I was asked this question a few weeks ago by an expecting mother. The fear of passing on the mental illness that plagued her everyday life was causing a lot of stress – something you are supposed to avoid if pregnant!
So here’s my answer dear friend.
Children do not develop OCD due to how you talk (or don’t talk) to them or how you discipline them. Your actions and how you parent will not cause your child to develop this illness. Stress may make OCD worse for a child who already has the condition, but your actions will not cause the OCD.
About 25% of OCD suffers have an immediate family member with the disorder. It is difficult to make an accurate estimate of the chances a parent will pass on OCD genetically. In most cases, the chances are very small that your child will also have OCD.
If this is still a concern for you, be sure to talk to your doctor as many medical centers have genetic counselors on staff or you can be referred to one that can discuss this issue with you. The genetics of OCD is an area of active research, and new developments are appearing frequently.
Here’s the most important thing to remember…
If your child does have OCD or any other mental illness, rather than dwelling on what caused it, you need to focus on helping your child get the help and relief needed. Talk to your doctor about your child’s symptoms and discuss the different treatment options. There are ways to effectively treat your child and help them learn how to manage their symptoms.
One last thought…
Know that no matter what, you are not alone. There are people and resources out there that can help you deal with whatever struggles might come your way.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, student, daughter and friend. She’s working on her Marketing Diploma and has a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.