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    Includes Expert Content
    Is this OCD? Is OCD hereditary?
    avatar
    Jeune1 posted:
    Last week I was out walking around and it suddenly struck me how dirty everything is. I live in a big city. I've lived here 99% of my life. It has always been dirty. It will always be dirty. But that night the sight of ground-in chewing gum and some cups blowing around made my flesh crawl. I thought it was just a combination of being out after dark in a dodgy area.

    But then I got home. Our house is not dirty. We tidy as we go with more intense cleaning on the weekends. But it was the same thing. There were a few hairs in the bathroom sink (mine). That grossed me out. There were a couple of dishes in the sink and I felt a little sick. The carpets were a little cat hairy and I almost wanted to cry. I know this sounds a little weird but I swear at one point it was all I could do to stay in the house because it seemed so dirty and I knew there was no way I could clean it all.

    I'm really hoping this is just some odd symptom of depression because I could actually handle that better than a new illness. But I wondered because my grandmother had it and it was "triggered" by feeling that things were dirty. I wondered if this was an early stage?
    Reply
     
    avatar
    lissmeanstrouble responded:
    Jeune, Its funny that you pose this question, cause I often wonder the same thing!

    My mom is OCD... she wouldnt ever admit it, but growing up with some one who flicks every lightswitch in the basement before she goes to bed every night, some one who flips the kitchen door open 1,2,3 times whenever she gets near it, some one who CAN NOT for whatever mental block she has do a left turn out of a parking lot... some one who has to open and shut the frigerator 1,2,3 times every time shes looking for something to eat... I've made a personal diagnosis for my mom... that she must be OCD.

    I dont know what causes hers... but I have noticed some OCD tendancies in myself, where I get MAD when the toothpaste is not on the left side of my sink, or when my pens are not all facing the same direction in the cup I stick them in, I have to carefully flip the opposite pens the correct way, and I have to have my remote controls all lined up on my coffee table, just wierd particularities I notice now Im not living alone anymore.
    Im interested to see what others may say about this.

    I hope you are feeling better jeune, and that your home is not triggering any symptoms for you today.
     
    avatar
    Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
    Hi- so OCD is hereditary just like every other medical disorder but clearly is not 100%, probably well under 30% or even less. Most psychiatric disorder is a mixture of genetics, stress, life situations, upbringing etc.

    I think the key is, that if you have these contamination thoughts and they increase and if your behavior changes and it interferes with your life then it sounds more like OCD. So be honest and open with yourself if this goes from being a phase that lasts a few days to something that grows worse and more pervasive. if so, seek help. The sooner you do the easier it is to treat


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