get frustrated with others judging and throwing negative comments about your child. Honestly, that is hurtful for a lot of reasons.

On the other hand, some can appear to be concerned, but their sympathy is not on point. Some would try and convince you that your kid is only having a rough time and that you should not get a little too anxious about their developmental delays. Some will also tell you that worrying too much is an exaggeration because it is as if they know that your child will soon be okay. But unfortunately, these words are unhelpful. It makes you feel like your child’s autism condition is not being taken seriously, which somehow makes you believe that your emotional and mental concerns are not valid.

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Parenthood, Autism, And Mental Health

Dealing with an autistic child is genuinely challenging. There is too much fear of the future. It is where you think too much about the negative things that might happen to your child once you let him go or once you are gone. Well, that is precisely what most parents like you are going through. Because you care too much for your child’s overall wellbeing, it scares you to think about keeping your eyes away from him even for a second. Most of the time, you catastrophize every unfortunate situation your kid encounter. And that is something that you must avoid permanently to save your mental health.

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This particular worry about your child’s future and how autism will affect him throughout his life is completely different from the common fears you have. It is not a thing that you can just shrug off whenever you want to or when people tell you to do so. It is the dreadfulness of your emotional and mental state because you knew it is your child’s future that is on the line. You feel the weight in your chest because you care deeply about the outcome of your decisions. You fear committing mistakes because you somehow knew that your child might suffer once you can no longer stay physically, emotionally, and mentally present.

It is okay to worry for your child’s sake. However, if that worry distracts you from doing the things you need to do, perhaps you might want to consider rearranging your thoughts. Because when that idea of worry becomes a mental condition, it will become impossible for you to care for the child anymore. The worse part, you become another source of the problem. You need to realize that fear and anxiety are two different things. Yes, both may work the same regardless of the root cause. Fear and anxiety trigger the same physiological response. It never plays out in the way you think about it.

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A Little Worry About The Whole Situation

A little worry is acceptable when you know that you can manage it. When you can find better solutions to the problem and stay positive despite the unfortunate situations in your child’s life, you can say that your mental health is probably better than ever. Honestly, it just a matter of positive thinking. Your child might be different in some ways due to his autism, but every child is different, whether autistic or not. Thus, every child you meet, engaged with, talk to, or spend time with will all be different. There is no constant dynamic there because every human is born different. So the real predicament here is not about making everyone accept your autistic child, but rather educate them that despite your kid’s situation, he deserves all the love and care the world has to offer.

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Final Thought

Always remember that the worst-case scenario is only a portion of what you play in your head. You may picture it as far more brutal from reality, but that is just it – a picture. It is always up to you how you handle the situation because, in the end, the mental and emotional state is all that will matter. It is okay to feel deeply terrified about the uncertainties of the future, especially for your autistic child’s sake. But you have to be mindful that there is always a solution to everything. It may not be the one you imagined it to be, but that is okay. As long as you understand your role in your child’s life, you can hang on to it. Worry if you must and fear uncertainties if you have to. But do not let that worry turn into a mental illness because your child needs you more than ever. Care for your mental health, and don’t let your child’s autism distract you from what you have to do.

Recognizing The Early Signs Of Autism With Children In The Family

Autism is a complex developmental condition that affects mostly kids. The condition can make interaction and information processing entirely exhausting and challenging. Though autism can get a general diagnosis, each situation is unique. That explains why family can see particular traits and behaviors in children. However, in case the kids come up with one or more than of the specific autistic traits, that does not necessarily mean they have autism. It is still essential to speak to a doctor or a specialist about the recognizable traits to find out more information about further evaluation.

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Difficulty With Eye Contact

Difficulty with eye contact is one trait of autism that gets commonly discussed. Some adults with autism usually talk about this as a nearly painful experience. Somehow, it hinders them from paying attention to something or somebody. And as for kids who can’t express themselves, it can be a lot worse. Because aside from the misinterpretation of the action, it can cause the children difficulty in social interactions. Some individuals might take it as a sign of distrust and disrespect. Also, children with autism tend to focus intently on an object rather than a person. They do not get involved in doing things that do not excite them.

Not Much Babbling

Another feature of autism in children that the family should be aware of is the kids’ inability to babble. Balling refers to the sounds toddlers make before they even start to talk. And as they get older, the sounds they make become more sophisticated. At younger years, children should have babbling conversations with people regardless of their words, being a bit clear or not. Because if the kids do not tend to practice babbling, then there is something wrong. That is because the situation of children can get diagnosed with severe language delays, primarily when they can’t communicate until the age of four to six years old. Unfortunately, at a distinctive time, children will have difficulty using spoken language effectively as they get older.

