[Trigger warning: If you are currently suffering from intrusive thoughts this story may trigger additional upsetting thoughts and it may be better to skip it.
We often talk about the intrusive thoughts of postpartum anxiety and postpartum OCD here on Postpartum Progress, things like envisioning dropping your baby down the stairs, or much worse. I recently heard from a reader who asked why we don’t discuss the unwanted sexual thoughts that can sometimes be a part of intrusive thoughts. It was a great question, because it happens. So I invited Beth to share her story with us. -Katherine]
I was the expectant mother who read everything she could get her hands on about her unborn child. Before she was born, I had dutifully checked off each item that I would need for my new baby. My pregnancy was a breeze, and I felt proud of delivering a healthy 8-pound, 13-ounce baby girl “J.”
The first couple of months went as well as you could expect with a new infant. I was enjoying being a new mother and breastfeeding was going well, but J had a lot of gas and she wouldn’t nap due to acid reflux. I was having a hard time, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.
However, other things outside of my daughter started affecting my anxiety levels. My grandmother was very ill and had been hospitalized, information I didn’t learn until after my daughter was born because my mother didn’t want to upset me. One month later my grandmother died.
The other thing that made me more anxious was my husband’s new job required him to work more hours than we had originally planned, leaving me to do more by myself. We also didn’t have a lot of family and friends to help out on a regular basis. Emotionally I was already teetering, and then I had my first intrusive thought three months after my daughter was born. My world fell apart.
I was changing her diaper and a horrible thought of molesting my daughter flashed through my mind. I spent the next few days trying to understand why I would think such a thing. A normal mother would never think something like that. I thought that something was terribly wrong with me because only a terrible person who belonged behind bars would ever think of something that horrible.
The more I worried about the thought, the more unsettled and anxious I got. The thoughts got worse and came at me more frequently. I remember praying frantically, thinking that some sort of evil spirit had taken me over. I withered in silence for a month or so before telling my husband. He tried to help me, but I couldn’t listen. I couldn’t even admit to him how bad it was. All the while, the thoughts got worse and more frequent.
In the meanwhile, I quit my job to stay at home with J. I joined playgroups and a local church, anything to stay busy, but being around other “normal” moms made me feel worse. What would they think if they knew the kind of thoughts I had? They wouldn’t want me to be around their children. They would think I was a horrible person.
Calling to make an appointment with a therapist was difficult. I was afraid that if I told her what I had thought that someone would take my baby away. Somehow I made the appointment and very slowly my story unfolded.
I told her about my best friend’s family that I had become very close to at a young age. My single mom appreciated me having a friend whose family welcomed me into their home after school and during the summers. They were a good family who adopted and fostered children. They were active participants in their church. They had a large family and they welcomed me into it with open arms. When I was a teenager, my mother married someone that I didn’t get along with and I went to live with this family.
Shortly after I moved in, one of the girls told me that her father had sexually abused her. I confronted the parents, only to find out that it was true, and that it had not only happened to her, but many of the children. Then they asked me to keep this secret. So I kept it.
To my detriment, I kept their secret. I was never abused myself and the abuse was not happening while I lived there, but it had happened. Knowing what had happened and not being able to talk about it, and on some level accepting it by keeping the secret, created a lot of fear and anger in my heart, but I couldn’t deal with it then. So I tucked it away.
All of this fear surfaced when I had J. I was so afraid that something like this could happen to her somehow. The fears didn’t make sense. I was not at risk to be an abuser myself, but none of that mattered. All that mattered to me was that I had had these terrible, unthinkable thoughts and that was enough damnation in my mind. I felt that because I had these terrible thoughts that I would forever be scarred and never the same again. I wanted so badly to take it back or get a do-over. I felt I would never be the mother that I could have been because of these unwanted, intrusive thoughts.
I was hesitant to take antidepressants because I was breastfeeding. But one day I had had enough. The thoughts were bad and I felt like it would never end. I was walking around the house crying and I picked up the phone and called my lactation consultant about going on meds. She supported my decision and I made an appointment with a doctor at my OB office. Luckily, he was very helpful and supportive. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay on that particular antidepressant because I felt out of it and thought it was too strong and didn’t want to pass it on to my daughter, so I went off and tried herbs and tinctures instead. They didn’t work.
Finally, after my daughter’s first birthday and encouragement from my therapist, I got put on an antidepressant that worked for me. I started to notice a difference about a month later, and it got me over the hump. I felt like I could deal with this. Yoga and meditation practice have also been helpful in my recovery.
I am doing much better now. I am still having productive therapy sessions and the intrusive thoughts are much less frequent and bothersome. It’s the memory of my postpartum anxiety experience that is the most vivid in my mind. Now, I mostly obsess over how I’m doing and am constantly evaluating myself. I have had a few setbacks that, at the time, were devastating, but each time it was easier to get back up than the time before.
I’ve learned to be more compassionate with myself, and I realize that it takes time to get completely better, but the difference now is that I truly believe that I will get there. Through this whole ordeal I can say that I have learned a lot about myself, and all of the work that I have done on myself is making me a better mother and a better person, and for that I am grateful.
[Editor’s Note: Thank you so much for sharing your story Beth. It is possible for women to have unwanted thoughts of a sexual nature as part of their illness. These thoughts can happen regardless of whether you have a history of sexual abuse. It is important to know you are not alone, and you can get help.]
Wow. It is amazing how far we can come, isn't it? So many of who suffer have symptoms that are so scary, and we are unable to understand! It is almost as if out brain is "broken"; hence all of the disturbing and odd symptoms…but knowing that with time, we do heal, gives us strength to hang in there!
Thanks for sharing…how very brave!
Thank you for addressing this. I also want to put in a word for moms who have these thoughts but do not have any background with sexual abuse. I can understand the feeling that a background of it would provide at least some explanation, would make it easier to explain away. What about the moms without this history?
Great point. You are exactly right. You don't have to have a history of sexual abuse to have thoughts of this nature.
Beth's story brought me to tears. Her last paragraph was well written.
Having had thoughts about hurting my kids, it really helped me to realize that the root of the thoughts was simply that I was terrified of someone else hurting them. Knowing I would not hurt them helped me to remind my self when I had the thoughts that I was just setting up a mental safeguard to keep them safe. This mostly happened as I was falling asleep at night when my first 2 were little. Now with my 3rd, I rarely if ever have these thoughts. So remember, if you have these thoughts it is because you are a good mom who actually wants to protect your kids, not hurt them!
Beth, I commend you for writing about the sexual tohughts part of PP/OCD. I was never sexually abused as a child but I still had them fast and furious after my now 2 year old was 6 months old. The shame I felt when I had them was awful. I know where they stem from though… my fear of my son being molested. My brother was molested and a few more boys in the town I grew up in where molested as well. I also have a 23 year old son and I almost never let him out of my sight while he was growing up. When I was seeking help for my pp/ocd, I would always tell my story and scare a therapist into almost admitting me. Your story prompts me to maybe tell my story on here… maybe I can help a mommy too.
I am so thrilled that you wrote this, Beth. I ended up with a pp psychosis after my anxiety and OCD spiralled out of control. I finally realized the thoughts that I was having were intrusive thoughts. The difference was that I thought my husband was a molestor. I was never molested and he is so not a molestor. I don't know why it happened, but it was awful, pure hell. I thought other people were going to harm my daughters, too, but since he was always there, I always thought he harming them. Talk about something you can't talk about with anyone! Finally, reluctantly, and urgently I made an appointment with a therapist who told me gently that I "should have been on medication yesterday." The worst part was that I couldn't sort out was I thought it was my intuition- all because of some male cop on Oprah who told women to listen to their fear. (Don't listen to a man about what your intuition is, ladies.)
It was a symptom, a treatable one. To this day, many people know I had a psychosis, but very few know about these thoughts because I'm still ashamed I had them.
I am much better now, as my daughers are nearly 3 and 4, but it's taken a lot of therapy, medication, exercise, meditation, and creativity.
Also, if you're having these intrusive thoughts, here are a few other things that helped me…
-Turn off the news!!!
-Don't watch any tv covering child sexual abuse, especially Oprah!
Survivor, I am so happy I came across this post, because I have been struggling for the past year with a very similar experience. After my son was born, I became so worried that someone would molest my daughter, who was 2 at the time. The molestor could have been anyone: my brother-in-law, father-in-law, even my husband. The thoughts dominated me at times and I felt I couldn’t even talk to my husband about it, which made it all even worse. I was completely alone with the thoughts and believed I was going crazy. I sought help, but was never diagnosed with, nor treated for, PP issues. The scariest thing is that I still can’t decipher if the thoughts are PP-OCD or simply intuition. Several months ago, the thoughts targeted my husband exclusively and I started to believe that he REALLY WAS molesting her – I even accused him of it. Now, weeks after making that horrific accusation, I believe my husband is telling the truth when he says he did nothing to our daughter; he is a good man, wonderful father and I can not believe that he would be a child molestor. We are in counseling and my daughter is seeing a psychologist, who is trying to determine whether or not anything happened. My therapist doesn’t see this as a PP OCD issue and our couples counselor doesn’t seem to see it as an issue either. I am so confused! I love my husband and want to believe him and, in some twisted way, wanted to believe that I was simply gripped by PP OCD. Can anyone offer any words of wisdom??
I have been having weird feelings and thoughts that my brother in law that lives with us is molesting or wants to molest my daughter. Every time she goes back to his room I go get her. I feel bad that I have these thoughts but I’m scared that they are intuition and not just me worrying. My daughter is 16 months old. I think the thoughts may be because I have witnessed someone being molested as a baby when I was young and I have never told anyone about it because I was told not to. This is the first time I am even typing it. I don’t know what to do I want to talk to my husband but am scared that he will think I’m sick for even thinking like this. I have had a couple thoughts about me molesting my daughter as well and know that I would never do that I just wish it would stop. 🙁
Ash – I’m so sorry you are having these thoughts. Having gone through something so terrible as a child is surely affecting your experience now. I’d encourage you to reach out to therapist for some guidance. These thoughts are not normal and will need professional treatment. I know it can be scary to reach out for help, but you deserve to be happy and healthy. Don’t wait any longer.
Thank you for your bravery. I was never able to tell my therapist about these thoughts. I just harbored them in the dark recesses, thinking I was a monster. Thank you for bringing me into the light and freeing me!
It's too bad that your therapist didn't bring up the subject herself. Intrusive sexual thoughts are a pretty common OCD theme (examples of other common themes are cleanliness obsessions, and religious themes). It should be standard practice for the doctor or therapist to ask about this because patients, not knowing how common it is, are understandably frightened to bring it up themselves. It really is simple to say something along the lines of "Sometimes new mothers are bothered by disturbing images that won't stop popping into their heads. Common examples are fears about germs, vivid images of accidents, images of physical or sexual abuse, or recurring thoughts about the devil or of doing something blasphemous. Has anything like this been bothering you?" Think of the time that could be saved and the misery and shame that could be avoided! This is "Mental Health 101", but so many of us health professionals don't have a clue.
Thank you, Beth. Now I know I am not alone on my road to recovery. Some days I just feel like I am going backwards, but this helped me know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.
Well said. That is so true and a very positive way to look at something that feels so negative. Thanks for the insights.
We've talked about my intrusive thoughts. I've simply never brought up the sexual onse. I appreciate your thoughts. For the record, though, my therapist is amazingly insightful.
Thank you so so much for having the courage to write about this. I never had the intrusive thoughts and I can't even begin to imagine how terrifying they are. You are helping so many women by telling your story. Thank you.
