Postpartum OCD

162 Replies
love12 - February 12

I want to thank you for all your stories i have found that talking to other people and listening to thier stories is the most helpfull strategy for healing the pain and fear of this disorder.I never even heard of this ppdocd befroe and so when it happend to me i was devistated, terrified,confused. my daughter was around 8 months old before i had my first major attack, i was in the kitchen and i saw a knife i thought oh my god what if i could hurt my duaghter what if i would hurt her. instant fear came over me i picked her up put her in the car and drove to my friends house as if i was trying to save her from me iwas freaking out.i thought what would make me thinki could hurt my own baby i must be absolutly crazy like those women who hurt thier kids.i was disgusted and terrified, i literally dropped my baby off at a friends and went to a walk in mental health clinic. they could'nt help me i told the lady everything( even though i ws scared they would call protective services)bu ti wa smore scared of my crazt thought .they basically told me to go home and get some sleep and followup with someone else ,and i did and noone could help me ,in search of help/answers i went to the book store and read all books on mental disorders nothing completely fit untill i found a book called "agost in my house" it was one of the best feelings in my life when i found out what i had because then i knew i could try to stop it.I know this ppocd is a horrible thing but it helps me to know im not alone andi hope it helps you daughter is now 2 and though i still have episodes they are not as often, howevr they are still traumatic for me, i am considering meds but for now thanks for listening , only you women can understand and we can help eachother please keep wrighting, it helps me also to know that these are just tought but not reality and let them come and let them go you will be alright thank you


amelia100 - December 2

Please know that EVERYONE has unwanted thoughts. People with OCD interpret their thoughts to a much higher extent - thus creating the cycle of "I must be a horrible person because I thought ......." A really good book to read is called Imp of the Mind. It talks about obsessional bad thoughts. Just note that OCD likes to "go after" anything that you think is important, ie like your child. Check out Jon Kabat Zinn and his CD called Mindfulness. He explains how we need to treat thoughts, all thoughts...we just let them come and go, not to fight them. If we fight them they just come back stronger. You are not alone. I have been struggling with postpartum ocd for 15 months. You're not a bad person for having thoughts, no matter how "disturbing" they may be. Another thing Kabat Zinn said "if you don't take the thoughts so personally, maybe they won't take you so personally". It's truly not personal. Good luck. If you need help see an OCD behavioral therapist who works with Exposure and Response Prevention.


enchanted - February 8

It's such a relief to read that so many others understand what this is about. I feel so isolated. My daughter is now 4 years old. I was 'hit' by the OCD almost as soon as I came out of hospital with her - I could think of 101 ways that I might do her harm. A nurse was sent out to me who diagnosed OCD and I was put on strong anti-depressants. I've been on and off the meds for the past 4 years. Haven't been on them since September now as we thought we'd try for another baby and CBT started in December. However, I feel worse than ever. I doubt myself so much. Reading some of your accounts, you are so sure you will never hurt your child and I can't feel that certainty. I'm trying to be positive and remember things like if she's hurt it really breaks me up, I worry about her future, therefore I must love her, but the thoughts seem so 'strong' I feel they will take me over one day. Has anyone else felt like this?


millerstac0878 - February 11

Yes, I've felt that way and its a hard feeling to shake. Its terrifying, like these thoughts define you. When in fact, they scare you. One way my therapist taught me to look at it is, the type of person who would act on those thoughts we find so taunting, are the people who wouldn't think anything wrong with having those thoughts. Basically, the fact that these thoughts bother us shows we have the capacity to feel pain and remorse, people who act on these thoughsts do not have that ability. I have used the John Kabat Zinn cd's as well and have found them very helpful. I'm currently on Prozac, my Dr says studies have been done that show its safe in pregnancy. However, I found out today that I've m/c again at 6.5 weeks. I'm more angry than anything. WHY does this keep happening to me???


enchanted - February 15

I'm so sorry to hear you have miscarried again. It's a fear of mine if I go back on the meds and try for another baby. I have read of a number of other women, though, on the website (UK site) who have managed to have perfectly healthy babies whilst being on anti-depressants, prozac included. Has your doctor investigated other reasons why you might be miscarrying?