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Not Responding To Their Names

Most families might consider this a normal thing. However, children who do not respond to their names when called might be autistic. Usually, the family thought that it is part of toddlers’ undeveloped skills where they experience difficulty in hearing. Sometimes, they assume that the kids are just ignoring them when they call their names. But that is further from the truth. Kids with autism often don’t respond to people calling their names even if their hearing is fine.

The Use Of Gestures

Another thing that the family should look out for in children with autism is their gestures. These include waving, pointing, nodding, and shaking their heads. That is because many children with autism do not use these particular gestures. If in case they do, that is entirely not often. That explains why the kids tend not to understand other people’s gestures as well. It becomes difficult for them to follow instructions from adults. The whole experience of using gestures for these children with autism is too overwhelming. Though children with autism sometimes imitate people at the early stage, sometimes the entire experience is challenging. The family might see that autistic children are not copying the actions the way they are supposed to.

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Not Clear Shared Enjoyment

Children with autism can be quite difficult to handle due to their remodeled routines and activities. But, it is not their fault. Honestly, kids with autism have the desire to connect and share things with others for the sake of engagement and social interaction. They can show interactive expressions like laughing or smiling. However, it does not guarantee that children with autism may feel the same happiness as their playmates. Most of the time, the way these kids show their enjoyment is not how their family would expect. Sadly, most children with autism hyper-focus on things build with fabrications and half-truths.

Repetitive Actions

Repetitive movements or actions are the core features of autism spectrum disorder. But though that fits in the general diagnosis of the condition, every child can experience it differently. Some examples are when kids play with a toy, in the same way, all the time, fidgeting their fingers and touching their face every minute. Yes, it is not uncommon to see these behaviors in toddlers once in a while. However, kids with autism tend to do these repetitive movements much often than usual.

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Takeaway

Since autism spectrum disorder is becoming more common, the family should be aware of its early signs. That way, they can seek professional help and guidance immediately. The family must work together in securing the children’s early development from communication, play, and social interaction. That is because these are the areas that often children with autism experience difficulty with. The family should note that the early the intervention is, the better the outcome is for kids with autism.

 

 

Guiding A Child With Autism Through The Pandemic

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The number of those infected with the Coronavirus and deaths continue to rise. In the absence of a vaccine, specialists and the government encourages us to stay at home to keep us from being infected. The lockdown is stressful for everyone, but children with autism are very much affected by this sudden change.

Children with autism are comforted by accomplishing their daily routines, and not being able to do so could immensely affect their behavior and development.

The children’s condition makes it more difficult for them to understand the situation. Since they are used to routines, some may resist adapting to the new normal. What makes it worse is that schools, therapy centers, and other facilities that can help them are also closed for health precautions.  

Now that we have the time to guide our children during the lockdown, let’s use it to help them cope with the situation. Here are some ways you could help your child adjust to the new normal.

Explain The Situation Through Simple Terms

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You have a gifted child who can easily understand the situation if you explain it in simple terms. You do not have to be technical about the Coronavirus. A child can easily follow you if you provide examples coming from their past experiences.

You can say that the virus is something harmful that would make them ill. Mention the last time they were sick and how difficult that was for them. By doing so, they would have an idea of why you have to stay-at-home every day.

Please focus on the four things they have to remember to be safe during the pandemic: social distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, and avoiding touching their nose, mouth, and eyes. Aside from this necessary information, let them absorb the situation and wait if they have further questions. If they do not have more questions, it is time for you to check if they can apply what they learned.

Check Their Understanding Through Role Play

 If you used a teaching method that your child has been used to, chances are they have absorbed the lesson. To check whether they have fully taken your lessons at heart, you can role-play the different situations to apply their learning.

You can pretend to shake your child’s hand and see if he or she would wash her hands properly, or you could ask him or her to gather his toys and place them at a safe distance from one another. Role-playing is also a good bonding activity.

A Period Of Adjustment

Children with autism function better when they follow a routine. Try to minimize the effect of the pandemic on their daily schedules. Wake them up at an hour that they used to and always give them meals and free time in the same hours.

Also, ensure that you provide them with a choice of what they want to do during their schooling hours so that they can still feel that they are in control. To manage their transition from one task to another, provide your child with visual schedules, timers, or cues.  

Keep Your Children Calm

You can observe your child for any changes in their behavior. If they experience stress or fear, they will most likely have difficulty in expressing themselves. They may try to get your attention through tantrums or other challenging behavior. To avoid this, encourage your child to express their feelings through activities. 

Examples Of Activities

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There are different media through which children with autism could express themselves. Art and crafts are usually sufficient to calm them down. Choose positive sensory activities that you and your child can enjoy. Some examples are:

  1. Painting – if your child is up to it, allow them to create a mess while painting. You can try a different medium to paint like water balloons or even just their fingers.
  2. Polymer Clay – These are like ordinary clays, but it hardens when exposed to heat. You can mold your clay and turn them into cute accessories.
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    “Parents need to give themselves some grace. Do your best but do not expect to be able to do everything that your child’s teachers and therapists do as skillfully as they do it,” says Cathy Guttentag, P.h.D.

