Like Father, Like Child: When Anxiety Runs in the Family

(First published on May 12, 2017 on, founded by Mayim Bialik.)

By Jamie Bornstein

At age 35, tired from too many years of pride-fueled silence, I told my parents that I had been taking an antidepressant for anxiety and panic attacks. My father listened quietly and gently replied, “Well, you come by it honestly.” He didn’t say much more, but he didn’t need to. In his quiet way he was telling me that I’m not the first Bornstein to face such challenges.

I frequently hear an undercurrent of my father’s voice – the cadence and tone of his delivery – in my own voice when I speak. I hear his diplomacy when I debate, his compassionate professionalism when I counsel colleagues, and his playfulness when I spontaneously break into song, as he is well known to do.

And I heard his voice when I sat with my young, beautiful child and cautiously said…“I want you to know, you come by it honestly…” To continue reading, click here.

Jamie Bornstein is the founder of Mental Health Safe Space. He lives in Sharon, MA with his wife and three children. He is the Senior Director of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, North America. He can be reached at

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