Postpartum OCD

162 Replies
truexanadu - November 1

Lindsayrae, I'm certainly not trying to annoy you and I appreciate all of your helpful comments. But when you write that women with PPOCD are "NOT HAVING thoughts about HURTING their child" when that's actually exactly what they're experiencing, I was worried that someone new to this thread could be confused if they read your post. I did carefully read your post and that's exactly why I felt it was important that we clarify that. Otherwise, I'm not disagreeing with anything you wrote. Finding this thread was an emotional "lifesaver" for me, so I hope and pray that others who have suffered in silence will also find this thread to discover they are not "freaks" or "evil" or horrible women for having unwanted thoughts of harming their child, and they certainly aren't alone. There is hope. We all agree on that and I know that all of us have the best intentions to support and help each other. God bless and I apologize if I've unintentionally offended anyone.

 

truexanadu - November 1

Lindsayrae, That makes sense! Also, please know that I responded with my last post before I saw your update about your wording being off. In any case, I'm just so glad that we all have each other on here--with our bad grammar and all! It was such hell having PPOCD before I knew what it was. Not like it was a picnic after finding out I wasn't alone, but it was 100 times better than thinking I was crazy and evil to have such horrible unwanted thoughts. It really hurt my self-esteem. I had even thought about killing myself at my lowest point, thinking I was worthless and broken. Finding this thread was pure relief.

 

Happy2B - November 1

It's ok. Everybody gets their wording wrong from time to time, that's natural, particularly as tired parents. I think from the looks of things most people know the facts of PPOCD, which are: *You can have thoughts either of harm coming to your child, or of harming your child. These thoughts are particularly frightening to someone suffering from PPOCD, because it's the last thing you want. However, there is no evidence or record that PPOCD would in any way induce a mother to harm her child. On the contrary, studies indicate that there are fewer incidents and accidents where the mother has PPOCD, as she is extra cautious and protective of her child. *It is still a good idea for the mother to get professional help asap. This unfortunately often doesn't happen as the mother doesn't know what is going on with her, and is afraid that someone might take her baby away due to her unwanted thoughts. It is also a good idea to speak to someone who specialises in PP conditions. Asking at your birth hospital where to turn to is a good idea, as a GP may not even know what you're talking about. *PPOCD can take years to resolve, particularly if the mother suffered from OCD before the birth as well. There can be bouts of it further down the track, particularly during times of stress e.g. moving house, partner leaving, etc. It requires ongoing attention and having someone trusted to talk to is necessary. However, this does not mean it will not improve with time, and treatment. Thanks :)

 

lindsayrae - November 1

Indeed, Agreed. Everything is OK :) thank you for the the last few posts!! keep up the good work, it is a long struggle and our strength is what keeps us going :)

 

