Anxiety

Kat - posted on 08/14/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am suffering from Anxiety which i dont really understand myself and find it hard to explain how i feel,i am under going help from councellors for it and talking things through,but it doesnt seem to help,i cany go on medication as i am breastfeeding my 17mth old(i have 3 children in all) my boyfriend calls me freakish and doesnt understand,anyone else suffering? I get very anxious and paronoid about catching illnesses and things like that and my children when at school im not there to make sure they wash their hands,i am always washing my hands im obsessesd with it,i think it could be a dissorder and i panic over silly things like being in crowds of people or if they get to close to me or touch me and get very worked up and upset.So many things go around my head its very confussing.Please help!?x

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Mrs. - posted on 08/14/2010

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Dear Kat,
Perhaps you are experiencing some PPD/PPA (post partum anxiety). Yes, this can happen even if you've never had it with your other children. As well, it can still be lingering on, after 17 months. I know I'm still doing what I can after 12 months to manage my own PPD/PPA.
Your therapists might have told you that their are some medications you can take while breastfeeding. Although, I have not chosen to take any, I know some women who have. Don't think of this as the "easy" way out, it's just another tool to help you.

Anxiety is a beast that I've dealt with my entire life, especially when it came to my terrible PMS. After I had my baby, the anxiety I felt was like the worst PMS week I've ever had but spread out through the whole month. I felt out of control, frightened and upset the majority of the time. About 2 months in, I began to seek out help. My union had a therapist service over the phone and I was able to see a PPD expert. Between the two of them, I was able to come up with some coping skills, simple rules which are like medicine for me. If I do these things, I function better, it doesn't mean I don't have bad days, it just means I cope with them better.

I wrote them down in another post but I'll post them for you too.
1.Routine- I thrive with a simple routine and so does my baby. My therapist insisted I make a bedtime routine in particular to help me and everyone else get more rest. Every night before I go to sleep, I take an hour or so to turn off, take a shower, read an enjoyable book, lay in bed with my puppy and settle down to sleep. My baby has a similar routine, food, bath, saying goodnight to the dog and laying in her crib with some music.
2. Sleep-In order to function well mentally you need as much as you can get. I've begun to use earplugs as I am very sound sensitive. I need more sleep than my partner and he gets up with the baby an hour early to give me the extra hour. It makes a huge difference.

3.Eating-Some people eat more when they are anxious, some less. I'm the latter. I must make time to get regular meals throughout the day. I know, sounds simple right? Not for me and I'm sure others too. It's simple though, your brain does not function well without it. This is one I struggle with but do my best. My therapist told me to have things in the house that are good for me and tempt me to eat in a regular fashioin

4. Exercise-No time right? That's what I thought. This is not going to the gym to pump iron for long periods of time...nope, a walk will do. Schedule exercise for the most stressful parts of your day. Take the kids and go for a walk during the witching hour (my baby's is in the early evening). Or if you need to get away, get the bf to watch for 15 minutes and get out of there.
5.Time for Yourself- You need it. Even if its just 15 minutes of breathing deeply. It will help keep the anxiety at bay.

6. Expanding Your Circle- Reach out. The more varied your circle of support is, the more resources you have to relate and get the support you need. Moms groups, friends, relatives, other anxiety sufferers, neighbours...whoever you can get.

7.Your Own Project-Whatever you are passionate about or just interested in give it a try. It helps to have a goal all to yourself that has nothing to do with being mommy or gf. I've surprised myself and took up running. I ran a 5k and am running a 10k in September. I'm also researching a family project based on my Great Grandmother's diaries. I have a friend who is also really into scrapbooking. She didn't get into it until she became a mom of two as well.

I know these sound simple but to me they are like medicine. Whenever it gets really bad I run them through my head to make sure I've got them all on the go. It helps. I hope maybe even one of them might help you. Anxiety is so difficult but you will get there and you will be stronger for it.

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Sarah - posted on 12/18/2012

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Rebecca- I cant even explain how you pin pointed my anxiety. Your post was the first post I could actually relate to. With the way the world is now, horrible things are happening to children every day. And it gets into my mind and scares me. I hate the thought. I love my Son more than life itself and I just can't seem to get the news and " What happens" out of my head. I was a Clonopin for a couple of months and to be honest it didn't help in ways that now with me being off of it I can't tell the difference. My anxiety some days just rolls off my shoulders and I find humor into remembering how I had felt. Then some other days it gets a hold of me and I can't stop worrying. Your comment was the first one that nailed my issues to the T. I fear of losing control, something happening to my son and or me loosing control and something happening to him. ITS HORRIBLE. I would myself jump in front of a car and do everything in my power to make sure he is safe. I can't say that this effect my every day life. But, what I can say is that when it does.... I feel that it will and that scares me. I am a stay at home working mom. ( I work from home) Do you have anymore tips to help me over come and or accept this horrible anxiety.?

