Postpartum OCD

162 Replies
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!


jojomac - July 13

Yes, it does help to hear other stories. I never did send an update. I stayed on Well Buetrin. It just took about 2 weeks for it to kick in. I have the side effect of ringing in my ears, but I'd rather have that than experience what I was. I did forget to take it one day and I was an emotional wreck the next day. I only have a 4 month prescription but the doc says I can ask for more if needed. I think I'll probably need it.


m_sweetgurl - July 15

I have the same problem and im soo frustrated cuz ive had it the whole time i was pregnant and now that im not pregnant and the hospital committed me to a physch facility and thought that i was crazy and put me on antiphycotics! what did your doc do for you? what med are you on?


m_sweetgurl - July 27

Hi yes I am going through the same thing and I am desperate to talk to someone myself. I feel like I am some crazy person. If you would like to email me maybe we can talk easier m_sweetgurl at hotmail I really need someone to relate to right now! Thanks Michelle


nora6662 - August 14

I have been dealing with postpartum OCD for a while now . So I know how everyone feels and what there going through . I just dont like feeling alone about it . Like I'm the only one .Some people dont understand . I take medicine for it but if I stop it comes right back . Its depressing and sad .


karmiemis - August 24

I remember just months ago looking all over the Internet for info on Postpartum OCD. I've been suffering with it for the last 5 months with my second son. Many intrusive thoughts, worries about unknowns, even words and songs stuck in my head. With the help of Zoloft and a therapist, I am feeling 95% better. My thoughts have begun slipping away and don't cause me near as much anxiety as before. If you are feeling like it is never going to get better (I felt like this many times) WILL. It's crazy how the thoughts will start to spread out until you have HOURS in between. If anyone needs to talk or needs support, feel free to email me at karenmiemis at


Muir - September 20

I just wanted to say that I, too, have felt that my experience with PPOCD has been soul-destroying and ident_ty-robbing. There have been times in the past, and still sometimes, when I feel like a horrible person for the thoughts that I have and my lack of energy and motivation. The good news is that I have been feeling better lately, though it will be a long time before I am back to "normal," if ever. I tried SSRIs and for a number of reasons, was unable to incorporate those into my therapy. My main therapy right now is trying to live as though I am "normal" with a job and taking care of my son, but also not putting too much pressure on myself. Get help wherever you can. Also, go to the site and register there to talk to many people who have been through this and are doing -much- better and to talk to those who are still going through it and can empathize with your troubles.


Dupuis - October 5

Hi, I'm a mother who went though post-partum OCD with lots of intrusive thoughts. I'm a journalist as well and I'm looking for mothers to interview about post-partum OCD for an article. If you're interested, please email me at


Fernbrook - November 3

Hey, this is my first time writing on the forum. i have an 8month olf daughter and have been diagnosed with PPD OCD...not fun at all. I almost lost my mind. It was weird..everything was fine and then one morning when she was around 4 months, I started having major panic attacks, thoughts of hurting myself otr the baby. Luckily my husband was home and took care of everything. It's been a little over 4 motnhs now. I am taking some different medications and seeing a psychiatrist. I am far from being better. I am still at that point where I think that it will never get better. I have read Brooke Sheilds "Down Came the Rain" and it was amazing. I strongly recommend it. It made me feel a little better knowing that i am not the only one going through this...and also by this forum. Thansk for letting me vent.


bambulka - November 5

Hi all, I am so glad I found this forum. It is of great comfort to know that there are other women like me. Unlike the most of you I have developed intrusive thoughts while I am still pregnant. I am 24 weeks this Friday and the thoughts started about 4 weeks ago. I bought a lovely pregnancy book and whilst looking at a picture of a baby a horrible thought of that baby being harmed has entered my mind. That thought keeps coming back to me in my mind. I also have another thought about someone kicking me in my stomach while I'm pregnant and harming the baby. It is really really awful and I just want these thoughts to go away. I am looking forward to this baby although it was not planned and I just want to feel normal. Noone knows I feel this way, I am unable to tell my husband as although he is lovely and supportive person he would not understand something like this-I know that as I have previously suffered anxiety and had a panic attack (all this about 2 yrs ago) and he did not quite seem to understand the situation. I am convinced that what I am feeling is OCD, in fact, I had mild OCD ever since I was a child although this one was more like "If I don't do this, I will die" sort of thing. It has got lot better as I got older (I am 32 now) and I learned to ignore that thought and am not realy bothered by it. However,these intrusive thoughs are driving me crazy! I have done quite a lot of research in the past week and I know medications and CBT can help greatly. As I am living in the UK the wait for CBT would be very long and I cannot afford to go private. So I have bought a couple of recommened CBT books that deal especially with OCD sufferers (they are on their way to me now) so I will see if that can help. I am absolutely determined to get over this and hope that I can get better. All the best to all of you, at least we have this forum where we can share our experiences. Good luck to you all.


Fernbrook - November 5

Hey Bambulka, Glad you found this forum. I really think it would be benificial for you to tell your husband how you are feeling. I know sometimes people can't understand what we are going through because in actuality, we don't know what's going on. But if your husband is supportive, it may be good to tell him your fears so that he can help you overcome them. My psych. told me that the number 1 treatments is family support. The books may help too. I read Brooke Sheilds called "down came the rain" and it help alot. I also have 3 books on the way to read. Your OCD sounds alot like mine...the whole "if I don't do this I will die, or my husband will die,etc.." I am on medication and am starting to feel them working. Talk to your husband and don't be afriad to might be all you need to feel better. Don't suffer in silence and don't wait for it to get better cause it might get me, that's what I did and now I am paying for it. Take care and good luck!


