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Brain Physics » Anxiety » Harsh Parenting May Lead to Chronic Anxiety Disorders

Harsh Parenting May Lead to Chronic Anxiety Disorders

Submitted by Dr. Cheryl Lane Sun 09/26/2010

Harsh Parenting May Lead to Anxiety Disorders

There has been on ongoing debate amongst parents for decades as to whether or not disciplinary methods such as spanking and excessive punishment are in the best interest of children. A research team at the University of Montreal in Quebec is currently studying the physiological effects on the brain when children are submitted to harsh parenting.

The scientists, led by Francoise Maheu, will be studying functional MRI results of 120 young individuals between the ages of 12 to 17. The imaging will allow them to measure the cerebral activity of the subjects. By doing so, they can look at the link between this brain activity with anxiety and fear.

Past research has already shown a connection between forceful parenting methods, such as spanking, and anxiety. Maheu wants to understand how these practices affect the brain. His hypothesis is that two structures in the brain – the anterior congulate cortex and the amygdala, which comprise a neural circuit that controls fear – have a part in the anxiety response linked to this type of parenting.

By better understanding the connection between the development of anxiety disorders and harsh parenting, effective interventions can be developed to help prevent these disorders from becoming chronic.

I am 58 years old and was raised from infancy to very harsh parenting from my mother who raised me. I have ocd, ptsd, social anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder. I take medication (zoloft 300 mg) which helps a lot but I still have bad flare ups. I have also been in therapy since age 30 which has also helped, but I have never been healed. I would just like to say that harsh parenting can ruin a child's entire rest of her life. The depressions I have from these disorders are devastating and extremely hard to endure. I have fought and fought, but I have never been healed.

even now i suffer nd am not able to find solution due to my childhood experiences similar to that stated above.


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