This is such an amazing and powerful story, and I think you're incredibly brave to share with people who could greatly benefit from your honesty. Thank you so much for the wonderful insight into an underreported and undertreated disorder.
It is very uplifting to know you are healing. You are a inspiration to me for honestly and bravely sharing your story and helping so many people.
"Survivor," above, said "Turn Off the TV" – I couldn't agree more! I don't know when we decided that rape and murder were so darn intriguing, but it seems like fully half the shows on TV deal with murder and mayhem… That Special Victim's version of Law and Order gives me the creeps. Who finds rape and child molestation ENTERTAINING? Turn it off, get it out of your head. Watch something nice, or read a magazine instead. And this advice goes for the news, too. Nothing good comes from being saturated in violence 24/7.
That said, I haven't watched the news regularly since 2002, and yet I've still had the exact same intrusive thoughts about molesting my kids (starting in 2005).
What I've been told by several professionals is that if you can recognize that the thought is horrifying, you're not going to do it. The intrusive thought, if it's disgusting to you, is not going to become a behavior (no matter how often the thought intrudes). It's the people who have the thought and are turned on by it who have the potential to truly harm kids.
So if your brain fires a picture of you molesting your baby or killing your baby at you, and you recoil, congratulations! You're normal! Now get yourself some Zoloft so you can stop being haunted by your own mind. Don't be afraid to tell. It's the only way to get help.
Amy, what you said is enlightening and I think it will relieve a lot of people. This blog rocks.
To build upon what you said about tv, when healing is to be careful what you "feed your brain." I am careful about not only what I watch, but what I read. I'm in a book club and I've made it pretty clear that some ideas for books I just couldn't read. While I'm continuing to heal, I make the choice of primarily watching and reading comedy or lighthearted and uplifting stuff.
Art/creativity also helps me greatly. The nurse at the doctor's office told me she relaxes with crayons and a coloring book at night. I just loved that. It's so simple, but a great way to meditate if you don't consider yourself artistic or whatnut.
None of these things replace therapy and medication for me, but they are tools for continued healing.
I have the same thing!! Only it's gotten so bad I question myself when I get theses thoughts.Like when I changed a diaper I was getting the thought "you're enjoying this in a bad way" but I kept cleaning my baby and these thoughts were there so I feel as if I acted on them!!! It's breaking my heart!!
Chris, remember that it's the anxiety. That is what is causing you to feel panicy. When you have a second after one of these attacks, try taking some breaths and start noticing the physical things, sounds, smells in your environment to help get you out of your own head. It will pass. One book that really helped me was Emotional Alchemy by Tara Bennett-Goleman. It's not about PPD. It's about mindfulness practice and emotional work.
I realize this post is very very old, but I’m happy I came across it. Because I too suffer the same thing . I have never been subjected to sexual abuse. And have never had thoughts of this nature EVER. Through all my years of nannying and babysitting and all the years I couldn’t wait to become a mom and have a baby of my own. I got the thoughts arounds the time my daughter was 6 months old. She’s now 18 months old and a month ago I finally started Zoloft . But in my warped anxious mind I keep thinking “the Zoloft won’t help you you’re just a monster how dare you even had a baby” I love her so so much and she makes me so happy. But it’s like as soon as I think I have a handle on the thoughts and they’re gone the resurface and consume me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I hope I just die. At one point I prayed and asked God please give me cancer anything but this. Your story has saved me. And like my therapist has said “be mindful that it’s just your anxiety” but in the throes of if at the moment you don’t believe that. And I spend hours ruminating on it. I just want to be normal and happy. Like everyone else. I hope you had a full recovery, and can shed some light on this awful situation. Maybe I just need a higher dose of meds too. Uh 🙁
Hi Alyse. I struggle with the same type of postpartum ocd. I come back to this story from time to time if I am having a rough day to remind myself that I have a disease and that I am not my thoughts. I saw you made a recent comment and wanted to encourage you in a small way. It does get better! I have been on medication since February and while it seemed to take forever to kick in, joy, happiness and peace eventually returned for the most part. I am not completely healed but it’s coming. Reading your comment was striking, I could have written your exact words right down to the prayer for cancer. I am familiar with that desperate desire to be happy and the hours I have spent thinking and analyzing my thoughts are too many to count. I want you to know that you are normal, you deserve to be happy and you are a wonderful mom to your little girl. I am so sorry you have to experience this and I hope you find relief in the coming days.
What both of you’s have said is exactly how I feel! I’ve had these thoughts since my first born was 5 months and am now pregnant with my 3rd baby! So I’ve had these thoughts for over 4 years and I’m suffering really badly right now to the point if rather be dead or have someone take my kids away forever because my kids don’t deserve a really unhappy mummy who strugglers to cuddle them or sit beside them! How sad is that for my kids?!! I love them so much they are my everything, my world and I can’t enjoy them because of this awful problem. I’ve never went to the doctors about it because am absolutely terrified they’ll look at me like am disgusting or take my kids of me! I can’t take this much longer now and am stuck on what to do! ????????????????????
Becky, I am so sorry to hear about your suffering. My heart goes out to you and I think you are very brave for dealing with this terrible disease for such a long time. It is so painful to not feel comfortable cuddling your precious baby, that is my reality too. I read somewhere that when the anxiety threatens to overtake you, squeeze your sweet child tighter and hold on to them and the fact that you are a good mom who only wants to protect them, never hurt them. I also want to say that I was absolutely afraid of telling anyone about these thoughts because I was sure they would take my child and throw me in jail. That is a lie of the disease. You can break free of that lie when you tell someone. Maybe tell someone close to you first if you haven’t already, then go together to see the doctor. Getting help and treatment is terrifying, but I promise, in time, things will get better. You deserve to be free of this! I wish you all the best, your kiddos are blessed to have such a strong mama.
Becky, I realize you wrote this a while back, but if you are still struggling I encourage you to seek out a therapist familiar with OCD. If you can’t get the words out print out this story and say your struggle is similar to this to get the dialogue started. I’m sure you are terrified of being misunderstood, but it is wonderful to talk openly with a professional who understands. Trust me I know what you’re going through. I have these terrible intrusive thoughts too, but finding a trusted counselor has been so helpful at restoring my joy and peace. I still have fearful days and moments but overall the thoughts have so much less power over me. Also, know your babies need you and just because you wrestle with OCD and unwanted thoughts doesn’t disqualify you from being a good mom or used in God’s kingdom. Your struggle will help you be a light bearer to others who struggle. If anyone needs to talk to a counselor but is terrified of being misunderstood, I recommend John Nordstrom in Ottawa, IL. I’m sure he would speak by phone too.
Ladies, I want you all to know you are amazing for being open about your experience. It can get better I promise! A little over 5 years ago I had my second baby. The exact same thing happened to me. The unwanted sexual thoughts came, and I felt so much shame and guilt. I hated myself so much. I didn’t dare tell anyone for fear that my baby would be taken away. I did eventually get on medication, and going to therapy is very helpful. I thought I would share something simple that really helped me too, I started imaging myself kicking or punching the thoughts away. Then I would Invision myself doing something fun, like jumping on the tramp, doing a cartwheel, or riding a bike. Anything that makes you happy would work. It made me feel like I had power to fight the thoughts and not let them overpower me . Eventually the thoughts didn’t come as much, and when they did, I could get them out fast without so much guilt. It’s been 3 years since I’ve had multiple unwanted thoughts. Every once in awhile a thought will still sneak in, but I can get it out so quickly now I hardly even notice it. There is hope, I promise. I hope this makes sense, and hopefully it can help someone dealing with this. Good luck to you.
Thank you so much for this story! I had the intrusive thoughts of a sexual nature when my son was 6 months old. I tried to assure myself that I loved my baby and would never hurt him. But the thoughts were so horrible and I was so sickened by them that I had a 4 day panic attack that landed me in the ER with dehydration (I lost 12 lbs). I went on Zoloft and began seeing my therapist. She saved me…she also had PP OCD when she became a mother and assured me I was going to be okay. The problem is I have never read a story where someone else had the intrusive thoughts of a sexual nature, so I still felt like I was alone in it or "worse" than others. I am so happy to read that other women have gone through, and moved beyond what I suffered from. Thank you.
I am so glad you wrote this, I had the same sexual thought as well over and over, I did not know where it came from and was so scard that I wanted to check myself into a hospital, through therapy and medication, I have had gotten so much better, OCD is a dirty little liar, ladies, if you have sexual IT's, remember it is just a thought and don't try to define yourself by it. I did not have any other thoughts, so I thought I did not have OCD, but I did and do. Thank you.
I think it's in part because of the media. I mean you see these news clips about molesters and sometimes the family members are like "we had no idea" but in reality if you had known these people in person you might have seen clues!! I WAS molested as a child and that is why my OCD never really took on the sexual thoughts. Because I knew what a molester was like and that he really enjoyed his thoughts so I knew firsthand that I was nothing like that. I'm tired of the media lying to us like people can't control themselves…they can. I'm tired of the media acting like people who are molesters truly hate themselves for it – maybe some do but for the most part they enjoy themselves and intentionally seek out children. And that is not me. And it's not you either.
This is a great post. I truly struggled for almost a whole year with sexual IT and it nearly killed me. They came on shortly after my third son was born- never before. I had no idea what was happening to me.
I agree about turning off the TV. I couldn't watch the news or read anything disturbing about children.
I was never molested and never thought of myself as an overly sexual person. I had no idea where this was coming from and it was the worse stuff to share with my sister and husband- my best support system in the world. I thought if I just kept telling them- I would protect myself and my kids from me! Truly grueling times.
Fortunately, a good therapist, psychiatrist and some Lexapro evened me out. But it took a long time.
Now I'm due with my 4th boy. My outlook is hopeful. Now I know what to look out for….
I'm so sorry for your struggle. I'm so glad you had good heathcare providers to support you and help you recover.
Thank you so much for this. It describes everything I am thinking and feeling. I have started talking to someone and also have an appt with my Dr to discuss medication options. I am so happy to have found this site, it let's me know I'm not alone.
I just came across this message board and I cant even tell you how blessed I feel right now..I AM NOT ALONE>>LORD>>I AM NOT ALONE! I too, recently after had a flash of me molesting ,my daughter and couldnt figure out why..I love my daughter,,she is my flesh and I started to think that the devil was playing tricks on me and straying me away from my walk..I was molested as a child and dont talk about it much..but here and there I may have a flashback but when the thought was my own, I truly wanted to comitt suicide to get them out of my head.. I know believe God brought me to this page to read and see that as a mother, I am not alone in this battle and that I would do anything to ensure that my child is safe..Thank you! Thank you..Thank you…I am now going to seek help and see what i can do to prevent this..I was so saddened by these thoughts I truly was sick to my stomach..Lord knows I love my children and would never do such an act and I really wanna thank everyone for being strong and coming forth with their stories!
My son is a year and a half & about a month ago I started having these intrusive thoughts & all of a sudden I went from loving being a mother to thinking I should have never become a mother. I realize that after he was born I began obsessing about his safety. I thought it was normal but now I realize it was the beginning of my OCD. I would constantly look up things on the Internet for reassurance about SIDS, childhood cancer etc. Then a month ago I started having intrusive thoughts about molestation. I was never molested & have no idea where it has come from. I have had anxiety all my life but never had thoughts like this. There are many days where I have wanted to end it all. These thoughts horrify & disgust me. It makes me so incredibly sad that I am anxious being around my own son. I feel like such a horrible person & mother for ever having thoughts like this & do not know how I will ever forget them. I have started meds & CBT/ERT & pray that I will get out of this darkness. I have felt so alone with this & it helps to read that others have gone through this. Everyday I keep wishing I was someone else who is normal & would never have thoughts like this.
