Inherited Stress?

By September 24, 2020Blog

The Swedish idiom maskrosbarn, a “dandelion child”, and orkidebarn, an “orchid child” has been used by developmental specialists to describe a new genetic concept in child development. A dandelion as a flower can survive and flourish in most environments (you may have seen them growing from concrete!). The orchid, however, is far more vulnerable and needs protection and shelter to allow it to thrive and flower. 🌸⁠

There appears to be a connection with the NR3C1 gene variant that links increased vulnerability to stress and environmental sensitivity, to these “orchid” children. The NR3C1 gene variant influences the activity of a receptor to which cortisol binds. Increase an individual’s exposure to stress and you increase their levels of cortisol. As this genetic marker is activated in an individual, it can remain ‘switched on’ for future generations . This means if your parents or grandparents were in particularly stressful or difficult circumstances in their own life, they could pass this genetic information onto you. ⁠

How this then looks is that your stress coping threshold may not be naturally as high as other people, and your stress response may be activated with seemingly less stressful events. ⁠

Something to ponder.⁠