The HTR2B gene might be making you angry

Do you get angry all the time? Has it been the same for generations in your family but weird for the world outside? Well, this can be running in your family gene. In 2010, on the 22nd of December, scientists discovered the HTR2B gene. As the reason for violent and impulsive behavior in human characteristics. The HTR2B manipulates serotonin production and detection by the human brain. (Serotonin triggers human behaviors like impulsiveness, anger, and violence.)

The Study

Is anger genetic or learned - details about HTR2B gene
Your anger can be coming from your genes

To reach a conclusion, scientists chose volunteers in Finland and divided them into two groups. The first group was the relatives of violent offenders in the country, and the second group had regular people with no relation to offense or crime. The first group were HTR2B Q20* carriers and heterozygotes.

The Procedure

Before moving forward with the study, participants were tested under the following criteria:

  • DSM-III-R semi-structured interview made it easy to detect the traits of mental disorders, if any.
  • Cloninger’s personality questionnaire (Tridimensional) made it easy to look after temperamental traits.
  • Impulsive behavioral traits observed under the Lifetime aggression scale by Brown–Goodwin. 48 (maximum score) for participants while they are sober and 12 under the influence of alcohol:
  • Up for sexual intercourse
  • Changing jobs
  • Moving residence without thinking
  • Michigan Alcohol Screening Test and a background test on drinking were done for both groups.
  • Mean score comparison.
  • Analysis of genetics and molecules was performed in the lab at neurogenetics, the NIH, the Helsinki University, and the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.
  • Each participant wrote a written consent. The Boards of review at the Helsinki University, the Psychiatry Department, and the Central Hospital (Helsinki University) did a study and approved the protocol.
  • The study used a two-tailed independent sample test, linear regression analysis, and analysis of logistic regression.

The Result – HTR2B gene

The HTR2B Q20* carriers were more aggressive and showcased impulsive behavioral traits under the influence of alcohol. These people are not alcoholics in general but do lose control under the influence of the same. While the second group with non-HTR2B Q20* carriers didn’t showcase any such trait. Also, the HTR2B Q20* carriers’ reaction to stimuli was typical. Mood disorders were common, along with emotional dysregulation.

The HTR2B gene

Moving forward with studying the HTR2B gene, officially known as 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2B, it belongs to the protein-coding gene type. Talking about diseases, we have Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and Bipolar I Disorder associated with the same. The particular gene is also conserved in Rhesus, Chimpanzeesm Mouse, Dog, Rat, Monkey, Frog, Zebrafish, and Cow.

A mutation in the gene causes blockage in the Serotonin production level. Where a part of the brain can no longer restrain oneself or look into the after-effects of the action committed.

How to find out if you are angry?

Well, society does not run like our family, and we must be clear about anger management. Here is a list of points to help you fully understand the emotion of anger.

genetics class - HTR2B gene
Anger issues can be in the family gene
  • Anger is a negative feeling where you get hostile thoughts about a situation not being in your favor.
  • When you are angry, you will notice muscle tension, an increase in heart rate, and headaches.
  • Also, people start to get into physical reactions and verbally abuse the other party who triggers emotions.
  • However, there is a difference between anger and aggression. The former is all about verbal exchanges, which can lead to criminal offenses.

How to deal with anger issues?

Now that we know it is the anger gene causing all the trouble. Let’s find some ways to deal with anger issues. As we cannot just sit back and blame our genes, right?

Always reevaluate the outcomes before you speak:

Your ancestors were not part of a big organization and did find it easy to get away with anger issues. But coming to the present situation, you will be in great trouble with using abusive words or other offensive terms when angry. So think about the outcomes before you speak.

Get into some physical exercises to channel that extra energy, causing anger:

Most of us are part of a 9 to 5 job scenario, and dealing with similar situations all day long does get frustrating. Anger can also be a cause of monotonous life and boredom. Enroll in a gym or go for a walking session to get some fresh air and break free from the regular chores.

Take some time out of troubling situations:

Timeouts are helpful. Take short breaks when you are feeling too overwhelmed by an ongoing task. A few moments alone will help you calm down that anger and deal with situations more maturely.

Learn to forgive and forget:

We, as human beings, most of the time, keep things in our minds, and these add up to become violent behavior later on. So make it a habit to forget and forgive. Remember, this way, you are only doing good to yourself and not letting your body react to negative situations.

Use humor as a tension releaser:

Humor lights up our mood, making it easy to deal with a particular situation. You can make people understand their shortcomings and unrealistic behavior more without hurting someone’s feelings.

Meditate to relax:

Relax and calm down. Indulge in activities like deep breathing, repeating a particular sentence, or practicing meditation. Do follow some yoga poses online and get yourself practicing those.

Ask for help when you need it:

Sometimes, our mind stops us from doing certain things. This can be because of past experience or how the mind is trained. So to combat such a situation, you can seek help from the people around you. Discuss your shortcomings and how you plan to overcome the same.

Unplanned negative situations trigger anger in the human brain, and the body coordinates with the same. Though there is a gene that acts as a catalyst, your personal inputs like self-control and mindfulness speak a lot. So it is always upon us humans to evolve as a civilized species and help the world improve for future generations to continue living.

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