Question: My mom, first cousin and another cousin have the hoarding OCD that I know of. How possible is it that I too will acquire this in later life. They all did it mainly in their later years of life to the point of having no home left. Pauline
Answer 1: At this point we really don’t know very much about whether hoarding problems are likely to recur in children of hoarders, but it seems that at least some people with hoarding have come from homes where one or more parent also had this problem to some degree. Whether you will cannot be foretold, but you might watch out for some of the following tendencies: strong emotional attachments to papers, objects or mementos rather than to people and memories; difficulty with organization and categorizing objects so you don’t put things away where you can find them in future but instead leave them all in sight, eventually creating many piles in which you can find little when you need it; beliefs that your memory is poor when actually it is about as good as other people’s; a tendency to acquire things you really don’t need or have an immediate use or plan for. These can snowball into problems with hoarding that you may need to guard against by counteracting problem behaviors. However, it is best not to become worried or concerned unless you and others around you can clearly see a problem developing. Then, just treat it like any other problem and take some action. Continued near the bottom of this page.
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Answer 2: Hoarding as a form of OCD may become more pronounced as people get older but OCD itself usually appears much earlier in life. If you have OCD your self and the family history is filled with hoarding OCD then the risk for you may be high. If you don’t have OCD and are an adult you may not develop it so the hoarding problem would not be an issue. If you do have OCD getting proper treatment may avoid problems later in life.
Answer 3: Hi: There is evidence that one is more likely to have OCD if one has close relatives who suffer from it than someone who does not have a relative with OCD. This may be due to a combination or both genetic and environmental factors. However, by no means does everyone who has a parent or close relative with OCD develop OCD themselves, or anywhere close. And you can certainly take preventive measures by informing yourself about OCD and treatments available so that if you do see signs of it in yourself or other loved one you may be able to nip it in the bud, so to speak.
Answer 4: If you have OCD in your family, you have a somewhat higher chance of developing a similar problem than someone without a family history of OCD. However, there is a very good chance you will not develop OCD. The good news is there are treatments available. Hopefully, with your awareness of this syndrome, you will seek help early on if you see signs of OCD emerging and nip it in the bud.
Answer 5: This is a difficult question to answer, and no one can really tell you precisely whether or not you will develop OCD. The statistics tell us that if you have one parent with OCD, you have roughly a 25% chance of having OCD yourself. On the other hand, it is not extremely common for people to develop OCD in their later years without ever having shown any signs earlier on. If you have shown no signs at all thus far, it seems less likely that you, too, will develop OCD. Otherwise, there is not much more anyone can tell you as reassurance. My advice would be to go about living your daily life, and don’t waste your time worrying about something that may not even happen. If it does happen, you will deal with it then. Hopefully, years from now we may have even better treatments than we now have. Best regards.
Answer 6: It is highly unlikely. I already sent you the chapter on hoarding. If you notice the urge to hoard things as you get older, see a behavior therapist. Don’t get paranoid about this, however. I save some things and only my wife thinks I am a hoarder. All best wishes!
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