sal99 - January 4

This message is for CRYSTAL, she posted her comment on Dec 9th, 2005. I know it's been over 3 years that you participated in this forum, but I wanted to ask you how you were doing? The reason being is that I do suffered from Postpartum psychosis. This happened back in the summer of 2005 and I've been taking medication since, but I don't feel normal still. We've recently moved back to our hometown with our family to see if it would help me. I love my son very much. I just wish someone would tell me how long does it take to feel "NORMAL". If there is such a thing called normal. I problem now is health insurance. I don't have any and believe I need to find one soon. I don't have thoughts of hurting my son anymore, but I feel irratated and unconnected with him. Is it still ok to feel this way after almost 4 years?


natalea - January 18

hey everyone im new here ... im a 40 year old single mother with a 19 year old daughter and ive been suffering from these awful thoughts when she was born, not being about to give her a bath or hold her, than these thoughts went away but they started to reaccur and whenever i tired to seek help everyone would try to tell me it had depression and they tried to put me on these medications but i knew it wasnt depression... then i gave up but these thoughts started to come back but how can i hurt my child i love her so much shes my everything... i feel like im a bad mother though because i feel like its affecting her ... i dont no what to do ...


alirenee86 - January 23

Yup, to some degree I have that too but not with my boys. I have those unwanted and disturbing thoughts that pop into my head since the birth of both my boys but with my HUSBAND. I hate having the thoughts and I don't know what to do about it. I never had this problem before and thought I was nuts. I'm sort of glad to know this is something women actually get after kids!!


truexanadu - March 11

Just so you know, this particular disorder is relatively easy to correct with Zoloft. Zoloft is also considered safe for b___stfeeding mothers. I had postpartum ocd with my son 3 years ago and I didn't dare tell anyone because I thought they'd take him away. When it happened again recently with my daughter I'm so glad I told my midwife. She said that this is really just a "brain glitch" from all the chemical changes and that it's the easiest to treat of all of the postpartum disorders. Don't suffer in silence. There's help out there. Even though this disorder usually goes away on it's own in a few months, there's no reason to have to go through those few months feeling out of control, scared, and anxious when there is an effective treatment available.


ilovemybelle - April 12

I'm scared to get on Zoloft. I don’t have intrusive thoughts about harming my baby, who is now 3 months. I was diagnosed as Bipolar 3 years ago. And now that I've done research, I think he forgot to mention that I'm also OCD. My mom has always said "Stop obsessing" "You're obsessing again" "Don't be so obsessive" Etc etc. And I thought I was having PPD, so I went onto a message board and they said it sounds to my like your experiencing OCD, not PPD. And that's when it all clicked, that MAYBE I've been OCD all along. So I did lots of online research and found myself to have SOOO many characteristics and beliefs of someone who is OCD. But then the question was, why is it just NOW seriously, SERIOUSLY bothering me? Finally I found this post. What I am having SO much trouble getting out of my thoughts is.. SIDS. I hate to even talk about it or mention it. I hate to think about it, but obviously, can't stop. I am up till 4 or later every night worrying about putting her down for bed. Every little thing I do I wonder, could this be the REAL cause? I mean the cause of it is unknown. Who knows what it is. Maybe it has something to do with their immune system, since pacifiers & b___stfeeding seem to reduce the risk of IT. You know, try as you may to clean the suckers(pacifiers), you don’t clean them every time, therefore, the babies who suck on them are getting exposed to more germs. And as for b___stfeeding, it strengthens their immune systems. Then there's the whole "lower socioeconomic families" are more susceptible to it, or it at least occurs more often in these households. So should I stop buying the Wal-Mart brand wipes? Should I put on a new sheet before putting her in bed? What about using the apartment complex Laundromat? Perhaps that’s the cause! No way will I even dare think of buying generic baby soap. What about WIC? Maybe the food provided by them, the brands at least, are contributors? I know that last one is crazy, but the thought has crossed my mind.. countless times. But I am under 20 years old. I smoked the first.. month maybe 2, of my pregnancy. I was exposed to second hand smoke till I was 12 wks pregnant. We(fiancé & I) are NOT rich. My family used to have money, but with this economy, they’ve all hit rock bottom as well. She was born at 37 wks, oh- another thing that I have just RECENTLY begun thinking. IT occurs more commonly in preemies, what if the medicine they give to stop contractions is a contributor? At 25 weeks I had to have a couple shots of it! !! I just thought of something!! What if its TAP WATER? Maybe people with low incomes, maybe not all of them, drink filtered water! Then I'd been in the clear! Anyways, I have quite a few increasing risk factors. Ever since I read that in my What To Expect The First Year book, I've been going crazy. What if I'm not crazy? What if it's my motherly instinct? These and many other thoughts concerning the subject cross my mind a million times a day. Then, when I go out, I cant help but envision a car crashing into us while driving down the road. Anybody could just lose control or simply not be paying attention. Or what if i lose control? And then when I finally get to the destination, what if there's a shooting or a bomb or a robbery? Anyone with a gun or knife could come up to me in the parking lot and say "Give me the baby or I'll hurt you/her/him/both of you." I still sit in the back with her as long as my fiancé is driving. I can't leave her with anyone, family members, my mom, my fiancé, my YOUNG nana, because I start imagining almost every bad thing that could be happening to her. I know its crazy too, and at the same time, I cant truly convince myself that it really is insane to be thinking this way. The thoughts are still there. Constantly. And then the other day I read that the babies of the.. IT... they have more serotonin receptors.. so now I'm afraid to go see a dr and get prescribed Zoloft because what if that will, I know it doesn't really even get into the b___st milk, but still, what if it does just slightly and it alters her serotonin levels as it will do mine and then what if that causes.... I just want some advice, does this sound like OCD Like PPOCD? Has anyone else experienced this? It's NOT normal? ....Right?



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