You are NOT a horrible mother. You just aren’t. This is an illness and it has no reflection whatsoever on who you are as a person. Really.
I am so relieved that I have found this site. I’ve been going through this for 5 months now. Feeling like it is never going to end and that it has ruined my life forever. My daughter was 3 months old when I had a horrible dream about her, it woke me up. I stewed on it for a few days, not knowing what the hell was going on, then the horrible intrusive thoughts started. And here I am today, depressed, anxious and not enjoying what should be the most precious time of my life. The guilt is what is killing me. I’ve been an anxious person all my life too, but never in a million years did I think this would happen. I know I love my baby, dearly, that’s why I’m still here, but this guilt I feel is stopping me from seeing this. I just want to cuddle and kiss her without having horrible thoughts come into my head. I have just started meds and still seeing a psychologist, medication scares me but I’ll go insane if I don’t do something. And everything is a trigger to me. I’m hoping all you georgeous mums are on your way to recovery, I’d love to here if you are all getting better. I know it’s not going to last forever, but I’m so ashamed and the memories I think will be the hardest to accept when I have recovered. Thinking of you all. Xx
I feel a whole lot better having read this entire thread. I am 35, bipolar, and pregnant with my first child. I have ocd and panic and intrusive thoughts about my son, and he’s not even here yet. My pregnancy was going well until about my 14th week, after I had weaned myself off my klonopin. That’s when this nightmare started. I am terrified of post partum psychosis and my sleep suffers. I battle anxiety daily, and it seems that almost anything is a trigger. I want to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy and enjoy my son (which will also consist of seeing my psychiatrist and getting back on my klonopin) without the constant worry and gloom and despair. I miss my older self. By that I mean my old self before I got pregnant. I’ve always had intrusive thought disorder but it seems heightened and almost worse being pregnant. Reading this thread has given me some comfort. Thank you ladies, for being so brave, and for being pioneers in this dog-eat-dog world. I plan on preparing for any post partum ocd or anxiety or psychosis with my psychiatrist and my obgyn. God bless you all. Xoxoxox.
NJP, I know it has been months since you posted this, but I just wanted you to know that I am so thankful for your post. Your story almost exactly mirrors mine. It was like I was reading my own thoughts in your post. My daughter is now almost five, and I still struggle every day unfortunately. I live in a place where therapy is quite limited. I hope that you are doing better, and if you have any strategies that are helping you, I would love to hear them. Thank you for sharing your story. I read it at least once a week just so that I don’t feel so alone. It really means a lot to me.
I am so happy my story has been able to help you!! This site & all of the ladies on here have definitely help save me. Although I posted that months ago I still struggle. The good news is I have gotten a lot stronger since I wrote that post. I have been doing exposure/response therapy & started taking meds (not something I wanted to do but I was desparate). The therapy has helped a lot. Where do you live? I am so sorry that there are not a lot of therapy resources available. I think the OCD center of Los Angeles can do online & phone therapy. Maybe you can try that? And there is also a center in Florida I believe that specailizes in OCD & may be able to provide some online or phone therapy. In the previous comments Surviving OCD left some really helpful tips that I try to use. And like Cass said recently in therapy I have started working on mindfulness. It has been really helpful. When you are doing anything just focus on all your senses of what is going on around you-sight, smell, sound etc. There is also a CD I use that my therapist gave me so I can practice mindfulness whenever possible. I will get the name for you! Danielle-we are all here for you!!!! You will be an excellent mother & it is so great that you are reaching out & realizing you need help now. I did not realize it until my son was 18 months. So you are a big step ahead!!! All of these ladies & this site have helped me so much I cannot say thank you enough!! When my thoughts started I felt so very alone & that I must be the only mother with these type of thoughts. I have really hated myself during all of this. It is the worst thing I have ever been through. I have battled anxiety all my life but NEVER thoughts like this. Cass I have had all of the same thoughts as you & the endless w”what if’s”. I thankfully do not have a history of sexual abuse & I am so sorry for those who have. That always makes me wonder more why do I have these thoughts. I can understand if I had a history but I don’t. Just always makes me wonder Am I really this horrible monster?!! I have wanted to be a mother my whole life-more than anything & now this. I feel I ruin everything with my anxiety isssues. I like surviving OCD feel I missed out on a lot growing up because of my anxiety. This is my first child also & I just get so sad that I have gotten these thoughts. Will I ever be the same?? We can all do this together-I feel if we can get through this we can get through anything. I want another child more than anything but am also very scared. Thanks to all of you! Sending lots of thoughts & prayers. XOXO
Thank you for responding, NJP. I have struggled for several years with this guilt and shame and self-loathing. I thought I had gotten better for a little while, but then I had a terrible relapse this summer. I am going to a new therapist now, but she does not think I have OCD, which now has me thinking perhaps I am just a horrible monster. We just do talk therapy, and I don’t feel like it is helping much. I have become so depressed that I have all but lost hope of ever getting better. The only reason I even try is the hope that God will take away this evil and I can become the mom I always wanted to be to my daughter, who is a bright star in this dark night that I have entered into. Please send the name of the CD and anything else that may help. I will try anything to make this go away! Thank you again!!!
The mindfulness CD is by Russ Harris. If you are unable to find it I can burn it for you & mail it?? I can give you my e-mail so we can connect that way if you want. I know exactly how you feel with the guilt. I always feel extremely guilty for ever having thoughts like this. It truly has been the worst thing I have ever been through. I hope I can eventually get back to myself but don’t know how I will ever be the same. The mindfulness work has really helped a lot & having a therapist who has experience with OCD is extremely important. We are here for you!!! It really helps to know you are not alone. What type of therapy have you done? Have you been able to share what you are going through with anyone else?? I know it is really hard to talk to anyone about this!
NJP, thank you so, so much! I am going to look on Amazon for the CD you suggested. I would love to talk through email if you are willing to do so. I am so glad to find other people who have experienced this. I felt like I was a monster and only other monsters of the same variety had these kinds of thoughts, but all of you seem so nice and not monster-like at all. I am on Prozac and went through talk therapy and some cognitive behavior therapy a few years ago. I have started back as of August. They originally diagnosed me with generalized anxiety at this new practice, but they changed it to anxiety with OCD today. My daughter is almost 5, so I am no longer even close to the postpartum period. I have had anxiety all of my life, as far back as I can remember. I went through an eating disorder for about 7 years and still struggle with that somewhat, but these ITs are far worse than anything I have ever experienced. The thing is…I was such an involved mom before my first IT, and now I find myself putting distance between myself and my little girl to keep from anything terrible ever passing through my mind. It is really killing me because I have always wanted to be a mother and dreamed of a big family. I am a teacher and around kids all the time. I never once thought this would happen. I thought I would be a great mother, and now I feel that it is all ruined, even my career. I feel that perhaps I should never be around children, even though the rational side of my brain knows that I have never hurt a child nor ever will. Well, I suppose I have rambled on long enough…Sorry to burden you with my issues!
Jg, I too suffered from an eating disorder in my late teens, and have always obsessed about my weight, food, looks etc. I’ve never been happy with myself. I went to my psychiatrist yest, and he believes that I have extremely high levels of anxiety, pretty much 24/7, and obsessional thinking. He didn’t really mention OCD. Ive been wanting children for I don’t know how long, and I was planning to have two to three little ones. I was the proudest person on earth when I found out I was pregnant. These last few days have been hell for me, my brain has now decided that maybe I do want to do these terrible things, I’ve been in a constant anxious state. But he said no medication right now, he wants me to practice mindfullness all the time, and 30 min sessions twice a day for at least a month. I said to him, my god, I can hardly function, I feel out of my body, how am I going to do that.? I can’t take a lot of meds, they make me crazy, but I am actually willing to right now, I feel like an evil person. I too try to keep my distance which is killing me, I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. I’m just so anxious around my little girl. It makes me feel like she’s not even mine.
Let me know how you go with the mindfulness CDs, hopefully it is going to be just as good as drug therapy. Good luck. 🙂
Cass, I really don’t know what I would do without my Prozac right now. So, I do not know how you do it without meds, but either way, I wish you so much luck in your battle. I was bulimic for years, and I truly thought that was the worst thing I would ever endure. However, this is 100 times worse. I would take the bulimia back in a minute! I was also told that I had extreme anxiety with OCD tendencies. I had a decent day today and felt a little hopeful, but I am always wary of the walls crashing back down.
Hi Cass! You brought tears to my eyes with your post. You descibe so well the same feelings I have had. The guilt is horrible & like you said ruins what is supposed to be the most precious time of your life. This is the worst thing I have ever experienced; it truly is living in your own personal hell. I feel I may be starting to recover but can tell it will be a long road. I have had some good days which gives me hope. I did not want to take medication either, but I felt the same way you did like I was going to go crazy or end it all if I didn’t. I am also doing exposure/response therapy & working hard at it. I will do anything to get better & come out of this darkness. I thank God everyday that I found this site. It made me realize that I have been suffering with postpartum OCD since right after my son was born almost 2 years ago & more importantly that I am not alone. When I started having the intrusive thoughts of a sexual nature I felt so alone & that I could NEVER tell anyone about them. I too feel ashamed & think that the memories will never be forgotten. Know you are not alone!!!Thinking of you & everyone else suffering with this horrible beast named OCD. I hope that once I have healed I will be stronger than I have ever been before; I feel if I can get through this I can face anything!
Thanks for your reply NJP, means alot. I think the main problem for me is the anxiety doubt. Why would you have such thoughts in the first place etc etc…the thing that kills me is when I look at my daughter I know I love her, but that emotion is so far away and hidden at the moment, this is what upsets me the most. I feel like a monster. But I’ve been on meds for a week now, and the depression has lifted a bit, so fingers crossed it gets me over that hump do I can see clearly. And I’m with you there when you say you will be able to do anything after this! Because it is absolute torture, I’d rather have 4 broken limbs than go through this. It makes me so sad looking at her baby photos, because I can’t remember wat it’s like to be me, enjoying her every moments. Love to you all. Keep fighting. Xoxo
Yes! The guilt is excruciating!! Especially since all I’ve ever wanted was a child and I know how sad I felt when I was told I’d probably never be able to have one. Here I am, 25 weeks pregnant with my miracle child, and instead of being overjoyed, I feel like a monster. This site is the comfort and peace that I needed to begin to get over this hump and start the healing process. Alway la remember that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and fear is a liar. God is near, even if and when you can’t feel Him and He will never turn away a person who is seeking Him so desperately. Cling tight to family and friends. Go to or find a church. Clean. Play music. Take a drive. 🙂
Some things that have helped me cope with my OCD:
-Pray continually, asking God to help you with how you are feeling; give it to Him & let him carry your worries/burdens. Keep the faith that He will take care of you and your baby.
-Realize the thoughts can’t hurt you or your baby; they are just thoughts and they only have as much power as you give them.
-As you experience these thoughts and emotions, picture yourself being hit by a wave; as soon as it comes it goes, and you are still left standing.
-Go talk to a professional. Anti-anxiety medicine might not be the best option for everyone, but talk therapy may be very helpful (it has been for me).
-Stop wallowing in your own self pity; I kept asking “why me?”. It helped to come to the conclusion that I have OCD; these thoughts are not me-it’s the OCD, and that there are many others out there that are battling with the same thing. Maybe we are going through this so that we can help others deal with it-I don’t know. It does not seem fair, but don’t get stuck in a rut wondering why over and over again. Move forward the best you can each day. The key is, keep moving forward.
