The Most Common Mental Health Problem is ‘Contagious’

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via Psyblog:

Anxiety is ‘contagious’ and can be passed from parents to children and the other way, a new study finds.

The ‘catching’ nature of anxious thoughts and behaviours exists over and above the effects of genetics.

That’s the conclusion of a new study of twins conducted by researchers in the UK.

Professor Thalia Eley, who led the study, said that anxious parents should avoid passing it on to their children through their behaviour:

“Our research shows that even if you have had to cope with high levels of anxiety yourself, it is not inevitable that this will follow in your children.

There are many things that can be done at home to prevent or reduce anxiety in children and adolescents.

Whilst a natural tendency when your child is anxious is to try to protect them, it can be more helpful to support them in taking small age-appropriate risks.

This will teach them that the world is generally a safe place and they can manage situations that initially seem stressful, developing their sense of mastery and in turn promoting resilience.”

Anxiety, one of the most common mental health problems, is already well-known to have a strong genetic component…

Continue reading.

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