m_sweetgurl - November 2

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder One of the most under-reported and under-diagnosed postpartum mood disorders, postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (PPOCD) can be extremely distressing for many women. Although experts are not exactly sure just how many women are affected by the disorder, it is estimated that between two and three percent of new mothers will suffer from PPOCD. What Is It? People affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) become consumed with particular thoughts, impulses or images. These thoughts or impulses often cause the person a great deal of anxiety, disgust and discomfort. As a result, people with OCD have compulsive urges that help to ease their feelings of anxiety and distress. The main difference between PPOCD and the obsessive-compulsive disorder that affects the general population is that women who develop the disorder in the postpartum period tend to focus their obsessive thoughts on their baby. While women with this disorder may be prone to bizarre thoughts, they are acutely aware of the fact that their feelings are not normal. However, some women with the disorder are reluctant to seek help for fear that they will be looked down upon for their peculiar thoughts and fears. Symptoms of Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Typical symptoms of PPOCD cause disruptions in a woman's daily routine and can get in the way of her personal relationships. The rituals that many women establish to cope and deal with their obsessive thoughts can be time consuming and interfere with regular activities. Signs of postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder include: Intrusive, recurrent and obsessive thoughts, usually involving the baby Avoidance behavior, possibly of the baby but generally anything that will cause fear Establishing rituals which include: Repet_tive behavior (touching every door knob you pa__s) Obsessive cleaning and/or washing Hoarding (done to combat fear of losing objects Anxiety and/or depression Fear Women affected by PPOCD usually experience obsessive thoughts about their baby coming to harm. This can result in repet_tive behavior such as repeatedly sterilizing the baby's bottle for fear that it may be contaminated or checking on the child an excessive number of times. Some women may also harbor fears that they will harm their child in some way, such as drowning the child during bath time. However, while these fears can be especially disturbing, very few mothers with this particular disorder are likely to actually cause themselves or their child any harm. Who Is At Risk? Although any woman has the potential to develop PPOCD, women who have a personal or family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder have an increased risk of developing PPOCD. Women who develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder during their pregnancy are more than two times as likely to have PPOCD. While PPOCD can develop for the first time during the postpartum period, some women may have already been diagnosed with OCD prior to becoming pregnant. For these women, their symptoms of OCD may become even worse during the postpartum period. Getting Treatment It is important that women affected by PPOCD seek professional help. Left untreated, PPOCD can impede a woman's ability to cope as well as interfere in her relationship with her partner, family, friends and child. There are different treatment options available to women with PPOCD. Some may be treated with anti-obsession medications. Other may receive the medication in combination with other forms of treatment or may not receive any medication at all. Another treatment approach uses psychology to help women. Through different types of counseling, including couples therapy, support groups, interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavior therapy, women are able to change their behavior and the way in which they act. This helps them gain control over their PPOCD. The final form of therapy takes a social approach to the issue. Through this treatment, women are able to learn coping strategies. Additionally, because this approach involves a woman's partner, family and friends, she is able to build a network of social support. Because of the different treatment approaches, it is possible for each woman to have a very personalized therapy that will be the most beneficial to her. With proper care and treatment, it is possible for a woman to overcome this disorder. ***Woman Please come talk to me if you have any ?'s or need someone to talk to about your disorders or post partum....I also suffered from Post Partum Phycosis, Depression and PPOCD! ***

 

m_sweetgurl - November 2

this is what this tread is about PPOCD and psychosis ..............nothing more nothing less .....

 

Chiquita10 - November 26

I'm having a spike in my OCD. I was rubbing spit up off my son's face and I got the horrible intrusive thought that it would be so easy to smother him. This led to a full on panic attack that lasted hours. I know what this is and I am trying so hard to keep my rationale about it but it was so disturbing. As is common with OCD there is a part of me that worries that the thought is who I am...that i am a baby killer. I'm terrified. Seeking help on Monday, just have to get through the weekend.

 

m_sweetgurl - November 26

Chiquita10 I have totally been there and sometimes still do have those stupid thoughts. if you need to email me you can at m_sweetgurl at hotmail.com i am always avail to talk about PPDOCD] just let me know. Blessings and your NOT a baby killer. you have a disease thats controlling your mind right now. thanks michelle

 

mamagreensleeves - December 1

Hey happy2b, I understand completely what you're talking about with the secret. If it makes you feel any better, they did say that a positive thought was much more powerful than any negative thought. Anyway, negative thoughts have a purpose too, not just to cause chaos but to help you acknowledge any possibility of danger and how you can prevent it. So there not bad, and there not good- especially for people with OCD... They just are... Yes I know the fear and panic and anxiety that comes along with them really does suck, but you just keep moving and one day you'll feel a little better and then another day you'll feel a little better... I guess you know where I'm going with this.

 

mamagreensleeves - December 1

To everyone: This is my update My beautiful baby girl is now 6 months old. Over the course of the past two months things were getting significantly better with medication and therapy. Then I stopped taking my anti-depressant Celexa because I ran out and didn't have the money to buy more. My insurance coverage changed and I didn't want to bother my husband any. Big mistake... First I got hot and cold flashes. Then I got swollen aching muscles. Then my ears clogged up. Then I was tired all the time. Then I was having very strange ridiculous thoughts that reAlly made me feel bad anxious guilty and suicidal. I wanted to kill myself because I'm fat or at least I think I'm fat. Plus I wanted to kill myself because I didn't want to do another round with this monster. I've been back on the Celexa for a couple days and I'm starting to feel better... So yeah don't do that. I hope this gets better.

 

[email protected] - December 23

Anyone ever have OCD fear thoughts of hurting babies before having a baby ? Has anyone had ect and did it help ?