-I don’t have to understand or figure everything out anymore; I can learn to just be. Perfectionism can be your undoing–people don’t love perfect people, they love kind people.
-Have your thyroid checked!! My levels were all out of sorts intensifying this terrible disease for me.
-Tell your thoughts that “you don’t care,” or anything you can tell yourself to “shrink the negative chatterbox inside your head”; the more publicity you give it, the bigger and bigger it becomes.
I know you may feel like you will never get better (I know I did), but please keep the faith that you will. You are a GREAT mom or you would not be searching for solutions on this site to begin with. I am not 100% yet, but I am getting better, day by day.
Surviving ocd-thank you! Your tips are just the reminder I needed! I attend church every time I can and I pray daily. I also am going to get back on my klonopin after my son is born and I’m looking into seeing a therapist now about my intrusive/ocd thoughts so that I can be better equipped to battle postpartum ocd/anxiety. What meds are you taking, if any?
I’m also going to see about getting my thyroid levels checke.
Hi Tracy-first of all, your story above sounds so much like mine. Right now, I am just on meds for the overactive thyroid and I go talk to a therapist every week, which was very hard to decide to do, but I am glad I did it now. For me, this disease seems to come in waves (I think it has a lot to do with the hormones fluctuating), and just when it starts to get better, I start doubting everything, and then it rears it’s ugly head again! But I have discovered it does not have to be that way–lately I have been challenging (not just disagreeing) my intrusive thoughts and it’s helping to shrink them down. Our pastor on Sunday was talking about guilt that people carry around with them for not truly having forgiven themselves for one thing or another. What he was saying about guilt made me think about my OCD–I think I carry a lot of guilt around about them making my self-esteem low. These thoughts come into my mind trying to make me think I would want to do something horrific, and then my minds beats myself up for them-continuous cycle. BUT, I don’t need to feel guilty for them-these thoughts are not my fault, I don’t need them, and they are LIES. So, that is the self-talking I am currently doing. I say to myself, “That’s a lie, and I don’t care about lies!” Right now, seems to be helping. And when the doubt and hopelessness tries to creep back in, I remember that these are just lies and I reassure myself that I WILL get better. This will go away! I have also decided to make an effort to enjoy life now with my daughter and family, and not wait until life is “perfect” to enjoy it. Tracy-you are in my prayers. We will get through this!
Thank you surviving OCD for all of the tips. I think horomones definitely have a lot to do with it. I also have so much guilt about the thoughts which lowers my self -esteem. This really has been one of the worst things I have been through. I will keep your tips in mind & I like labeling the thoughts as lies. I feel really strong some days, like I may be back to my old self, but then Bam I get the thoughts & feelings of doubt. It definitely makes me feel so alone & like such a horrible person. I am SO thankful I found this site. It really gives me hope & reminds me I’m not alone. To everyone who has shared your story-I cannot thank you enough-you have helped save me.
Thank you, Surviving OCD! I’ll be praying for you as well! I love this site and all of the encouragement! I’ve ordered The Imp Of The Mind as well as another book on fighting OCD. I’m looking forward to the reads, and il have to let y’all know how the books are! Thank you ladies, for your stories and the courage it took to tell them. Keep fighting the good fight and God bless!! xoxo
This has been so helpful. I thought I was a monster as I started having these strange thoughts 3 days ago and found them so disturbing that I thought abandonimg my family or suicide were my only options. I am going to try making those thoughts smaller. I went to my OB today who have me a prescription for Xanax and got me an appt with a psychiatrist on Monday. After reading this, I am planning to be completely open on the nature of my thoughts which I was too afraid to voice to my husband or OB. I’m hopeful that talking further with a professional will help but ladies, your bravery in talking about this has saved my life. Thank you.
NN-each time someone replies to my post I read through their comment and just cry because it lets me know I am not alone and it helps me answer the “why” I may be going through this–maybe we are all in this together to help each other/others in our life that may experience it. I know it is really tough, and I have been exactly where you are thinking those are the only two options. The truth is, they are not. There is a third option, and that is to tap into the realistic/rational side of your brain, and in doing so remember that you are a GREAT mother and wife (journaling is helpful to me because you can see the truth on paper). You are not a monster–these thoughts that we are all experiencing, they are the monsters, not us moms. We are just anxious and trying to to our best, which may be the perfect storm for these thoughts to invade our worried brains tormenting us with what we fear the most. And it comes in waves, I think due to the hormones. Some days are better than others, but there is hope and it does continue to get better! I do believe that God has a plan for our lives and is there for us if we just call on Him. In church today the Pastor was talking about Psalm 23 and going through rough times/or the valleys in life. Something that struck me was that he compared shadows to the fear we face in life and how shadows can “appear” so big to us. He said that we need not fear the shadows, but turn to the light (God). I thought it was really appropriate for what I have been going through with this. Lately, I feel that the sermons at my church are just so applicable to what’s going on in my life–they are just some of the stepping stones God has placed in my path during my battle against this hardship (another is this website).
Tracy-I have heard good things about the Imp of the Mind book–let me know what you think of it. I am currently reading a book that is more geared toward OCD versus soley obsessive/intrusive thoughts, so I kinda wish I had ordered the Imp of the Mind instead (the book as a whole I think is probably more helpful to purely OCD’ers), but I have taken away the following four step process so far & it seems helpful:
1) Relabel-Recognize that the intrusive thoughts & urges are the RESULT OF OCD. (Like an overactive imagination.)
2) Reattribute-Realize that the intensity & instrusiveness of the thought or urge is CAUSED BY OCD. (It’s a disease-it’s not our fault.)
3) Refocus-work around the OCD thoughts by focusing your attention on something else, as least for a few minutes. DO ANOTHER BEHAVIOR. (Pick up a hobby. I have decided to write my own children’s books for my daughter.)
4) Revalue-Do not take the OCD thought at face value. It is not significant in itself. (We need not be surprised by these thoughts each time all over again, but should anticipate them and continually take these steps against them.)
“I will not do this, I do not want this. It’s not me, it’s just OCD.”
I like that this book mentioned we are not robots to our thoughts (so true). We can retrain our brains by using these tactics just like someone training for a marathon, we must exercise (retrain) our brains/thinking patterns.
So, lately, when I am experiencing these thoughts (and yes, the anxiety & fear can make everything become a trigger), I am trying to say: “False Alarm! This is just OCD and I am going to think about something else now.”
I think the key is to let our positive thoughts win the battle in our mind and shrink down these negative thoughts. Much easier said than done, but each day is a new opportunity to win the battle…And anytime you need encouragement, just look into your baby’s eyes, they need their mommies, and they are there just cheering us on.
i too have intrusive thoughts about my 21 yr old daughter. i didnt so when she was a baby. i was protective of her. but they go to. be teens the fear was there for about 15 to 19 yrs? i do not have anyone to talk to dont want to. too embarrasing. miserable
Surviving OCD I feel the same way when I see someone post another response. I get tears in my eyes also because once again it reminds me I am not alone. NN I felt exactly the same way you do; like suicide or leaving my family & checking into a hospital were my only options. I felt like I was going crazy when this first started. I thought I must be a monster also & still feel like I am a horrible person for having thoughts like this-I am trying to deal with this in therapy. It has been difficult to not feel like deep down I must be an awful person or why would I ever have these thoughts in the first place. I really cannot thank everyone on here for sharing their stories. I really believed that I must be the only person who had these awful, horrifying thoughts. I have good days & as my psychiatrist says instead of saying “bad” days its better to say “not so good days”. On my not so good days I always go back to feeling alone but then I think of all of you on here & it gives me strength knowing I am not the only one fighting this battle. I thank God everyday that I found this site because it truly is one of the main reasons I am still here. NN if possible make sure you are able to work with a therapist that has experience with OCD-that helps a lot. Thank you all for the tips-it helps more than you could ever know. Surviving OCD I loved the way you ended your last response-for encouragement look into your baby’s eyes & know they are cheering you on. This has been one of the only things that helps me get out of bed & face this battle for another day. You are all always in my thoughts & just know that we are all extremely strong mama’s!!!!! I saw a quote & it helps me get through the day-“Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled.They are the ones who never gave up, despite the struggles.”
How are you ladies doing? Hanging in there I hope. I think about you all often. *Hugs*
Hi Surviving OCD!
I have been doing pretty good but the last couple of days I have been struggling. I fear these thoughts will never go away. I wish I could turn back time & never have these thoughts in the first place. I do not understand why I am still having them. Does that mean I really am the horrible person the thoughts are telling me? I doubt myself constantly & search my past seeing if there were any signs of this being the person I really am. I hate the thoughts & then I question am I enjoying this? I am taking meds & have been working hard on exposure/response therapy. But lately I feel like I am stuck-I am doing better but still have the thoughts & doubts. I know the goal is not to not have the thoughts at all but to change the way I react to the thoughts. This is hard for me. I want the thoughts to go away & never come back again. It really is torture.
I still feel alone going through this. And I constantly fear that I am an abnormal case that cannot be helped. Or what if I am the one person who actually acts on the thoughts. I am constantly analyzing everything & wonder if I will ever be myself again.
Hi NJP! You are most definitely not alone and I totally understand how it feels to get tortured by your own thoughts. I get bombarded by those same exact doubts & it’s so easy to start doubting yourself all over again, but then I remind myself that I cannot dwell on the issue–I just simply cannot. From what I’ve read most people with OCD think they are the only one with the issue–truth is, there are a lot of OCDers out there–just take this blog for instance & all the books they write on the topic. I keep going through the four step process I mentioned above whenever any of these nagging thoughts/feelings try to sneak in. I have learned to try to switch gears and go through the steps, ending with “and now I am going to think about something else.” Even when I don’t feel helped by these steps, I still force myself to do them because I have been told it’s all about what our brains get conditioned to. I am having to retrain my brain and learn to trust my brain again–I know it’s hard to do because if you are like me, you feel that your body and brain have betrayed you. BUT, that is when I must separate myself and label this disease for what it is and by doing so compartmentalize them/take the focus off of these thoughts and move onto something else. I think my hormones have leveled off quite a bit, which has helped, but just like you the issue is not gone. My therapist said that everyone has issues, this just happens to be mine to manage. I have found that as long as I don’t take my thoughts seriously, call them what they are (just false messages from the brain), compartmentalize them, the more they will start to shrink down. I also feel like I am under attack more when I am tired, so I try to keep that in mind and cut myself some slack. This thing seems to go in cycles and every time that I feel stuck (and like oh no, I am back this horrible place again, how did I get back here so easily!?), I remind myself that it will get good again because it has before–there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are getting there & we will get through this! Praying for you my friend.-Surviving OCD
Also, NJP if you are on this site and worried about having this issue in the first place, you would never act on these thoughts. You just wouldn’t. These thoughts are not you. God & your family knows your heart.
Wow ladies, I have just read all of your stories, over and over again. I’m still in struggle town. I’ve actually got depression now too from my thoughts. The past 8 months has really been hell for me too. I think I’m getting on top of it all then I come crashing down even harder. My doctor wants me to try a different med but I have had such bad reactions to the last two that I’m so scared to try again. They make me even worse, like I’m not even on this planet. I’m dealing with the fact that I think I want to do these things now, it’s absolute torture. Looking for things in the past to confirm that I do want to. It’s crazy to even think these things, can’t even believe I’m writing it, but I spose it’s telling me I’m wanting help as I know deep down it’s not true. I so desperately want to love my baby girl, show her all this affection that I have, but I’m held back by my thoughts, heartbreaking. I can relate to everyone of you. You do feel like your the only one on earth who could think such horrible things. I often think my family would be better off without me and that maybe I shouldn’t have become a mother. I’m asking anyone who has taken meds if they had bad reactions but found the right one in the end, or if they are actually helping. I’m freaking out about going on them again. I see my doc tommz. This really is a great site you have started Katherine, never thought in a million years I would have been writing on one though. Love to all you mummas. Xxx
Surviving OCD your so right about if we did think our thought were true then we wouldn’t be on this site. Bloody OCD, mental illness really is one of the worse thing anyone can experience, you can’t put plaster on it to make it better. You have some great strategies and I thank you for sharing. I thank all of you ladies.
