Denise’s Diary: It Runs in the Family

Evidence is quite clear that OCD is more likely to run in families. Many people with OCD have one or more family members who also have it or some other type of anxiety disorder influenced by the brain’s serotonin levels.

Having the genetic tendency for OCD doesn’t mean that a person will definitely develop it, but there is a greater likelihood they could. There are other circumstances that might trigger the symptoms of OCD in a person who is genetically predisposed, such as a stressful life event or even an illness.

Twenty percent of first degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) of a person with OCD will develop it as well. If you are a twin your chance rises to thirty-three percent if your twin has OCD. There is no evidence of adoptive children developing OCD from an adoptive family member who has OCD. (Bradley C. Riemann Ph.D.)

My youngest daughter has been diagnosed with OCD and is on a medication regimen which decreases her symptoms and makes her life more manageable. My second oldest daughter showed definite signs of OCD tendencies as a child, but has overcome them. However, she still has extreme perfectionistic traits, as well as my oldest and youngest daughters. My son has OCD tendencies also, but more on the side of worrying about having severe illnesses. Whenever he would have any aches or pains, he was sure he had cancer. I guess what I am saying is there is no doubt in my mind that OCD runs in the family.


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