 

m_sweetgurl - December 23

saymo i had 9 ect and OMG did it help me so much i was able to function and handle myself and then my baby. um it comes with long term memory loss so be prepared email me at m_sweetgurlathotmail.com and we can chat about it i have all info and pros and cons on it :) much blessings take care merry christmas michelle

 

justscared - January 13

I developed postpartum Ocd about six weeks after my daughter,now four,was born.looking back I think I had Ocd most of my life.I was lucky and did heal to an extent using only vitamins and supplements but that took eighteen agonizing months.lately the past is creepiing up to haunt me.I keep remembering the first moment when I felt of all go downhill.I was changing my daughter,I was about to put a new diaper on and for some reason got the urge to check her,my mind instantly went into overdrive.Part of me said you don't need to you.know she is clean,another part,that I now think may have been sinister said look again.Needless to say I looked,telling myself the whole time it was to make sure she was clean but in the back of my mind feeling like there was some ulterior motive(since I obviously knew she was clean why did I look?).I remember it to well,I felt sick after,shaky,disgusted,like I.had some how violated her by looking.like maybe I had given in to some sick desire in my head(althought at this point I can't remeber what was really going through my head.....hence the problem).Four years later,this feeling has returned and I can't stop going through it in my head,wondering what my motives were.It makes me want to die,how can I be certain???It was so long ago that I can't honestly convince myself that I didn't do anything wrong.Does anyone out there suffer like this??years later questioning why you did something???this is killing me...

 

justscared - January 13

I developed postpartum Ocd about six weeks after my daughter,now four,was born.looking back I think I had Ocd most of my life.I was lucky and did heal to an extent using only vitamins and supplements but that took eighteen agonizing months.lately the past is creepiing up to haunt me.I keep remembering the first moment when I felt of all go downhill.I was changing my daughter,I was about to put a new diaper on and for some reason got the urge to check her,my mind instantly went into overdrive.Part of me said you don't need to you.know she is clean,another part,that I now think may have been sinister said look again.Needless to say I looked,telling myself the whole time it was to make sure she was clean but in the back of my mind feeling like there was some ulterior motive(since I obviously knew she was clean why did I look?).I remember it to well,I felt sick after,shaky,disgusted,like I.had some how violated her by looking.like maybe I had given in to some sick desire in my head(althought at this point I can't remeber what was really going through my head.....hence the problem).Four years later,this feeling has returned and I can't stop going through it in my head,wondering what my motives were.It makes me want to die,how can I be certain???It was so long ago that I can't honestly convince myself that I didn't do anything wrong.Does anyone out there suffer like this??years later questioning why you did something???this is killing me...

 

Happy2B - January 13

Hi Justscared, I think it's an ongoing struggle. You may find you have resolved one issue only to be faced with the next OCD thought or issue. It can slide from one area of your life or one thought pattern to another. The essential thing to remember is, you are not your thoughts. Repeat this to yourself. Your thoughts are only like clouds drifting through your mind. Let them drift through and on, and let them go. You may get more of the same, or similar ones; let them go, let them go. You'll find they will have less and less power over you. You didn't do anything at all wrong with your daughter; you just gave in to an OCD thought, that is all you did. But looking at her due to OCD in no way const_tues child molestation. Your thoughts are telling you this. I suppose you suffered some form of abuse, or someone you're close to did, so your thoughts are using this opportunity - OCD will always focus on the deepest part of us, emotionally. Just remember: You are not your thoughts. Let it go, let it go and let it go again :))) I am speaking from years of experience and I know how hard it is. I also had thoughts (amongst others!) that I could secretly be some sicko or pedophile. But I know I am not, it's just the OCD talking.

 

justscared - January 13

I think what scares me is the amount of guilt I felt right after I checked her,like the inner struggle that went on in my head.this is where it started and that opens a whole new can of worms as far as whether or not it was wrong(part of me says it was wrong,and that' its not really Ocd making me have these thoughts since that moment ,its just me being in denial about being a sicko).I've talked to members of my family and they all have the consensus that you are her mother,its ok to look at her,its your job to make sure everything is ok and alright you are allowed to look at those "parts "But its that doubt about why I did it that kills me.

 

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