I think now when I’m having a really bad day I will get on here and just read your posts and blurt out everything. 😉
That’s the spirit Cass! We can beat this & we will do it together. I have opted not to go on medicine (I am already on med for my thyroid and I don’t want to have to take anything else), but everyone is different and may have different needs were medicine is concerned, so work with your therapist & do what you feel is best for you. They say that cognitive behavioral therapy is very successful for OCD–rational, positive self talk. I understand exactly where you are coming from with your previous post–it’s like all of your self-confidence and once positive outlook has been taken over by this negative doubting doomsdayer which makes you feel like you have lost the old you & you start to doubt who you really were in the first place. You ARE still there & you ARE a good, loving, caring & capable mother! Remind yourself of this constantly-be your own cheerleader. I had to fight through these terrible & strong emotions (still do at times) and embrace my baby no matter how hard & downright painful it was some days (it is such a dark & terrifying place, I know). Fake it until you make it if you have to–we need to for our babies–they need us & we are the most uniquely qualified ones to care for them. And then I had those times that just when I had started to feel better, a thought or emotion would kick in and make me start doubting myself all over again/taking me be back into that terrible vicious cycle. I have come to find out that the OCD sorta reinvents itself–when we get one facet conquered then there it is again throwing more doubts in our path (it’s all based on fear and the fear of loosing our babies which is what we fear the most). So, I have come to recognize it’s tactics and any time I start feeling/thinking something I know is not in agreement with my core/my heart, I try to call it what it is right away/nip it in the bud before my mind runs away with it, therefore separating myself from it. It’s so so hard & it is a constant battle, but I have hope that little by little it will get better, as I feel better than I did when I first started with these issues and that gives me hope to push on. Just remind yourself that your baby is more important than this disease and she/he is what truly matters–don’t let the OCD take that away from you, because we will never have this again. I have been were you are at–wanting to run away because you feel so boxed into your own mind/body (it’s terribly frustrating & depressing) & you wonder how you got here & why you, but it will & it DOES get better and you can count on that.God has given us these beautiful gifts & chosen us to be their mothers–He has a plan, trust that. -Surviving OCD
Thank you so much for responding ladies!! It really helps so much. Like I said I really feel alone with all of this. Surviving OCD that is so great that you have gotten through this without meds!!! You are incredibly strong. Cass I defintely feel the same way you do. It is a living hell. I love my son more than anything, and he is the best thing in the world. Sometimes I feel that me being this way is selfish. That I am not appreciative of the wonderful son I have. He truly is a joy to everyone he comes in contact with. So I feel selfish for having these thoughts & anxieties. I had problems getting pregnant & did not know if it would happen. I felt so incredibly lucky & blessed when it did happen. Like I said I have had anxiety all my life; never thoughts like this. Right after I had him I now realize I was having intrusive thoughts about something happening to him. I was convinced he was going to die of SIDS. I viewed that as normal since I was a first time mom & that I was a little more freaked out because I have anxiety issues. The obsessions kept changing-him getting cancer, drowning etc & then when he was 18 months and 6 months after I stopped breast-feeding it changed to the intrusive thoughts of a sexual nature & I wanted to end everything. I have no idea where this came from. 7 weeks after I had him my OB gave me antidepressants but I was too scared of something happening to him to take them. I am constantly asking why this, why now. My whole life all I wanted was to be a mom. I just don’t understand why these particular thoughts….I thank goodness was not sexually abused & did not have any friends who were. So I just assume that deep down I am this monster & just never realized it. I made the mistake of going on the internet yesterday which is one of my compulsions & it freaked me out. I took the internet off of my phone for this reason so sometimes that is why it takes some time for me to reply. I feel like I am stuck right now. I am better than I was but I still have the thoughts, anxiety, & the awful doubts. I want another child more than anything but am also scared. I think my OB thinks it would be better to stay on meds while pregnant but I do not know if I can do that. I would be so scared something would be wrong & it would be my fault. But I really want a sibling for my son & another child.Sorry to babble so much. I had never heard of postpartum OCD. I did not even know it existed. I’m wondering if I have had this my whole life? I know I have always had obsessive thoughts but like I said I never had awful thoughts like this. I wonder if I will ever be the same again. Each day is a struggle & I try my hardest to stay positive. This last week has been a little rough & has just disappointed me. It really is living in your own personal hell. I constantly wish I was someone else & could just be “normal”. Thank you for sharing your stories. This site & all of you brave enough to share your stories have really saved me.
Surviving OCD, your amazing. I hope everyday that this will end. I’m in this routine where I’ll have a few gd days, then bang, back to square one again. I am better than what I was 8 months ago, but I still struggle big time every day. I can’t take meds, so I have to do it alone. NJP, I think the same thing- was I like this before I had my little girl? I think the problem now is is that I am so aware of ALL my thoughts, I judge every single one of them. Then it starts the cycle again. When I’m in public and I see women with their children, I think to myself I wonder if they have ever had these kind of horrible thoughts, of course they haven’t, I’m such a discussing, horrible mother. I don’t deserve my baby. I deal with that nearly every day. The internet is def a no no for me too, I think that is half my problem, I’d read other peoples stories(the chat posts) not this site, and then I’d think about that and think id do the same. But this site is different, I can’t wait to be on the worrier moms. I look in the mirror now and literally hate the person I see, I have never felt hatred ever in my life. I’m just so scared that I will never get better, and never feel love for my baby. I’m so over myself being FAKE!!!. But I. Do get small glimpses of coming out of this torture. I’m off to a mind,body,spirit expo by myself this weekend, it’s 4 hours away from my home. I’m hoping I’ll gain something from it. I think I’ll check out The Imp of the Mind to, sounds like it could be helpful. Talk soon ladies. Xxxxx
You both are amazing-battling this without meds!!! I feel weak now for using the meds. I really did not want to take medication either but I felt I was either going to commit myself or end it all. Cass I feel the same as you-I have never hated myself more. I wonder why I keep having these thoughts. Everytime I change a diaper etc. Its horrible. I also feel as though I am better & finally turning a corner but then bam I’m right back to where I was. I get frustrated & really fear I will be like this forever. I mean how do you come back from this? I will never be able to forget that I had these thoughts & feelings. Most of my compulsions are also mental-like analyzing my past constantly & ruminating. I often fear what if its not OCD & I am this horrible monster? What if I am the one case that cannot be helped? Cass I hope you have a wonderful weekend at your getaway-you deserve it & remember you are extremely strong!
Hi NJP & Cass! NJP-don’t feel weak for taking the meds-you do what’s best for you. There were so many times when I thought I was going to commit myself or leave my family, but I didn’t. Anyone who goes through this is so very strong. I think my thyroid med may be helping me with the hormones & anxiety. I have been where you are at-wondering if it will ever get any better & dreading bath time & diapering, & I can say it will get better. The doubts are horrid-went through a doubting session just tonight & came on here for empathy. This thing that we are going through is OCD-just look at how much our stories overlap. We are not monsters-truth is I think we will come out better mothers because of this-we fight every day for our babies. I also used to look at other moms & envy how easy & “normal” they have it, but then my therapist had mentioned that eveyone has issues & I’ve learned that a large percentage of moms suffer from postpartum issues. We are not alone-I think the issue is just hush hush. The more you work to build your confidence back up & stop the self-loathing, the easier it is to stand up to this disease & disregard it’s false messages. We are not robots to our thoughts. Even though I didn’t always feel like believing the positive things I was telling myself, I forced myself to build myself up & it’s helped me get a handle on it. Cass-I hope the conference is refreshing-enjoy! Stay brave mamas! We can beat this thing. I know we can.
Hi Surviving OCD!!!
I know exactly how you feel. The doubt is the worst part. Do you have doubts that you are a horrible person or not?? If you will act on the thoughts or not?? I do & am constanly analyzing how I’m feeling, if this is OCD or not, if it is due to postpartum or not. I had intrusive thoughts right after I had him (I now realize) but always of something happening to him which was distressing but not as much as me doing something. Those started when he was 18 months so I ask is that still considered postpartum? It is a vicious cycle. How long has this been going on for you?? Thanks for being there & know I am here for you!
Hi NJP! Sorry for the delay–I’ve been going nonstop lately so it’s been hard to get on my laptop. Yes, I too have had doubts like maybe I was never a good person to begin with–it’s like you lose touch with your true self. I think it all stems from the guilt from the thoughts. I have also had doubts about “oh my goodness what if I snap or unintentionally do something”–the FACT is no matter how real or intense this feels it’s just false signals from your brain and you won’t act on it. Trust that. I would still consider yours postpartum. I have suffered from various OCD issues since I was a teenager, but never knew what it was until I started suffering so intensely about a month postpartum and did the research/went to see someone. Thank you for being here for me as well-this site keeps me going sometimes. I have found the lyrics to the song below particularly helpful in my darkest OCD days. Matthew West’s “Hello My Name is Child of the One True King”
Just hit skip on the pet food ad that comes on before it. : )
Thank you surviving OCD I love that song!!! I am going to download it to my phone! I completely understand it taking awhile to get to your laptop no need to apologize! I struggled this last weekend. It is disappointing whenever I have a set back. I love my son more than anything & I feel selfish that I am going through this. He is such a good baby (well toddler now) & so much fun so why do I have to be like this. I feel I’m wrapped up in my own problems instead of fully enjoying the wonderful son I have. I wonder why I keep having the thoughts-I doubt that because I keep having them it must mean I want to act on it. It is complete torture. I think I’m getting better but then I have a setback. I hate doubting who I am. Is this the person I really am some sort of sick person. I constantly doubt will I do this one day intentional or not. I do not want to live like this forever. All I wanted my whole life was to be a mom & I was lucky enough to get pregnant & now I feel I’m ruining it all & ruining my dreams to have another child as well. I have never hated myself more.