    As parents, you want to create an environment of growth and development for your children. However, always be reminded that today’s pandemic brings unprecedented times. You do not have to be the perfect teacher or therapist for your child, but you can always try. Leave ample room for yourself to learn more about your child and yourself through the pandemic.  

Why I Home School My Kids

The lessons I learned from the 2019 home school event makes me realize that I was not the only parent who likes homeschooling. Others like me want their kids to learn while spending more time with them. While most people still prefer traditional school learning, here are some of the few reasons why I like homeschooling more.

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  • One of the reasons I like homeschooling for my kids is due to the progress of learning things at my kids’ own pace. My children develop their strategies to understand something without getting forced into it. They learned things based on their individual needs, and they do not try to compromise for the majority. They can explore everything under the homeschooling environment.
  • Contrary to what others believe, homeschooling does not make kids introverts. The truth is, I like homeschooling because I can limit the people my kids can socialize with. It becomes beneficial since there is a little less emotional and mental strain from being surrounded by different people. It lets my kids understand themselves better because they don’t have to put up other people’s mental and emotional issues at a very young age.

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  • Another thing I like about homeschooling is that it does not limit my children’s ability and creativity. There are only enough restrictions around the house so that they can explore things according to their desire. Homeschooling doesn’t count mistakes and supports experimental experiences. Homeschooling allows my kids to stay focus, so they tend to excel in a deeper understanding of things.
  • Optimal learning doesn’t happen in very crowded classes. Thus, it makes homeschooling the best choice for my children. There is no limited distribution of resources and educational materials. And as a mom, I can focus on teaching towards a non-testing standard. It does not require me to have any degree to become my children’s best teacher.

 

 

SPED Teaching Strategies

The 2019 SPED conference explains that teaching kids with special needs are never easy. There are lots to consider because the students require more than just a day of a lesson. There must be an assurance of understanding, patience, as well as improved communication. In this article, let’s try and discuss some of the important SPED teaching strategies teachers can use.

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Use Of Different Learning Style – Teachers should learn to incorporate teaching styles so that the kids can use different learning materials. However, not all children with a disability require the same type of learning style. Some may require visual, audio, and even kinesthetic approach. With those challenges, teachers learning strategies should be creative, highly intuitive, and detailed.

Use Assistive Technology – Children’s disabilities vary. Therefore, teachers should consider the use of devices and equipment to encourage a more student-friendly environment. Some of these learning technologies include hearing aids, cognitive aids, mobility aids, adaptive switches, voice recognition programs, and other devices to help children with a disability perform tasks.

Use Of Kid-Friendly Environment – Children with special needs need to have a relaxed learning environment. It will allow them to understand the importance of social engagement, where respectful behavior is a top priority. Therefore, teachers should consider the kids’ interest in a safe, trusting, and comfortable classroom.

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Use Of Standard Curriculum – There is always an educational standard even in SPED classes, so teachers must be aware of that. Since they will be the ones responsible for the children’s learning and achieving goals, teachers must understand the vitality of kids’ prior knowledge and learning capabilities. It will help avoid misjudgments between children who can learn fast and those who couldn’t.

Use Of Good Sense Of Humor – Kids love teachers with a good sense of humor. If that characteristic is present in a SPED classroom, students will enjoy school. They will appreciate teachers’ effort in imparting wisdom.

Teaching Sex Education To Your Special Child 

Sexuality, for the neurotypical individual, is often a topic learned through informal channels. For those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), they have a harder time to learn about it through the same channels as the neurotypical individual. This situation poses a challenge, especially for their parents, since misinformation and misunderstandings may arise and may be learned by their special child.  

 

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  Continue reading Teaching Sex Education To Your Special Child 

What To Do If Your Husband Has ASD

Living with someone who has an autism spectrum disorder or ASD is completely challenging. You have to understand that marriage is going to be difficult to handle. Notwithstanding this difficulty, it is still possible to live a happy life. There will be problems and struggles along the way, but as long as you keep your vow to stay for the rest of your life with your autistic husband, then everything will become more comfortable as days go by. The trials will be apparent during the first few months of the marital union. However, the longer you stay in the relationship, the more you will realize that your partner’s mental condition does not get in the way of your marriage.

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Continue reading What To Do If Your Husband Has ASD

Teenage Diary: Introducing Boyfriend To Parents

The thought of introducing your boyfriend to your parents is terrifying. What if they will not like the person that you are currently dating? What if your teenage lover ends up making a big mistake in front of your mom or dad? What if something goes wrong during the introduction? These are just some of the things that are probably making you feel anxious about this matter.

 

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Continue reading Teenage Diary: Introducing Boyfriend To Parents