Dealing with Postpartum OCD

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I have recently been diagnosed with Postpartum OCD and severe anxiety. I can't seem to leave my daughter, I have intrusive thoughts and I'm quickly losing my social life. And to top things off, I can no longer put my daughter down without her screaming, which I blame myself for. Does anyone else have Postpartum OCD? And if so, how did you cope?

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Jennifer - posted on 09/17/2009

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I have had suffered with this in the past. First- you need to know that you child will become this way as a leared behaivor! Yikes you dont want that! Medication for 6 months helped (paxil helps) although it all comes with sexual side affects. But I told my honey that its better to wife that is not in the mood rather then a crazy wife:) I found if you not take it on the weekends it still stays in your system,but helps you enjoy some husband and wie time. also when your husband comes home let him take baby while you bath and do some me time. Join a MOPS or other Mothers group. Take care of yourself and force yourself out of it!! Hugs and blessings

Tiffanny - posted on 09/18/2009

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I understand and here you don't like the lack of control in these actions and how it effects those around you along with your stress level and eventually health. The OCD behaviors can and will get worse. I have worked with people with OCD on all levels from severe to mild however I am no expert. I would suggest getting help to manage your OCD thoughts and behaviors at a LIVABLE level for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. I mean the thought of them all dieing without you there is an unlivable area that your OCD has lead you. You sound so family driven, relationship driven and desire to be happy. I think for you and all of yours benefit it's time to get some outside intervention to help you lead your family into the path of healthy living and to ensure your obsessions and obsessiveness doesn't enter another generation. You are going to be a great grandma which is the next tear to life or I like to think, but only if you can maintain your OCD at a level LIVABLE by ll around you, believe it or not they are your best gauge.

Dee - posted on 09/18/2009

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I think it is great that you are getting help and it is understandable that you are scared. Our bodies are very complicated and most women experience chemical inbalances and hormone changes after having a baby. Be strong, you will get thru it.

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Dd - posted on 06/02/2011

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hi there i do understand as i have been dealing with this for 14 months now since my son was born it happened about 2 weeks after he was born a silent but not a very nice voice said something horibal about my son and for me to do certain things i was confused and angry as why has this happened to me and i couldnt tell any one in case they thought i was crazy, i went for counselling for 6 months and am goner go back he told me i had serve anxiety and then ocd happend to me i couldnt do anything incase i was putting my son in danger so had to deal with that too aswell as having horrid thoughts and bad flashes wich really upset me to the point i want to die because no one els has what i have but i am strong and will get this for my son so i do understand and im planning to write a book on this and what i went through

Jodi - posted on 09/19/2009

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Thank you all so much for your support! I had my appointment with a new doctor yesterday and was put on an anti-obssesive medication and I start cognitive therapy in three weeks. I am terrified of what I'm going to have to do to kick this thing in the butt, but if it means not being scared every minute of every day...it sounds good to me! Wish me luck and thanks again for all your support, any tips from anyone going through exposure therapy would be GREAT!

Aldora - posted on 09/18/2009

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Thanks Jodi..I know I feel exactly how you feel in regards to being scared...and that I am...I do feel I don't trust anyone with my kids and their father is no support at all..he believes it's all in my mind but I know it's not. I had my kids late at age 35 was my first born and he is 3 and was surprised with the birth of my second after being told I had fibroid tumors......and he is 2.....

Jodi - posted on 09/18/2009

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Quoting aldora:

I have a question for you..How did they diagonose you with this? Someone made a suggestion to me about postpartum OCD but after reading certain things related to what postpartum was I said to myself no way this could be me.. but I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old



I've had OCD since I was a little girl so we've (my doctors, myself and my family) have always known it's there but it's always been pretty benign. Basically counting and little rituals that didn't interfere too much with my day. When I got pregnant I started getting scared to go outside because it was icy and I might fall and after she was born my obsessions became focused on her. Basically, I don't have compulsions (I'm what they call a Pure-O), only obsessions with avoidance behaviors. I don't leave my daughter with anyone, not even DH! I don't drive in the car with her alone, I have horribly intrusive thoughts and the such. I made an appointment with my local behavioral health center (most hospitals have one I believe) and saw a therapist who has reccomended me to a psychiatrist who specializes in these things and my appointment is today actually! I strongly suggest seeing someone, I know they can help, I'm just terrified of getting help, I don't know why lol.  I hope this helps!