momofive - February 18

I just found out that I may have this disorder, after dealing with it for 5 years. I had post partum depression with my last 3 pregnancies, then after the last it turned into having horrible thoughts about my family being harmed. I have the thoughts every day, I wish they would go away too. I would like to know if we have the same symptoms.


jenna32 - February 19

i have that running away feeling still to,dont know if its ppd. i don't think about hurting the baby a lot though. Sometimes i start thinking about what if i didn't have her or that i shouldn't have(even though i planned it) ,although i'm sure i love her still.


enchanted - February 19

momofive - I have terrible thoughts about things I would do to my little girl, which in turn brings me great anxiety. That's the key to it being ocd I think - the fact that you FEEL awful about it is probably the thing that means you're not going to do anything. I recently asked a hypnotherapist to do me a personalised CD which is helping. I keep thinking about the lines: thoughts are like clouds, they come and they go and I can simply observe that they are there and then let them go. It has become my mantra! It is helping. It's important to try and calm yourself down I think.


jazzy_jewellery - February 28

Im 19 years old and i have a daughter (she will be one on monday =) and i have been on medications for the last five or so months because after she was born i had SEVERE post partum depression. the medication has definitely helped me alot and i feel back to my old self again except for one thing...for the past two months or so im TERRIFIED of somebody causing harm to my baby or of her getting sick.. i have nightmares every night and i wake up crying. lately the dreams have been of her getting sick with cancer. this dream especially makes me sick to my stomach because cancer runs in my family history on both my parents sides.. when ever i try and talk to anyone about how i feel they just say "ohh your just over protective of your daughter.." " every mom gets like that!" but this is getting rediculous. it does not feel normal to me. could this possibly be OCD?


Yvonne - March 26

I have now been going through PPOCD for about 9 months. I am on medication and it seemed to have helped until a few weeks ago. The thoughts started coming back and I started getting anxiety with them. They only pop into my brain at night when I am away from my son. When I am with him I feel horrible for having them and wonder how a mothers brain can miss function to that extent. I read everyones blogs and talk about these feelings with my spouse which helps, but its exhausting to fight off the feelings and thoughts. I wish I had a time clock that could show me how long I have to deal with this because its truly a horrible feeling. I feel for all of you and send my prayers and support to you. Those who do not understand it, feel it and experience it have no idea how much strengh it takes for us to get through the day. The emotional power it takes to be a mom with ppocd is draining. I love my little boy with every cell in my body so this glitch in my brain function is something I do not understand. As long as we do not suffer in silence I believe we will find peace in eachothers situations and support. I know that I have. Thank-you.


lcstange77 - March 27

Has anyone had PP-OCD come back after it being gone for a while? What medications have any of you been on that work without making you "out of it"? I took Zoloft for 4 days and was more depressed than when I was dealing with PP-OCD, so I stopped it. I take Xanax for anxious days, but it makes me sleepy within an hour after taking it, like a Benadryl. Thanks, Laura


YvonneW - April 14

Hey everyone, I joined this site because of this thread. I have a 2 month old son and I've just recently realized that what was happening to me was definitely postpartum SOMETHING. I've been having panic attacks almost every night and a couple times throughout the day. It seems worse at night. I think of the most horrible things happening to my son and my husband, and I feel like I am going crazy. I made an appointment with my OB for later on today. I hope we can figure out some kind of treatment, I can't live like this anymore.


melissapam - April 18

I had PPD and PPOCD with my son who was born in 2004 ..I suffered for 14 months not knowing what the heck was going on with me. After a panic attack and a visit to the ER, I finally saw a therapist and went on Zoloft. It worked wonders. The intrusive thoughts were gone and I was happy. In 2007 I got pregnant with my daughter who was born Xmas day 2007. The instrusive thoughts started happening in my last trimester and continued after she was born. After she was born I started taking the Zoloft again at 100mg and was increased to 200mg. I've been taking it for almost 4 months and I cant say its helping 100%, unlike last time. There are times I feel better, but they often come back. They really are the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in my life. They are just so painful it does become hard to function. Not that I would want anyone to feel like this, but it does help to know that others experience the same thing. On a similar note - has anyone had medication that worked better under brand name rather than generic. Last time I was on brand zoloft and this time I'm on generic zoloft. Wondering if that had anything to do with it. Anyway, please remember to urge the pa__sing of the "Mothers Act."


