Anxiety, Fear, and The GABA Gene

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

I’m willing to bet that something in this list makes your heart beat a little faster just thinking about experiencing it:

  • Social situations
  • Cluttered or messy spaces
  • Financial troubles
  • Conflicts with your partner or boss
  • Moving or changing jobs

These are 5 of the most common anxiety triggers.

But why does anxiety even happen in the first place?

And why can something as “small” as going to a social event trigger it?

Two parts of your brain process threats:

  • The amygdala helps activate the “fight or flight” response
  • Frontal areas of your brain override the amygdala and help you respond logically

People experience anxiety when they have too much activity in their amygdala or too little in frontal brain areas.

So anxiety occurs due to some chemical reactions that occur in your brain, but these reactions aren’t unalterable. Your brain’s manifestation of unnecessary fear can be stopped.

It wasn’t until I started looking at my genetics, that everything changed.

I discovered that genetics plays a key role in determining our body’s response to stress and, if you know what genetic variants you carry, you can implement diet, lifestyle, and supplement changes that will decrease your body’s anxiety response.

In fact, 65% of the differences in people’s chances of getting anxiety can be attributed to genetics!

The gene that changed my life

When I first looked into my genes, one gene that particularly stood out was the GABRG2 gene.

The GABRG2 gene plays a role in the function of GABA receptors in our brain, which are responsible for calming neuron activity.

The negative variant in the GABRG2 gene – which is what I carry – negatively affects these receptors’ performance, reducing the effectiveness of GABA, which then makes you more susceptible to anxiety.

After a lot of research, I discovered that Purple Passionflower was something that would help me with my anxiety and counteracting this gene.

If I had SelfDecode, it would’ve taken me… maybe 5 minutes, probably less.

It was one of my top recommendations in my Anxiety Report.

Later on, I also discovered that I had the negative variant to my HTR2A gene – which plays a role in serotonin, or the “happiness hormone” – and 5-HTP changed my life in getting rid of my anxiety.

Again, if I had SelfDecode, maybe a couple of minutes, as it was also one of the top 5 recommendations in my report.

How You Can Get Rid Of Your Anxiety

For me, serotonin and GABA were the 2 neurotransmitters that affected my anxiety the most, but it could be different for you – oxytocin, glutamate, BDNF, and so many more different chemicals can be the cause of your anxiety.

The key to discovering which one is affecting you is by looking at your genes.

Back then, I implemented changes based on two genes and saw massive improvements in my anxiety.

It took me a few months to discover these genes, find the proper supplements, and get these results.

SelfDecode instantly analyzes over 800,000 genetic variants connected to anxiety and then gives you personalized recommendations to get rid of your anxiety – focusing on the genes that impact you the most.

By understanding your DNA blueprint, you can follow the exact same road I took to get rid of my anxiety, without the countless hours of research and experimenting.


About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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