There are a number of chronic diseases that can be blamed on genetics but not a lot of people consider stress and anxiety to be passed down from parents. How you react to pressure and unfavorable conditions depends mainly upon the power of your brain and your ability to take charge of your internal activities.

So, can a condition that relies heavily upon one’s individual mental abilities be genetic?

Actually yes, it seems the Bible was true in this regard and the sins of the father can end up plaguing the children and here science does seem to give this theory the green signal. Studies revealed that the brain of children who had a specific genetic mutation did not produce a good amount of a chemical known as Neuropeptide Y.

A lack of the required amount of Neuropeptide Y or NPY triggers the brain to react strongly to negative emotions and feelings. In a way, the impact of the negative factor is amplified and the brain’s response to physiological pain is not like it should have been in the absence of that particular genetic mutation.

Since stress is also a reaction of the brain towards unfavorable factors, the result of the genetic mutation does not leave the brain equipped enough to handle the cause from an optimistic point of view.

Apart from stress, people bearing a low level of Neuropeptide Y, were also twice more likely to go into depression, the reason here is the same. Instead of looking for ways to tackle the cause, the brain’s response to the factor causing depression increases the activity in prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for reactions to negative emotions.

The prefrontal cortex is thinner and does not inhibit the negative feelings, thus regulating the brain’s response in a negative light.

Another theory states that a person’s characteristics and traits are largely acquired from their parents. The genetic makeup does decide the temperament and outlook of a person, albeit not on a complete scale.

Given the individual characteristic and their response to adverse situations based on their genes, it can be said that one reason for people being stressed out can be genetic. Someone who engages in self-loathing is more likely to experience anxiety and be depressed when faced with an adverse situation, as compared to someone who likes to take charge and is solution-oriented.

However, such research findings still have certain grey areas and are not entirely conclusive. Psychologically speaking, a person’s temperament does influence how they behave under pressure but more importantly the pressure induced is mostly based on external factors. There are work-related pressure, pressure brought about due to personal reasons, because of bad health, etc.

The level of NPY or people’s frame of mind is always the response to the pressure rather than being the cause of stress. Like Newton’s third law, the cause being the external action while the consequence of genetic mutation is the opposite and equal reaction, which eventually leads to people feeling stressed and/or depressed.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Mulyadi Kurnia. I am a practitioner of meditation and yoga and has been experiencing the benefits of the practices. Through this article, I intend to share my knowledge and experience on stress-related topics. For more information on stress management tips, visit,