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If you have a family history of psychiatric disorders do you ever worry about your kids developing one or more of them as well?

Bipolar disorder runs in both my family and my ex-husband's family - his family also has a history of anxiety disorders and his mother is a schizophrenic with a mile long list of OCDs, both of his brother's are also pathological liars. I worry at times about what my children may develop as they grow up, and even though both me and their father have no disorders ourselves because we both have a strong family history of it I know my children are at a higher risk than the average person. I was just wondering if any other families have the same fears I do.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:11 AM on Jan. 21, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • They are learned, mostly, rather than genetic. Studies on twins and adopted kids have proved: psychiatric illnesses run in families who live together, not who are related to each other.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:14 AM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • I would only worry if you start seeing certain behaviors that carry from any of the disorders.

    Hubby and I are over emotional OLDEST was the one that followed us with a double dose of tears and emotions. Everything else...unless I detect certain behaviors, I just chalk it up to child antics. That's just me and mine though.

    Answer by Imortlmommy at 2:16 AM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • I worry all the time. We have Bi-polar 1 and 2 in our family, schizophrenia, and OCD in our family. Both sides.. OCD on my side but not on fathers. My oldest daughter has been having behavior issues since she was 10 months old (even caught on video EEG) her neurologist told me we would keep a close eye on her due to our family history. She has told me at 3 she was going to burn the house down. Now she is 5 and when she comes home from school she talks about very disturbing things about harming others because they don't like her clothes or how her hair was. She see's a psychologist already due to her behaviors, but we will just wait and see. She is too young to be labeled with anything quite yet, I do not want her to be labeled at all. I just feel so bad for her knowing how mental illness affects people.

    Answer by ali_1107 at 5:57 AM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • I do.  My mother was schizophrenic, had severe post partum depression that she never got help for, and bi polar.  One of her brothers has been in an insane asylum since he was a child.  My grandmother (mothers mother) was schizophrenic also.  There is a lot more going on in my family tree but I'll leave it at that, lol.  Horrible childhoods and trauma and drugs and alcohol seemed to fuel everyone I've mentioned.  I know that there is something wrong with me also but I have dealt with it just fine I think.  I worry about my own children, my oldest son exhibits the same behaviors that I did when I was his age.  For my son, I tried things that nobody did for me and they have worked.  I don't believe that it's JUST hereditary either.  If you have a stable home and a stable life, I think that there is a good possibility that you won't have problems like this.  :)


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 5:58 AM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • And I also have to agree with LindaClement.  My crazy could easily have been taught and not hereditary.  So could my oldest sons.  I hadn't quite learned how to deal with my stuff before he was born so he seen a lot in his few years that he shouldn't have. 


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 6:04 AM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • I do, my mother and myself both suffer major depression, it can be totally debilitating to one's life. I am honest and open with my sons, but I also try to "be" upbeat, even when I really feel like crap.

    Answer by 2boyz2pray4 at 11:56 AM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • While I'm sorry for your own families I do feel better knowing I'm not the only one with these fears, my older daughter has some compulsive behavior - since she was an infant she's bounched, when she could sit up on her own she'd bounce on her butt and since she could stand it's turned into jumping, she doesn't usually notice she's doing it and she also has hand spasms when she's holding certain objects and has broken quite a few toys because of it but she had an MRI and EEG last year and both were normal. I also worry about her because she's overly emotional at times, for example when she sees someone in emotional pain she feels that pain - a couple weeks ago my boyfriend and I broke up, she saw me crying and she nearly had a panic attack because she thought I was fighting with her father.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:39 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

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