Traci - posted on 09/18/2009

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I CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH.I HAD 4 KIDS ALL IN CAR SEATS AT ONE TIME..WHICH THEY ARE NOW ALMOST GROWN.19,17,17,16.BUT I BELIEVE THAT PRAYER WAS THE ONLY THING THAT GOT ME THROUGH AND EXCEPTING HELP FROM OTHERS.
I KNOW ITS HARD TO TRUST ALOT OF PEOLE WITH OUR BABIES,BUT IF YOU HAVE FAMILY OR FRIENDS THAT WILL TAKE HER FOR A WHILE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!
ILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS.
ALSO ARE YOU ON ANY MEDS FOR YOUR OCD AND ANXIETY?
MY MOTHER IS BI-POLAR AND CANNOT SURVIVE ONE DAY WITHOUT HER MEDICINE.
MAYBE THAT IS ONE OPTION YOU COLD LOOK IN TO.
GOD BLESS,
TRACI FROM ALABAMA

Sherry - posted on 09/17/2009

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after reading your post i thought of myself the first year my child was born i had postpartum deperssion which is normal for at least one year but anything after that can be diagnosed as something else but in my case i still felt the same way after the first year as well since my child was colic for the frist year as well and the screaming from that was crazy cause it could last for a long time but it also never helped that my childs dad was always screaming at me and things of that sort. but after the frist year i went to some councelling and relized that it was my childs dad that was making me this way still so i gave it alot of thought and decided that i didn't want to feel that way anymore because of him so i left and that was 4 years ago and i've been feeling great ever since. so the question i have for you is could it be someone or something in your life today that could be making you feel depressed? think really hard about it though i did and as you can see from the story i tell you today i got rid of what was making me feel that way which was my childs father. just a thought!

Esther - posted on 09/17/2009

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Hi Jodi,
I was never diagnosed officially because my daughter came before there was a lot of knowledge about PPD. I am glad to know that you ARE getting help - that is step one.
The second thing to know is that if you are on meds, they WILL help. Third - open up to your loved ones and SERIOUSLY ALLOW them to help you. I KNOW just how hard it is - I would eat dinner in 2 minutes with her on my lap and she screamed for hours everyday because of colic. Her pitch could have "broken glass" - that was according to her pediatrician!!! I promise it will get better. But your loved ones are just that because they LOVE YOU ~ let them help you so YOU can get fresh air - ALONE, take a nap, shower, walk, WHATEVER - even if it's just 30 minutes. You NEED it for your sanity. It took me months to realize what it was - but you are NOT crazy - it just feels that way. Just make sure even if you have to hire a sitter - do it!!! Hang in there!!!

Andie - posted on 09/17/2009

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Oh Jodi as soon as i saw your post i imediately felt your pain! I myself had the same problems when i had my first daughter ( who is now 9 ) and felt so frustrated, guilty, and alone. I am proud of you for being brave enough to share your situation and to ask for help. For me, i was in a abusive relationship and at 6 months of pregnany wittnessed a murder, which was followed by a two-and-a-half -year court trial. After the murder i felt numb, after i gave birth all the anxiety and pain and lonleyness kicked in. It was a long road that sometimes i thought would never end, and many times i wanted to give up. But please know that things can get better, and you can have the life you deserve. I deffinately suggest therapy, and talking to your doctor about ant-depressants. Dont feel like a "bad mom" because you might need to be medicated, dont feel ashamed because you need help. I was on anti-depressants for about a year-and-a-half, as well as counceling ( and getting the power within myself to leave my abusive husband ) and within time and lots of talking things out i regained my life. I still battle with anxiety, but with medication it is under control. I wish the very best for you and know that things will work out for you as well. Take care, and write as often as needed.

