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Thread: TS is affecting my marriage of 4 months

  1. #1

    Default TS is affecting my marriage of 4 months

    My husband and I got married earlier this year in the hope of starting a family fairly soon.My husband has tourette's since a young age and up until now I have tolerated it to my best ability. I have anxiety and often suffer from panic attacks (usually about his TS). Of late I have been so pre-occupied with how I'd cope if our child was to inherit the tourette gene that it is affecting my life and our relationship. My husband doesnt want to talk openly about this, nor does he want to go to a counseller. He has threatened to leave me if I decide I wont have his children. I'm stuck and so worried at the position I'm now in. I truly thought I could cope but just the idea of bringing a child into this world with a condition I have little control over is eating me away. Oh and to make matters worse I'm in my late 30s so am concerned that time is running out for me. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: TS is affecting my marriage of 4 months

    First, christnam, just because your husband has Tourette Syndrome does not mean that your children will. Yes, there is a genetic component to many mental health conditions but it is far from 100%.

    As just one example, there is a genetic component to schizophrenia. Now, the risk of schizophrenia in the general population is roughly 1 in a hundred, or 1%. If one of the parents has schizophrenia,he risk for the children of that parent is higher, but it is still only about 10 in a hundred, or 10%. So if your father or mother has schizophrenia, you still have a 90% chance of NOT having it. If you have an identical twin, and your twin develops schizophrenia, your risk climbs to about 50%, but it is still NOT 100%. The reason is that for any mental; health condition, the actual development of the condition or disorder requires a specific combination (or perhaps one of a few specific combinations) of genetics and life or environmental experience.

    You see a similar picture with Tourette Syndrome. The general risk seems to be about 5 in 10,000 (or 0.05%). If you have a relative with TS, the data are not nearly as clear as with schizophrenia, with estimates ranging from 1.5% to 8 or 9% to as high as 30%./ Again, though, note that the odds are still in favor of a descendant of a parent with TS not developing the condition himself or herself.

    The fact that you have an anxiety disorder and your husband has TS makes it more likely that one or more of your children would develop some sort of anxiety disorder, perhaps especially obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). but even there the severity of symptoms would vary widely from very mild to severe.

    The degree to which you are worrying about TS in your children is out of proportion to the actual risk. Perhaps you would find it helpful to consult a therapist yourself to help you cope with the anxiety and worry.

  3. #3

    Default Re: TS is affecting my marriage of 4 months

    Thanks David for helping me see things in perspective. Even though I've known my husband for sometime,the stress and strain of this matter is resulting in quite afew problems in our marriage.I dont think we have ever been problem free but dont have good skills to deal with stressful situations together, it actually drives us apart.If im honest with myself, I'd say that I havent truely been happy with him. This has also made me wonder whether its worth trying to continue with this marriage or just move on bringing kids into the picture.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: TS is affecting my marriage of 4 months

    Perhaps that's another reason for you to seek counselling, christinam, either on your own or with your husband.

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