Hi NJP-I am glad you like the song-I have found the words to the song so true & helpful. It almost makes you wonder if it was written by someone with OCD. I understand about setbacks–I was going through one yesterday & I was trying to figure out why. The only conclusion I came to was that I was really mentally exhausted. NJP-you sound like a great person and you are not selfish–just think, if you were truly a selfish person you would not be worried about being selfish, right? I understand what you are saying about hating yourself-when I was in the worst of times, I was just sick to look at myself in the mirror, to look at my body, my clothes, etc. I know it’s hard, but if you can do things to build yourself back up (like accomplishing projects, positive self-talk, etc.) then I have found that you won’t take the doubts as seriously. From what I’ve read, most people with OCD think a) they are the only ones who have it & b) that they must want to act on their OCD if they are having these thoughts to begin with. Truth is though that just because the thoughts won’t go away does not mean you want the thoughts or to act on them–it’s just that because we are perfectionists by nature our brains have trouble letting go of the thoughts because it thinks we should not have had them in the first place. Everyone has bad and scary thoughts, ours just tend to get stuck-I heard it explained like OCDrs have sticky gear shifts and their brain does not know when to switch gears like those without OCD. The four step process helps it to get “unstuck”. Just try your hardest to keep things in perspective–this is all just OCD, it actually has nothing to do with your baby at all, and all you want to do is be a great mommy. Talk to you soon. -Surviving OCD
NJP, just seeing how you are traveling? I’m off to see the psych next week, hoping we can find a drug for me. I’m just wondering if you have had much luck with yours and if you feel better at all, and did you have any side effects at the start? I’m terrified to take something again, but I need something. And does it help with your sleeping. Thanks matey. 🙂
I am doing ok with traveling. As I have said before I have had anxiety all my life, and it was generalized anxiety. I did not like traveling, spending the night places, going to restaurants, etc. I became pretty agoraphobic. I feel like I missed out on a lot during those years which included high school & college. I did not go away to college because of this. I took meds then & did cognitive behavorial therapy & got better. After some time I got off my meds. I was doing well for about 19 years. I mean I definitely got anxiety about things but was able to handle it. I have never had these types of thoughts before. So this has been devastating. I am back on meds which I really did not want to do but I do feel they have helped get me out of the very dark place I was in. I have noticed some side effects but nothing that is extremely bothersome. At first I tried Zoloft & had a lot of side effects. I felt dead inside & had no appetite so I changed to the antidepressant I took last time. I wish Zoloft had worked because I know it is safer during pregnancy & breastfeeding. I really want another baby but am also very scared & feel I need to get stronger. I am almost 38 so I do not have all of the time in the world so that also upsets me that I had to get this right now. Danielle like surviving OCD said we are all here for you!!!!!! I know exactly how you feel. I have always loved children & now feel it is ruined. I have always been a huge part of my niece & nephew’s life since they were babies & never had thoughts like this. I too feel like I have urges and that completely terrifies & disgusts me. I also am constantly checking for any sensations I have. Has anyone else had experiences with this? Danielle have you looked I got the OCD center of Los Angeles? I thought they offered some sort of online or phone therapy? Also There was one in Florida I believe. Maybe that can be a resource that you can use. It really does make a world of difference working with someone who has experience with OCD. I also was diagnosed as having “anxiety not otherwise specified”because my anxiety fits into a few categories which includes OCD. But it was not straight OCD which freaked me out too. But I am going to a cognitive behavorial therapist who specializes in OCD & she says that anxiety takes different forms & can change throughout your life & take on different forms. Stresses in your life (like having a baby can cause OCD to start. Now that I look back I wonder if this is what I have had my whole life. Whenever I thought about OCD I thought it was someone who washed their hands over & over again. I had no idea that intrusive thoughts like this was OCD. Like I said I have always had anxiety but never these thoughts. But now that I look back I realize I have always obsessed about things. And now that I am in therapy for OCD I have discovered that compulsions are not always physical but can be mental as well. I am thinking & praying for you Danielle & know you are not alone. I am in the States also. California to be exact. Hope you all had a great holiday. Xoxo
Thanks NJP. I tried Lovan first and that made me feel like everything was black, I couldn’t talk, move it was horrible, had a bad reaction to that one, then after I got my courage up again I tried Prozac, I thought I was tolerating that, then after two weeks the side effects were terrible, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t go down the street. I have been on Luvox about five years ago, so I’m thinking I could try that again. It would be so great if one size fits all. If everyone could just take the same pill. I too look back at my life, and I’m a shocking perfectionist, and would worry about the stupidest things. I have such great mates and family, I was on top of the world this time last year! Crazy how it all just changes in a day. I too thought OCD was hand washing etc not intrusive thoughts. I’ve owned my own business, been very successful, now I feel like I’m a nothing, and my husband and baby are better off without me. Brings me to tears when I write stuff like this. I’m hoping to find an OCD specialists here in Australia. So hard to find. Also, did you have the urges before the medication? I found the meds gave me that feeling, that was one of the side effects. It’s great to hear that the meds have helped you, hopefully it will help you get over the next hump and you will have another baby. Thanks for replying. X
Cass, have you reached out to PANDA? I bet they could find you someone in your area who specializes in reproductive psychiatry and could help you with postpartum OCD. http://www.panda.org.au/
Cass I also constantly look at other mothers & say to myself they would never have these thoughts. They are normal mothers why can’t I be one? I feel the same way that I am faking everything. It is exhausting
Hey girls. Just had to catch up on your posts. You two really do put words in my mouth. I had a good weekend, came home feeling refreshed and like myself again. Kinda felt like I had broken that cycle of constant rumination, actually felt like myself, and thought what the hell have I been thinking? Then, it hit me like a tone of bricks, yest I started having bad thoughts again and last night was just horrible. I felt like I was having a psychotic episode. But I got up and still went to work and don’t feel as bad tonight. Not sure if you girls go through this or not, having a really bad day followed by a good one. I seriously just do not know how we get through our days, but we somehow do hey? S-OCD, I was the same, I couldn’t look at my body or my clothes, I couldn’t even look at my babies clothes, everything triggered me, so I am thinking I am a little better as I don’t have as many triggers. But last night really scared me. NJP, I do the same, analyse the past , trying to find something terrible about myself, and keep thinking ” that’s it, that’s why I’m thinking like this”, but it never is the reason!! and I have the same thoughts that maybe this is the real me, not OCD. Because it feels so darn real. I’m thinking this shit so it has to be me! I have a great therapist, the stuff we talk about is just crazy, can’t believe I can even share the thoughts I have with her, but she understands and just wants me to get better. I do believe that we will adventually come out of this and seriously think WTH were we thinking, but we just have to have hope everyday. I’m booked into see my psychiatrist in two weeks, so NJP, do not ever say that you are weak for being on meds, matey, I tried twice hoping they would bring me relief but they just made me 10 X worse, so I’m hoping we can find something else. It takes so much guts to take any type of drug, and I fully respect you for taking that step. It’s a sign that you know that the way you a re feeling is def not right. I’m still doing all my natural stuff, but I just don’t think it’s gunna cut it. You girls have been a life saver for me really, I can really open up on here. My husband only knows an 1/8th of what is really going on with me. But he is so supportive. Where abouts are you guys? Country/town. Obviously I’m in Aust, in a country town near Melbourne. I think I have babbled enough on here tonight. It’s kinda like having a vomit I reckon, just gotta get it all out.
No matter how big the storm, the sky always has room for it.
Night loveless, hear from you soon. Xxxxxx
And yes, we are the strongest mums, women ever to have to go through this and also still try to raise our children, be a wife, a worker, a friend. The list goes on. So when we wake in the morning and go to bed at night, just say to yourself, wow, I got through that day, and I’m going to get through the next. This is not going to beat me. I’ve dealt with it this long, I can deal with it for a lot longer yet. Xxxx
Bugger, I just wrote the biggest essay, lol, and it didn’t go through, that’s why I added that little post above, coz I forgot to write that in,I’ll reply in the morning girls. Great to read you posts too. Xx
My weekend away was gd thanks girls. Well needed break. I came home feeling refreshed and fixed. For two straight days I felt like myself again, it’s was so good. I couldn’t believe it. I thought that’s just what I needed, to get away and break the cycle. But it didn’t last, thoughts came back, stronger than ever, and I went out of control for a couple of days, I’m feeling better today. So I’m finding this is the cycle I’m having, I start feeling good then I have really bad days, apparently this is part of the recovery process. But I do know now that I can be myself again, because I felt it a few days ago. NJP, do not ever think you are weak taking meds, if I could I would, I tried twice, I think your very brave taking them, and I respect that. I’ve made an app to see my psychiatrist in two weeks, to see what other options I have. I keep thinking I can get through this, but the cycles are so exhausting, and I’m missing out on the most valuable times of my daughters life because I’m so in my head. I believe your thoughts in the morning shape the rest of your day. I woke this morning, with no anxiety, then within ten seconds, the thoughts started, ” what if you actually are this person, what if you do like the thoughts” blah blah, I just keep thinking that I was not like this 9 months ago, I would never have had these thoughts whatsoever, so I know that my brain is not functioning properly. It’s like I have lost vision of reality, I started to think I had schizophrenia. The main thing we have to realise is that when we start to analyse our thoughts we have to try with all our hearts to stop, accept the thoughts, accept the unacceptable. We can’t change what we have thought, this is one thing that I am really trying to forgive myself for, the horrible thoughts I have had, that are still so vivid in my mind. What mother would think this, I must be this person deep down, I must want to do this to my baby, etc etc. how about when we are all better we get together and write a book, it would be a bloody good seller I reckon. All those mums out there who are dealing with this secretly. Give them some relief. Talk later girls, so good to read your posts. Xx
Have any of you gotten better with this? I had my first intrusive thought two nights ago about my daughter and it freaked me out so badly that I wanted to kill myself that instant. I have always suffered from severe anxiety that would bother me for years at a time and keep me from doing normal everyday things. I fear the most that I am deep down inside just a child molester or something and I’m just realizing it. Or I feel the urges to do these horrible things even if I don’t want to. I’m terrified I will.
I wish I didn’t have to say this, but I’m very happy to hear I am not alone. I feel for everyone of you mamas, struggling with this. In my case, I was abused as a child and when I finally remembered what happened, I became extremely anxious. I didn’t want to anyone to know what happened to me as a child. So I hid it again, which was so hard to do. Worked stayed busy and that helped. I was never nervous or anxious around children at all. Just happy, living life, but I knew I was a worrier. I never knew that would trigger in to something else later in life. I got married, moved to another state with my husband because of the military and tried to start my own life away from family and be a big girl. That didn’t last long because the army had gone a lot of the time,and I hated being alone. My past came up and I said I will never be a monster like my aunts husband. My main worriers were, the stove was on anytime I left for work or to go somewhere, or that my heart was weak because I never had a racing heart before, and then right before my husband second deployment intrusive thoughts came in to my mind about children. I freaked out because I thought that was a sign of maybe I’m going to become a monster to. Then crying, guilt,shame all of those awful feelings because I told my god daughter know is to ever touch you in away that makes you feel bad, or private areas. I could give her a bath, wash her hair and then walk out and tell her to wash her body and private ares because only she is supposed to do that and not have on single bad thought at all. So when intrusive thoughts invaded it hurt me so bad. So I lived with this in silence for fear of being label as a monster, no would want me around if only they knew the thoughts, or of me being abused and turning in to a monster as well. I was outset because I was abused as a child now I’m being abused again as an adult. So I stayed away from kids, that made me less anxious and the thoughts left. When I would come around children, a thought sometimes not always would come to mind but I would push it away because I know I loved children and that I’m not a monster just because some enjoyed there acts, but no not me. I hate those thoughts, so pushing them away and focusing on something else helped me live with intrusive thoughts. They go away but when they come back they knock me down because I go in to crying modes, guilty feelings, just bad times. So I pick my self up again I try my hardest. Not having children of my own is how I think I kept it away because I would be around kids push the thoughts away and act normal like nothing is wrong and enjoy there company. Then I thought facing my fear if not becoming a monster would solve this worry, which I thought it was just me being worried extremely. So I hung out with my friend and her kids and I didn’t have any thoughts. They loved being around me, I enjoyed my friends company and the kids made me feel like a normal loving human being. I isolated myself so being around them made me happy, I started Togo out more, felt good, thoughts of my stove took center stage. Wrong, I had a nightmare that I did something bad to my friend kid, I woke up crying, shaking, just lower than ever. My mind was racing with trying to see if I could remember if I held him in a wrong way, ect… Then a thought popped in mind of what if I did and I didn’t know it. When I saw them again, the children acted the same, they were not scared of me, they didn’t cry when they saw me,they never showed signs of me being this monster. So then I thought I must be going crazy, if I have to look to them for reassurance. Crying again because I know what I do and don’t do but doubts of what if you did was killing me. I put it past me enjoyed them again because I know I couldn’t do that because I know how it feels to be abused and I never want that for any child. Now my husband and I have moved overseas, anxiety again big time, still have this issue with the stove and I know I never touched it but I have this thought of what if I did and then my mind runs to the next thoughts of what that could lead to. I’m pregnant now, I’m. 31 and this is my very first child. Not happy at all, 35 weeks and thought of what if my baby dies from SIDS or me not cleaning the bottles good,to the old intrusive thought of what if I would end up like the monster who hurt me and I did those things to my baby. Crying again, feeling like God haven’t I been through enough? I don’t want to have thoughts of my child like that, I don’t want to doubt, he isn’t here yet and I’m a mess. I saw a doctor and he wants to put me on meds after the baby but I want them now, I don’t see a psychiatrist till the 26th but I’m so afraid she will think I’m a monster and lock me up. I feel I have ocd, since 06 they were the issues of things people could talk about freely and not feel the shame and guilt like the sexual intrusive thoughts. I’m glad I found this forum because I really felt like I was a monster because me searching through the internet brought me across that children who are abused grow up to be abusers themselves so that has freaked me out as well. I have been so freaked out that the only baby I have is my dogs and being in such a panic now that the thoughts are back, I don’t want to be around my dogs! I treat them as my babies, now I’m anxious to be around my fur children, it’s like a reality check, how can I be around my child when he gets here. I’m due in December and just cry a lot. I so hate feeling this way, new baby soon, Christmas my favorite holiday. I feel like I’ve climbed out of this whole so many times, now im really stuck. I should have gotten help before getting pregnant, or saying something as a child or even when my first memory of it came to me. I feel like I have the wore case ever, but I’m still gonna keep praying and hope therapy and medicine helps because now I have a child in the picture and I hate myself forgetting pregnant and not taking care of this battle alone all by myself, instead I’m dragging a baby in this mess, I don’t want him to end up like me.
