To my postpartum OCD mamas,

I know what you’re going through. I have been pounded, nearly decimated, by the intrusive thoughts of postpartum OCD. Chased into a corner by them. Beaten into submission by them. It’s hard to think of anything more awful than one’s brain thinking thoughts that the owner of that brain does NOT WANT. Ugly, awful thoughts. But that’s what happens, isn’t it?  All those “what if” thoughts that keep popping into your consciousness, freezing you in your tracks and simultaneously breaking your heart.

There were a couple of stories on OCD today that I wanted to share with you. The first was from Psych Central, and is about uncertainty.  A tidbit:  “The possibility of causing harm to others is not an uncommon obsession for those with OCD.”  The author then writes about our need to check and make sure others are okay and that we haven’t caused or won’t cause or can’t cause harm. The story may help you better understand why you think and behave the way you do during postpartum OCD.

The second story was from ABC News, and was about celebrities who have OCD like moms Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba and Julianne Moore. One quote: “For parents with OCD, having children can actually make symptoms worse. OCD symptoms tend to latch on to things that are most important to us, so parents with OCD may have doubts about their abilities or intrusive thoughts about their child’s safety or hurting their child.” Sound familiar?

Please know that you are not alone. I had postpartum OCD. I had intrusive thoughts. I made it. You will too. Really. The thoughts are not you. They are just symptoms of an illness. Remember that.

In the meantime, if you’d like more information, here are some oldies but goodies from the Postpartum Progress archives on postpartum OCD:

Postpartum OCD: Does Having Scary Thoughts Mean You’ll Act On Them?

The Endless What-Ifs of Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum Anxiety & Intrusive Thoughts: One Mom’s Story

A Primer on Intrusive Thoughts