Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Community
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Genetic Predisposition to OCD/mental illness?

Do people with mental illness have a genetic predisposition to it and then gets triggered from various environmental factors such as social events, school, or maybe for no reason at all? I'm asking because I had severe OCD when I was young, started at 12 years old or so. It consisted of me repeating ambiguous thoughts/phrases/words in my mind every morning before I started my day. The thoughts/words never made sense and could never be said out loud because it was just gibberish. I want to make it clear that I had complete control over this, I knew what I was doing was abnormal, yet I felt like "I had to do it or something bad was going to happen". Also, I want to make it clear that I was not hearing voices, I was actively saying these things to myself. There were no delusions either, I knew right from wrong, reality vs. unreality. It was severe OCD, I know it sounds bizarre and scary but for some reason I felt like I had to do it. I really had no good reason other than that by doing so it reduced my anxiety tremendously and I could finally go about my day because I felt more "complete" . I don't have this now, one morning I quit cold turkey, I grew out of it or I guess I wasn't afraid anymore. Also, when I was 19 years old, I'm 23 now, I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Depression. They found several lesions in my brain and spinal cord and had some numbness/tingling symptoms over the last few years, however, this has nothing to do with the mental disorder, it's completely separate. I just find it interesting that I have both a psychiatric and neurological problem.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
2 Responses
1699033 tn?1514116733
If you Google Johns Hopkins and OCD you will find a study regarding OCD and families and they are finding that there is a genetic predisposition to having the disorder.  The study is still ongoing.  My family participated and 2 of my 3 sisters have OCD.  

I'm glad you found a way to combat your morning ritual.  I have found that for myself increased stress exacerbates my own OCD.  The thoughts and rituals...yes they are so stupid but yet we cannot help ourselves.  

I'm sorry you have been diagnosed with MS.  I wish you all the best.  
Avatar universal
I know my dad has depression and OCD tendencies, although he's never said he has been officially diagnosed with OCD. I picked up alot of traits from him. He has always curled his toes constantly, and he has a fear of having something in his nose, so he always checks it in the mirror constantly, well I picked up on this when I was little and now I have done both things for as long as I can remember!
Whether this is to do with genetics, or the fact that he was a stay at home dad and I saw his little compulsions every day and just picked them up I don't know.
Sorry to hear about your MS hope you are keeping well xx
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