Hi Danielle-let me start by saying that you can consider us friends on this site–we are all in the same boat together. My heart breaks for you and in many aspects our stories overlap. I have suffered from OCD issues in various forms since I was a teenager, never really knowing what it was until this year when I had my little girl (I am 32 & she our first). I avoided a lot of things growing up (and as a consequence missed out on a lot of experiences) with this terrible disease. I didn’t realize at the time that the avoidance was only fueling my fears and doubts, which are two hallmarks of this disease. I believe, the more we can remind ourselves that God is in control of our lives and that we don’t need to fear because He goes before us, the more peace we will have. He also gives us the strength to stand up to these thoughts and call them out for what they are-Lies! OCD is a liar and a bully and the more we can do to disregard it’s constant attempts to bring us down, the weaker & smaller it will get. It may take some time, but we can get through this. I also have been uncomfortable being around my pets in the past too–it’s all part of this disease and none of this has any reflection on the true you and the condition of your heart. You may have read above about the 4 step process that I have found extremely helpful. I wish I had of known about that and practiced it when these thoughts tried to steal my joy when I was prego. Keep in mind that God has a plan for you and your beautiful baby to be. He picked you out in advance to be his mother because He knew you would do a wonderful job of raising him. You can rest in knowing that you will be a great mother & I pray God will give you overwhelming peace as you anticipate the arrival of your little one. I posted a song that I have really drawn strength from above (Child of the One the One True King). Here’s another that’s really spoken to me lately-Overcomer by Mandisa. We are all overcomers.
Danielle, honey, I’m feeling for you. And praying for you. OCD is really an evil thing in itself. It can make you believe the most horrible, discussing things ever. I seriously reckon I ended up having psychosis over my thoughts, on top of my disorder. I am a lot better now. But, I couldn’t take meds, I bloody tried, wish I could have but they just made me worse. Mindfulness is really good for OCD, I found it helps, when these intrusive thoughts come to to mind, and before they take you on that disturbing journey of what if’s, look around and focus on the colours, smells, birds, the clouds , anything, and just keep looking around, because once you start the what ifs, it just spirals out of control. I still have trouble holding my baby, I just want to hold her, without my head going ‘ hmmmm, what if you touch her the wrong way, what if I enjoy that, you can’t show her love, that’s discusting’, blah blah, it’s devasting, then I start saying to myself, “what mum thinks that, your going to burn in hell, your going to be like this forever, your never going to enjoy her, my god what if you think this about your next child, what if I end my life because of this”, and the list goes on and on until I’m so anxious that I can’t think clearly about anything and I’m an absolute mess. Thinking I need to be locked up. This site has been a blessing to me, and S-OCD is so right, you have been chosen this path in life for a reason, it’s a shit reason, but you will get through this, we all will. I’m so sorry to hear about your past, I can’t remember my past exactly, but something isn’t right either, a few things have been coming up too. You are not a monster, non of us are, I am slowly believing this now, we would never hurt any children let alone our own, if we were to, we would have done it by now, and we wouldn’t be on antidepressant or on this site freaking out about our thoughts. I really feel for those mums that don’t reach out and get help, and suffer for years and years. You are going to fight and beat this, make that your mission, every time you get a thought, say thank you for that, but I’m not giving you any energy or power over my life anymore, and try to focus on what you were doing.
Mine all started with me having a dream about my little girl when she was 3 months old, and prior to that I had no thoughts of molesting what so ever, so I reassure myself with that. I was constantly worried about something happening to her, but not me ding anything to her. Anxiety disorders are one of the hardest disorders to control, but once you understand it, you will be the best mummy ever. The present moment is all we have, the past is useless, the future we have no idea what is going to happen. Seriously Hun, I wouldn’t have been able to write anything positive a few months ago, I thought my life was over. My mission is to get better and to help mums like us get better. I couldn’t look at other kids either without having a panic attack, and I love kids.
One word of advice to matey, don’t read anything on the internet where it is like a chat line, random posts, I did that and I was a mess, it put more images and thoughts into my head. Stay with ligit sites. This one is awesome. Your on here because you have an illness, your not going to be locked up. Your going to get better. We love our kids and other children. I’m sending you love.
Just another thing too girls, I’ve been using therapeutic oils, they are amazing if you can get your hands on them. I’m using ‘doTerra’ ones. And I’m also seeing a kinesiologist, who is great. Keep posting. Xxxxxxxxxnight. 🙂
I just had a look at prior posts and realised that post I thought didn’t come up did, sorry. :-/
Hi Cass! I am glad that the conference was refreshing. I hear you about doing well, and then the terrible feelings & doubts start creeping in again trying to steal your joy, but like you said, if we can nip it in the bud and relabel it for what it really is right away and force ourselves to focus on something else (anything else-upcoming holiday plans, pictures, hobbies, writing a book for your baby-anything), it breaks the cycle. When I started getting bombarded by these thoughts again this weekend, that’s exactly what I had to remind myself of so as not to get sucked into the vicious cycle, and then get down about being stuck in said cycle. I would encourage you to confide in someone you are close to, be it your husband or relative. It took me a while to open up to my husband and even longer with my mother, but I needed them to know–I don’t share every little detail because they don’t truly understand what I am going through, but I do try to share when I am having good days and bad days and they are able to encourage me and tell me how much I am getting better. I completely understand the trigger thing–I am also experiencing a lot less of them (thank God), so I think that yes, that is improvement. When I start to feel down about the triggers that remain, I remind myself where I was and how far I have come. Besides the fear and doubt that come with this terrible disease, I think that hormones has SO much to do with it. I finally got my cycle back this weekend, and I can definitely tell that things started to try to get bad again with the onset of my cycle. : ( So, I am trying to be mindful of that.
It’s amazing that this affects moms all over the world. I am in the States myself, specifically North Florida. Yes, a book one day would be great–we would have lots of material and insight to contribute.
I also relate to being uncomfortable holding your baby (that’s been one of the absolute worst parts for me), but slowly & surely I have found the more I do so and am close to her, the more comfortable I get because I am proving to myself over and over that there is nothing to worry about. We take care of our babies out of love and nurturing, and it’s natural to enjoy being close to your baby, but it’s nothing else, like these OCD thoughts would have us believe.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you moms-I am thankful for this site & all of you on it, and despite the struggles I have faced, I can most definitely say now that I am thankful to be a mom. I would not trade it for the world.
Thanks Kath for you supportive talk
I am a successful professional lady, I never had a depression before. After my third baby was born 10 months ago I was so happy with my wonderful baby. 40 days after I felt depressed and starting having these thoughts , firstly I was denying and then I seeked medical help as I was not sleeping at all.
I was put on SSRI which really helped me , then I decided to stop after 3 months and gradually I resumed these bad ugly thoughts.
I sought medical help and I am now for 2 months on the same medication, I am feeling slowly better but not as acheived with the first time.
I wonder why It took too long for me to be normal happy mom, sometimes I feel afraid to have these things forever , I really want to enjoy my life and my kids.
Any suggestion or advice
Again thanks much for your support
Thank you ladies, I went to my appointment yesterday and found out she was not a psychiatrist, she was a social worker and a therapist. That threw me off big time because I was hoping to to talk and be open about everything. Talking to her just seemed like this is not going to work because she was looking through a book like she was trying to educate herself while I was talking. So I felt this huge amount of disappointment. I found out the doctor I first spoke to was a psychiatrist and not sure why he told me she was a psychiatrist when she was a social worker. The army has few therapist and if they do it’s for domestic violence, substance abuse, PTSD. I’m overseas right in Germany so they can’t send me off post to see a civilian psychiatrist like they would do if I were back in the United States. So, I’m feeling very uneasy, while battling with all these thoughts and knowing it have 3weeks left before my baby’s due date. So anxiety has been kicking in full time again. It has gone from I need to confess that I may have done something wrong to my friends child, to I must have because I keep trying to remember if I did or I didn’t. Just this huge amount of guilt, like I have done something wrong because guilt happens when you have done something wrong. I try to remember that this is not me at all, that my biggest fear was becoming a child molester like my aunts husband because of all suppressed memories. So being so afraid that because I was abused I will become one as well, I felt uneasy around children. That would make me very anxious so to avoid feeling that way I avoided kids as much as possible. I tried my best to over come that fear but it’s sent me thinking I must have done something wrong because I had already had a huge break down about me wonder if I had done something wrong to my friends child. What helped me overcome that thought the first time was I had seen how he was not afraid of me, not scared of me, didn’t cry when he saw me, just showed no signs of me being a monster to him. I have no idea why this is coming back up because I thought I had defeated that thought at least but it been back and strong because I’m not getting that reassurance I felt I’m guessing. Makes me upset because we know what we do, how could I even let it get that bad. Then of course my mind thinks what if I’m suppressing the memory of doing something bad, or what if he is. So I do the big no no, surfing the internet and other peoples thought get in my head, I felt like I was only dealing with thoughts but for a week now, it seems like it is switching to urges. Like I’m fighting that now on top of everything else. Sitting next to my bull dog who everyone knows is my baby, is hard because thoughts pop up, then anxiety kicks in and I want to run away because I feel like I might do something inappropriate. I never had anxiety towards my dogs, I never felt like I had urges, they were only thoughts so I would just leave them as that.but now anxiety and thoughts have taken another turn and I’m pregnant with 3weeks left so I feel like I’m at a real low again. It’s hard to have positive thoughts with new thoughts and urges,doubting, and knowing you haven’t done anything wrong but 5mins later I feel like I may have and trying to remember what I did5mins ago.why can’t I be sure and say no I didn’t do that, that was just a thought and carry on? Is this really ocd? Or has it turned to something else? Just in a pretty tough time right now. I sure hope you ladies are not, and sorry to bring negativity.
