You did not give OCD to your child. You may have, however, passed on a susceptibility for OCD to your child. Scientifically determining how disorders may be transmitted genetically is still in its infancy, but some findings suggest that children born to parents who have OCD may be at a higher risk for developing OCD than children born to parents without it. In fact, if anyone in your immediate family has OCD, your chance of having it is about 20 percent, versus around 2.5 percent in the general population.
However, an environmental aspect may be at play here as well. It is possible that the children of parents with OCD are influenced by their environment, which encourages the development of OCD behaviors. Yet if this was the only factor, then these children would most likely have the same obsessions and compulsions as their parents, but this is rare. Therefore, the combination of the genetic contributions of the parents and the environment in which the child lives both play a role in the development of OCD.
There is also a hidden meaning in this question: “Is it my fault that my child has OCD?” The answer to this would be no, unless you purposely wanted your child to have OCD, and we are not aware of any parents who would wish this on their children. Parents generally try to do what they feel is best for their children, but this can backfire with OCD. For example, a mother who cleans all of her children’s toys with rubbing alcohol for hours each day is attempting to prevent her children from becoming contaminated by germs. Although the intention is admirable, the action is compulsive, and the children will, most likely, learn more from their mother about cleaning than about her hope that they will be germ-free. Over time, her behavior has a good chance of influencing them in establishing their own compulsive behaviors.