Aldora - posted on 09/17/2009

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I have a question for you..How did they diagonose you with this? Someone made a suggestion to me about postpartum OCD but after reading certain things related to what postpartum was I said to myself no way this could be me.. but I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old

Elisabete - posted on 09/15/2009

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hi im a mum of 5 almost 6 and ive had ocd since i ahd my first son 13 years ago,ive never taken any medication,but during the years i ave become paranoid and compulsive like you wouldent imagine.

i dnt have baby sitters stress over everything from my kids going to school,even though my husband takes them i still worry even if he is 5 minutes late,i dnt allow my hubby to hold a new born for too long becuase i fear he bay take a fit as he is epeleptic ,when i go out i always freak out if my kdis are too far from em cause i always worry they will get taken or harm will come to them.my youngest daughter who is amost 2 she is very clingy and wont go anywhere without me and if seperated she goes nuts .

how do i deal with it ...

i tr to go out by myself for at least 1 hour alone ,go shopping or just have a shower .

i have to be very organised so nothing goes wrong .but having this condition means the stress has made me lose 2 pregnancies so now i organise my kids to help life go smoothely.my youngest was the same as your daughter when she was born i coulden not put her down or leave the room and to this day 2 years later she sleeps in our bed still i guess they sence it all.i take one day at a time and rember its not your fault ,those who love you will understand you.

my husband for the past 10 years has been by my side ,where he goes i go,he understands my brain works diferently it its stressfull sometimes as my brains tells me he is cheating and my kids are dead when we are seperated ,but i try to ignore the voices .i lose sleep sometimes from getting up so often to check on the kids .i dnt take medication and never will but thats my choice

[deleted account]

Hi, I was diagnosed with PND with sever anxiety when my son was about 8 weeks old. I started to see a counciller over the course of 6 months and am doing much better. It is really hard not to let those thought get to you. You name it I probably thought it. One day my husband came home from work early, and I didn't hear him say hello, my son and I hid in his cupboard, until I realised it was him. I found trying to see the logical in my thoughts, sort of working out the likely hood of what I was imagining. Like ok the cat is probably not going to just run up and attack him, and if she did the likely hood that she would do long term damage is not that high. My son also went though a stage when he didn't want to be put down, or be held by anyone but me. But working with him, I started to sit with him on my lap on the floor, and let him play, then gradually moved him further and futher down my lap, then next to me onto the floor, then away from me on the floor, then taking short trips away, getting some water, going to the toilet things like that, now I can let him to play and get dinner ready, as long as he sees me every few mins or so he is happy, or sometimes he comes to find me. I didn't take any medication. My husband has been really great about the while thing, there was a time when I was calling him also most all day at work, and while he was on the train. Now I still feel the anxiety, but can move though it more. I take my son to swimming lessons, and the libary, I allow my parents and grandma to watch him for a few hours sometimes (that was a really hard thing to do). I also have some really good friends who understand about the PND and have babies the same age as Joshy, and they were really good, because I could tell them what is was thinking, and feeling about things, and they would talk to me about it from their point of view, and it really helped with trying to "change my thinking" which is what my counciller called it.

Stacy - posted on 09/15/2009

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I think i had a mild case, but didn't know what it was until i'd already gotten through it. I'd say accept all the support you can from family and friends. Realize there's lots of time to prove you're Super Mom.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2009

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As of right now, no meds, like I said, it's recent. lol. I have my next appointment on Friday and that's when we'll talk about treatment, which I'm REALLY nervous about. My OCD is really bad. My hubby and I have only been alone 4 or 5 times since she was born (she's 6 months) and I don't take her in my car alone unless I absolutely have to. I also won't give her baths, my Mom comes over to do it for me. It's heartbreaking, that's why I want to know how others have coped with it, I really feel like I'm going absolutely insane some days!!! And yes, Postpartum OCD is prevalent among women who suffered from OCD before getting pregnant...like me...but it's unknown how many women go undiagnosed because of fear of losing their child to social services and because it is embarassing.

Shandy - posted on 09/15/2009

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Oh theres a name for that? I SOOO have that too! My kids are now 2 and 8 mo. I got lucky with my first she still sleeps with us, but shes a WONDERFUL girl could not ask for a better 2 yr old! Now my 2nd shes like yours if I put her down, her world comes down. My 2yr old was the same way but she came out of it as she got older like when she could crawl, Kaylee (#2) is just now starting to crawl so we will see with her.

I never knew there was a name for it. I still feel that way though. Did they put you on meds?

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