Michael Elissa - posted on 08/16/2010

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I really agree with almost everything shared here. I had severe PTSD from an incident that happened years before I had children. The second child (a Boy) opened some outragous PPD/PPA flood gates, that I am still sometimes trying to keep a lid on, unfortunately. But my situation is not the norm, thank goodness! Yoga is currently my "drug" of choice, for myself and my 2 oldest children who are now 16 and 10. Their teachers are actually implementing forms of it in class.
I promise, as long as you are aware that their is a "problem", it is correctable, my guess on average would be about 95% of the time. I know this kind of sucks (sorry) right now, but as long as you remember to actually breath, all the way to your toes, as often as you can remember to do it...somehow your body learns to adjust. It finally got to the point where instaed of having a full blown panic attack for over an hour or more(honestly), I can now talk myself out of the attack before it evens gets very irritating. I don't know how, but our bodies, if cared for even a little, will heal themselves. Have faith and God Bless you and yours. YOU ARE NOT BY YOURSELF WITH THE PAIN AND MADNESS YOU FEEL! Promise!! oh yeah, anti-bacterial is great to an extent. Unless your in a very poor 3rd world country these days, children, babies especially , make their own unique versions of it. Smell the baby's breath the next time their sick...it smells like a hospital nurses station or something, it's weird. But, God knew what he/she was doing and as long as you stay as relaxed and healthy as possibly so will everyone around you.
Good luck and God Bless!

[deleted account]

As for getting sick... remember this it's healthy for kids to get sick with mild illnesses. It strengthens their immune systems so that they can fight off major ones better.

I've been down the anxiety road more often then I'd like. I'm prone to panic attacks (like going to the ER because of them).

Anyway what I suggest is meditation over medication. I know it sounds cheesy... but it works. I find that if I back away from a situation and go to a quiet play to meditate on something (whether prayer, chants, music, or whatever) I can lower my anxiety enough to function again. For me it's the shower the sound of the fan and the water gives me something to focus on.

Try thai chi classes, (I'm not a yoga fan but that works too). You might even be able to find a class that is in water.

I didn't find therapists to be helpful. Since most haven't ever experienced a panic attack few can understand what you are going through.

Kate - posted on 08/15/2010

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I have mild anxiety but not in the same way I have anxiety about going out, crowds and not being around my partner, I can not explain where it has come from or why, and I can not seem to help it at all. My sister did experience your kind of anxiety after her 3rd child and ended up on medication...Perhaps check the health food store or some other natural treatment center. In the mean time keep a few things in mind....

Most germs will not harm your children..in fact over cleaning can cause more illness later in life and low immunity to illness...
You need to let the little things go, try meditation if you can...or yoga....or just deep breathing...
Last you are not alone ... talk to your doctor more and just try to enjoy life.

Kat - posted on 08/15/2010

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Hi,Thankyou for all your replys.I can relate to some things that have been mentioned about people at school looking at e and thinking im crazy when i cry or get worked up over silly things.I am very anxious about catching illnesses and things like that,and things happening to my children when they are at school.

Candy - posted on 08/15/2010

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Rebecca has great ideas. You cant lose yourself in all this. Knowing you have someone who doesnt think you are crazy was the best thing for me. I cant explain it for reqular people but I bet you will see this. When my 6 year started school last year I felt when I left her there I would never see her again. When we picked her up I lost it. I cried so hard it was like she was lost for days. The other moms around me just looked at me like I was crazy. I know how you feel. I just let my 5 year go to school and had the same thing happen. I have to have meds and have been even when I breast feed. If you are getting really bad where it is effecting your kids and relationship it might be time to stop breastfeeding and get some meds to help control it. God Bless and Good Luck.

Mrs. - posted on 08/15/2010

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Whatever it is you fear, it's most likely not going to happen. Even if it does, you will deal with it. I've been told that the anxiety itself may never go away but I will just deal with it better. That scared me more at first but I am making friends with my fears the best I can. By the by, it is very common with PPD/PPA in have completely irrational anxiety and fear. Say you are a very responsible person, that's what you value, maybe your fear is that you'll just leave your baby in the grocery store. Whatever you are most against or don't understand you might start being anxious about it happening to you. Myself, I don't understand how people hurt kids but my anxiety revolved around the possibility of one day snapping and doing something horrible to my daughter. This is quite normal for folks with PPD/PPA (Brooke Shields wrote about it in her book, she had repetitive images of throwing her baby against a wall). They are called 'obsessive thoughts' and statistically women who have them almost never act on them. That doesn't mean you might not torture yourself with them but you will not hurt you children.

I have no idea if you have any of this. I just mention it because I didn't know about any of this. I thought I was alone and just a horrible person. Luckily my mother had gone through it with her last child. She assured me that there is nothing I have thought that other mothers in my same position hadn't thought of. I just want to do that for you too...if someone hasn't.

So yeah, you will feel better but it may not mean that the anxiety is gone. You just won't care as much and you'll understand why it's happening.

Have faith in yourself and your ability to deal. Also, there is a PPD forum on Circle of Moms, you might find more help there.

Kat - posted on 08/15/2010

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Thankyou for taking the time to reply to me,Rebecca,i will give some of these things a go and see how i get on.Will i get better in the way that i feel?I feel like im scared of everything,its such a horrible feeling! xx

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