Phobias can be passed down through DNA

Did you know? Phobias may be memories passed down through generations in DNA, according to new research.

Family Studies Suggest a Genetic Link

If a family member has a phobia, you are at an increased risk for a phobia as well.

In general, relatives of someone with a specific anxiety disorder are most likely to develop the same disorder. In the case of agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), however, first-degree relatives are also at increased risk for panic disorder, indicating a possible genetic link between agoraphobia and panic disorder.

Researchers have found that first-degree relatives of someone suffering from a phobia are approximately three times more likely to develop a phobia.

According to the findings, twin studies showed that when one twin has agoraphobia, the second twin has a 39% chance of developing the same phobia. When one twin has a specific phobia, the second twin has a 30% chance of also developing a specific phobia. This is much higher than the 10% chance of developing an anxiety disorder found in the general population.


About Stu Dunn

With a background in sales and behavioural science, I enjoy learning more about people, behaviour, psychology - which led into motivation - and more recently - sales again. Having started my own real estate company with my wife, it's time to merge interests.
This entry was posted in Did You Know?, Psychology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.