Rav - April 25

I have had OCD (only thoughts not compulsions) episodes before. My daughter is now one month old and I have been pretty freaked out since she was born. My obsessions and panics switch around put right now I am obsessed with not being able to sleep ever again because I am worried about her which means I won't be able to take care of my daughter which means I am terrible person which means I should kill myself etc. etc. My family became very alarmed and has completely rallied around me. I am much better if I can sleep at least 7 hours at night so right now my mom is handling the night feedings and I am so ashamed of this. I take a sleeping pill and go to bed and my mom does the night feedings and I wake up at 5:00 Am and start my "shift" while my mom sleeps in until 12 PM. I can't nap during the day while baby is asleep and I can't sleep with her in the room as every breath she takes panics me and I never know when to go pick her up and feed her (I am also obsessed with her gaining weight). I am back on Prozac which I went off of when I was PG. It has controlled my OCD in the past but I am so afraid I can't accept this responsibility of feeding my daughter at night and when I take over again I will be back to where I started before my mom took over (total panic and suicidal thoughts). Today is my 35th b-day and I am sick to my stomach thinking about what I am "doing" to my mom and the fact that I may not be up to the challenge of taking care of a baby and I should have thought of that before I got PG. My daughter is healthy and actually pretty easy I think which just adds to my shame that I feel like I can't handle it. How do people deal with the sleep deprivation of caring for newborns?


momwwithhope - May 12

I suffered from pp-ocd/depression almost 10yrs ago. It was awful....worst experience of my life! I have always had mild ocd but with the depression it was unbearable. I had no idea that so many mothers suffer from this. It feels so unfair, doesn't it? To want with all your heart to be a good mother but be bombarded by all those awful fears. Learning that the fears don't mean anything, that everyone gets them, helps a little. People w/ ocd just take more notice and get more frightened by them. Even when you know that, it's still really frustrating though. Best wishes for recovery to you all.


sweetmiranda75 - July 11

My mother has OCD, and at times of hight stress in my own life, I also adopt OCD tendencies...number counting, obsessive thoughts, etc. but they have always been very mild. My first pregnancy I miscarried at 6wks and blamed (and still do) myself. Then a year later, right before my second pregnancy, I went through a pretty stressful situation. Immediately, following I became pregnant. Throughout most of my pregnancy, I experienced some level of anxiety. My third trimester I started experiencing problems sleeping which I presumed were normal. My daughter was born without complications (although I did end up having to have a C-section and I was/still am living in Costa Rica with my husband while my family is back home in the US) and everything was great for the first 5wks after her birth. Then it all started. First, I could not sleep AT ALL. I went three nights without one minute of sleep. Then, the mind racing thoughts and my body always felt as though I had just drank a pot of coffee. Then the obsessive thoughts about hurting my daughter that brought on panic attacks. I didn’t want to be left alone with my daughter. I wouldn’t come near my kitchen in fear that I would grab a knife and stab my baby. I was terrified that I would drown her in her baby tub. For me, my biggest fear was and is losing control and taking on a different personality (like schizophrenia) because these obtrusive thoughts were SO UNLIKE ME. My daughter is 10 months now. I can say that it DOES GET BETTER. I was giving Clonzepam for sleep/panic attacks which worked very well BUT just know that the withdrawal is utter hell. What the docs don´t tell you is that if you use it for more than 2 wks you will develop psychological and physiological dependence. I was on it for more than 4 months. I tried Prozac, Effexor, Paxil and Zoloft. All of them made me sick as a dog. Then my doc put me on Lamictal (75mg which is a low dose) and it really helped to soften the anxiety. For me, any dose higher than 75mg gave me a horrible case of amnesia. I have been taking Lamictal for about 5 months now and although there are a few side effects at this dosage, they really haven’t been that bad. I also have had Mirena inserted about 5 months ago and I am not totally convinced that some of my lingering anxiety isn’t attributed to the hormonal IUD. I do occasionally still have obtrusive thoughts about hurting my daughter, which in turn makes me feel like an evil, horrible person and then I feel even more guilty when I read about how baby’s have radar for the emotions of their mothers. I am horrified, embarra__sed, and disappointed in myself when these thoughts arise. It helps so much to read about all of your experiences and know that I am not alone. I hope that by all of us sharing our experiences we can help each other. This is the first time that I have talked about my obtrusive thoughts and it does feel better!



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