anxiety is something that is experienced by millions of people and can be caused by a variety of reasons, including genetics, social events, a traumatic experience, personality types and more.

But can you be born anxious? Find out more about anxiety and its causes here.


What is anxiety?

anxiety is a natural and normal response to stress or perceived threats. It’s a feeling of unease, worry, or fear that can range from mild to severe and can manifest both mentally and physically.

While occasional feelings of anxiety are common and can even be helpful in certain situations, such as motivating action in response to a perceived danger, if a person experiences persistent or excessive anxiety that interferes with daily life, this may indicate an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Excessive worrying or stress
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea or diarrhoea
  • Panic attacks

anxiety disorders encompass a range of conditions, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders and attacks, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and more. These disorders involve excessive and persistent feelings of anxiety that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and functioning.

Some people believe that you are born anxious, but this is often not the case. anxiety is often treatable or manageable with the right medications or therapies.

Treatment for anxiety disorders often involves a combination of therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and coping strategies to help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Main Causes of anxiety

anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, and the exact cause can vary from person to person and not all people are born anxious.

Some of the main causes and contributors to anxiety include:


As mentioned earlier, there can be a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders, meaning that individuals with a family history of anxiety may be more likely to develop it themselves. Although a baby is not born anxious, a person may be more likely to develop anxiety as they get older as a result of genetics.

Brain chemistry

Imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, can play a role in the development of anxiety disorders.

These chemicals are involved in regulating mood and emotions, and disruptions in their levels can contribute to anxiety symptoms. Many people with anxiety also suffer from depression as a result of brain chemistry.

Environmental Influences or Events

Stressful life events, such as a traumatic incident, abuse, financial difficulties, relationship problems, work-related stress, or major life changes, can trigger or exacerbate anxiety disorders.

Chronic stress can also lead to the development of anxiety disorders over time, and many things can cause this such as social anxiety, work-related stress, and pressure.

Personality and Individual Behaviour

Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism, neuroticism, and sensitive or reactive personalities can increase the likelihood of experiencing anxiety. Some people are more anxious in nature than others, and this can be something that is experienced from early years.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, cardiovascular problems, respiratory disorders, or chronic pain, can contribute to feelings of anxiety or be the cause of it. Some medical conditions that can cause anxiety include Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, COPD and asthma.

Additionally, side effects of medications or substance abuse can also induce or worsen anxiety disorders.


Is anxiety Genetic?

Research studies have found that individuals with a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop anxiety themselves which means that genetic factors may contribute to the risk of developing anxiety disorders.

However, genetics alone do not determine whether someone will develop anxiety so not all people are born with anxiety. Environmental factors, life experiences, and individual differences all play significant roles in the development of anxiety disorders.

While genetics may mean that an individual is more susceptible to developing anxiety, it’s a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors that ultimately influence the development and severity of anxiety disorders.


Can You Be Born Anxious?

Some people believe that you can be born anxious, especially if they have felt anxious their entire lives. Although children can show signs of anxiety, this is likely due to genetic factors, their personality (such as shy children), or home/environmental stress rather than being born anxious.

Signs and symptoms that children are experiencing anxiety include headaches, stomach aches, nausea, or other physical discomforts such as a change in appetite or sleep patterns. They may eat significantly more or less than usual, have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or experience nightmares.

Children may also show signs of excessive worrying, difficulty concentrating and restlessness if they are experiencing anxiety.

If your child is showing signs of anxiety, the first step is to talk to them about how they are feeling. You can also help by giving them books or films, sticking to routines, helping them to manage their anxiety and providing them with something interactive such as a worry box or journal. See more about how to help an anxious child.

Whilst you are not born anxious, this doesn’t mean that you can’t develop it at an early age. Finding ways to manage anxious feelings is key to a happier life before other problems arise such as dual diagnosis conditions.

If you are experiencing anxiety and addiction, get in touch with us today on 0800 012 6088 or fill out our contact form.


  • [1] depression as a result of brain chemistry - https://www.addictionadvocates.comdepression-rehab-treatment/what-is-depression-and-how-can-i-manage-it/
  • [2] Some medical conditions that can cause anxiety include Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, COPD and asthma -
  • [3] individuals with a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop anxiety themselves -
  • [4] how to help an anxious child -