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My fiancee's Mom has a history of Antisocial Personality Disorder- APD.Can our children inherit APD?

By Anonymous June 23, 2009 - 1:19pm
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My fiancee is a sweet, loving and well adjusted young woman. She was raised by her grandparents. Is it possible if we have children that they could inherit some type of mental disorder from there grandmother? Or is it only passed on from parents to their children?

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you Alison for answering my questions.
My fiance's mom was adopted and as far as I can tell was fine until around 16 years old when she got pregnant. (with my fiance) This obviously caused problems with her mom and dad. About a year later her Mom died of breast cancer. Since then till now she has neglected her daughter,( my fiance)and was at odds with her father who became legal guardian of my fiance at age nine. My fiance's mom later married had two more children. She divorced, set her former husbands house on fire and went to prison. And many other such similar things took place, including chronic substance abuse. We have no contact with her and I will not allow our children to have contact with her. I don't believe she is under any ones care at this time.
Thank you again.

June 23, 2009 - 3:54pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for your additional information; that is really some trauma and difficult situations that your fiance has been through in her childhood.

It sounds like you and your fiance are on the same page regarding any future children having no contact with her mother, and I am unclear if she lives close (in proximity) to you or not? If you all are within the same town/city or state, you may want to bring up a scenario of "what if's" with your fiance, just to make sure you both would be prepared if the (potentially harmful) grandmother re-entered into the picture.

I'm so happy to hear that you are thinking through some of the "worst-case scenarios", and that your fiance is doing well. I wish you both many happy, joyful years together! :-)

June 23, 2009 - 7:58pm

To answer your question: there may be a genetic factor, but in my literature review, the research on genetic factors was conducted primarily from parents to children; I did not see anywhere that it "skipped a generation" (I will keep looking into this question for you).

According to MedlinePlus, "the cause of antisocial personality disorder (also known as "sociopathic personality disorder") is unknown. Genetic factors and child abuse are believed to contribute to the development of this condition. People with an antisocial or alcoholic parent are at increased risk" for developing this disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Some research suggests that you may have a genetic vulnerability to developing antisocial personality disorder and that your life situation may trigger its actual development."

Do you know any details about your fiance's mom's disorder...when, how, why it began? Would your future children have any contact with her? Do you or your fiance have any influence as to her mother's current situation (is she under the care of someone?)

June 23, 2009 - 1:50pm
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