Hi Danielle-I was also surprised to find out that the specislist I went to was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but she has been great & has experience with OCD, so I think the key is finding one with experience treating OCD. I am sorry for what you are going through-I know how it feels to be locked inside your own head & feeling like you can’t trust your own brain because it’s so full of doubt & uncertainty. OCD can also present with urges-the OCD is trying to get to you-just picture them like a wave passing over you & it’ll be gone before you know it. Then the next time you get one & start feeling anxiety just remind yourself that you got though it last time-you will get through it this time too. Pull yourself out of it through visuaIization or becoming aware of your surroundings-what do you see, smell, hear. I am sure the prego hormones are intensifying things for you as well. Just know you are not alone & you will get through this. And remember if these thoughts are causing you this much grief then you won’t act on them no matter how intense things feel-its all just fake/its just OCD. Have you read the Imp Of the Mind? Take care.
Danielle, I am no professional and I am still struggling every day with my own similar issues, but I just wanted you to know that you seem like a genuinely nice person. If you were really a monster, I very seriously doubt that you would be on this post trying to find help. I have had the same problem with not being able to find a therapist. It is very frustrating. I just wanted you to know that I believe you have OCD, and I really, really hope and pray that you find some peace.
Danielle, I believe if you are on this site, then there is no evidence that you have done anything. Your mind is playing tricks on you. It’s crazy what your mind can do. I was fine prior to the last 9 months, I didn’t have any of these thoughts what so ever enter my mind, it’s just that now I can’t seem to work out the difference between what is real and what is not. I do have realisations very now and then, but they don’t last long. You are going to get better, I hope you can find someone soon that you feel comfortable with. It really does make a difference when you can talk about what you are feeling.analysing, ruminating, criticising , and judging yourself are the worst things you can do. You end up in a bigger mess. Once you start to think clearer, you will see that you did nothing wrong. I’m seeing a psychiatrist next week, I’m actually looking forward to it this time, and I’m going to tell him everything, not hiding one little thing. I just want to get better. And you will get better to. I wish you all the best for the next few weeks. Xx
I dont even know where to begin…..I guess first of all I would like to say thank you god, I AM NOT ALONE as many of you have also realised. My intrusive ocd began after my son had surgery when he was only a month old. I remember watching an episode of SVU or criminal minds and a mother had been abusing her son for years, and the thought “what if you were capable of that” flashed through my head. That was it, I fell to pieces and my heart shattered like a pain of glass of a 40ft building. the thoughts consumed me, but I got the help I needed and was good for 2 years. then I got pregnant with baby no 2 and my hormones triggered everything all over again. How? why? you sick crazy mother! plague me everyday. There is a history of abuse in my family and my mind started scaring me into thinking it maybe a genetic trait! WHAT! seriously why does the mind insist on crippling new mums who want nothing more to love and enjoy there babies. I feel like I have been ROBBED. robbed of enjoying this pregnancy and robbed of being the mother without fear worry and guilt and just enjoying every second with my prescious child. I see me in nearlly all of your stories and experiences. I hope I can become apart of this support network, I know I will get through it, I have before and I will again, it was just so much easier when I could take medications, but I’m going to a psych tomorrow and I pray she has had experience in this field. And for anyone that is scared of taking meds because they believe they “mask” the real problem, this isnt the case. Why is it we are so quick to go to the doctors and get antibiotics for a chest infection, ventolin for asthma or treat any other organ with medication, but when it comes to our mind being un well, medication is a cop out? The truth is our mind is an organ too and like any other organ it can misfire and needs healing. I sure know mine needs healing because right now its struggle town. Thank you all for your posts and I hope I can connect with some of you to get the support I need 🙂
JG-were you able to find the CD???? Please let me know & if not we will figure out a way & can get it to you. Is there a way I can message you on here? I’m not sure. Hi Bee!!! Like I have said before this site and all you ladies on here have helped save my life. I was ready to end it all. I felt so alone when I started having these thoughts. I thought no “normal” mother would ever have these thoughts. I feel like a monster & guilty everytime I look at my son. I have no history & I was not watching a show when the thoughts started which makes me worry more about why I have them. I was on the way home from work & was going to be alone with my son & that is when the thoughts started. Welcome Jessica!! Our stories are very similar!! Like I said I have had anxiety all my life & for a period became somewhat anorexic because of my anxiety. Before my anxiety was about embarrassing myself & throwing up somewhere because when I get anxious I feel sick. So I stopped eating before I went anywhere so I would not worry about getting sick. I got down to 85 pounds & was out in the hospital. I did not like restaurants, spending the night places etc. I got through all of that & was doing great . I went though some intense schooling & some major life events but was able to keep my anxiety under control. I never had thoughts like this but I definitely obsessed about things. I hate this. The thoughts pop up in different ways & then I think deep down I must be this horrible disgusting person. Why these thoughts? I have also gone through feelings of avoiding my son so I don’t get the thoughts. But I try not to give in to OCD & let it take away all of the precious moments I have with him. We cannot let OCD take our dreams away from us!! I never even knew postpartum anxiety/OCD existed I only heard about postpartum depression. I told my OB I had a strong history of anxiety- I remember it when I was as young as 3 years old. But no one ever mentioned PPanxiety/OCD. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. It helps so very much. I wonder if I will ever be the same again. Sending thoughts & love to all of you!!!!!!
NJP, I don’t think it makes a difference that your thoughts originated in a different place. So, don’t feel like you are alone in this. I think from all of the posts that I have read on here that we all pretty mcuh have had the same experience, just slightly different in details. My husband always assures me (reassurance seeking is one of my compulsions) that everyone has weird/bad thoughts sometimes. He says that he has had the same terrible thoughts as me, but for him, the thought just affected him for a minute or two. Then, he thought, “Well, that was was weird/stupid/crazy/gross,” and moved on. In our cases, the thought gets stuck on replay and we attach a lot of meaning to it. I have read a lot about how they think OCD patients don’t have enough serotonin to just let things go like that. It makes sense, but I know it is hard to talk sense into OCD. Hang in there!!!
NJP, is the CD called Mindfulness Skills? I just wanted to check before I ordered it. Thank you so, so much!
I’m not sure if that is the name but I will find out for you!! Is it by Russ Harris?? Are there 5 tracks on it? My therapist burned it for me so I will get the info from her! And if not I will burn one for you!! 🙂
This post really hit home with me. I too suffer from these same horrible thoughts. I had been debating reading this story for over two weeks because of the trigger warning. Now that I’ve just read it, I actually feel some relief knowing that I am not the only one. I was so discussed with my thoughts that I would vomit in discust of myself. Now I know it is not me but the illness. I am looking for a doctor today, where do I start? What kind of doctor do I go see that can help me? Thank you for your help!
Noemi, you can see a therapist or a psychiatrist. Both would be in the best position to help you with intrusive thoughts. If you don’t have access to one of those you can always go see your primary care physician and ask him or her for a referral.
Welcome Noemi & Jasmin!! You are not alone. This blog is definitely a lifesaver!! Noemi I definitely recommend finding someone who has experience with OCD. That has helped me a lot! This is the worst thing I have ever been through. I definitely know how you are feeling & how incredibly scary it is. I would make myself sick from the disgust too. Know that we are here for you!!!
I am kind of new here but not new at all to OCD or ITs. I have been struggling for years, but I have always been too afraid to post on anything. I have always thought that my case would be different from everyone else, and then I would have confirmation that I am actually a monster. I have read this article maybe 30 times because it comforted me to know that I was hopefully not alone. Recently, I read NJP’s post, and I felt like she had written down my life for the past few years. (Thank you, Beth and NJP!) So, after thinking it over and reading all of the rest of the posts, I finally decided to post my story. I am really hoping that maybe someone can relate to me or help me or both, and I apologize in advance if this is just a really long post that doesn’t help you at all. So here goes: I have always been a worrier and anxiety prone, even as a child. I come from a rather dysfunctional family, which made matters worse, but I have never been abused physically or sexually. For about seven years, I dealt with an eating disorder, which my first therapist said was a symptom of my anxiety. So, after that was over, I finally got it together, moved away from my family, got married, started my job as a teacher. Things were really going well, and my husband and I decided to have a baby. I have never, ever been more excited than when I found out I was pregnant. When I found out I was having a girl, it was icing on the cake. I have literally always daydreamed of having a daughter. My pregnancy was a piece of cake, but things were a little tougher after my daughter was born. She was colicky and had acid reflux. There was a lot of crying involved. Then, I started having the anxiety pop back up. I was obsessed with my child being kidnapped or having SIDS or getting a terrible illness. I managed to make it through this with only minor breakdowns that my poor husband had to field. Then, when my daughter was twenty months old, I just happened to watch this terrible show that had a plot line about a pedophile that really bothered me. I mulled over this for a few weeks until I had my first IT when my daughter was in the bathtub. My life literally tumbled out of control. I spent the whole night and many weeks after that trying to figure out what was happening to me and dealing with multiple panic attacks. I had never had these thoughts before, and I didn’t understand what was happening. When I finally saw a therapist, she saved me from going over the edge. At that point, I had stopped eating and sleeping and was thinking about leaving to keep my child safe. Between Prozac, therapy, and constant prayer, I finally started believing that I could maybe stop worrying so much and move past that IT. I started doing better and stopped therapy because it was so expensive. I continued the Prozac until last spring, when I decided to go off of it because I finally wanted to consider having another child. This was a huge step for me, as I thought I would never be brave enough to test having another child. Then, this past summer, I read a disturbing news article, and I relapsed back to square one or possibly lower. All of the doubt, guilt, shame, self-hate came right back. I ended up laying on the couch for three days without eating or sleeping before I got back to my therapist. She was no longer in town all the time, so I was referred to a psychiatrist and a different therapist. I have since gone back on the Prozac and started back to therapy, but now I just wonder if I will ever be safe from this disease or ever be able to shake the doubt that maybe I am some kind of sick monster. I wish I could say that I had survived this, but my child is almost five, and I am still struggling. I pray that this will get better for all of us. I am really sorry for the length of this post!
sorry i mean hi jess. wow our stories are very similar I just cried. Isnt it horrible that a tv show can be the trigger for this sleeping monster “OCD” that we had lurking in our minds. And like you I wake up everyday and say “is this ever going to leave me?” but it does, and I know it does because I have beaten it before and I will do it again. But my pregnancy hormones try tell me otherwise. Hormones are a very powerful thing, especially for people like us who are proned to anxiety, they feed off this! I too thought I was some horrible monster. But I am slowly learning this is an illness, and if you read “brain lock” like some of the other mummies have mentioned you will see that it is actually a very chemical/physical ailment of the brain. But somedays its easier to accept this than others. Which is why im taking it a day at a time. I am soooo grateful I have found this forum, its already given me a sense of freedom (maybe a small one) but still its progress. I look forward to blogging with you all further 🙂
Hi mommies-seeing so many post on this topic helps normalizes what has been the most painful part of my life & continues to be a thorn in my side. Thank you for your bravery in posting. It took me a while to post as well, it even took me a long time to Google this sort of thing because I was afraid that my baby would be taken from me. And when I finally got up the courage to see a therapist, I must have taken the “Dropping the Baby & Other Scary Thoughts” book with me every time I went to therapy for at least the first three months–so that if any question arose, I could prove that this disease was documented. NJP-on your 11/29 post-yes, I can identify with the checking for sensations/sensations thing-you are not alone. When I start to feel really self-defeated, I think of this site. I wish I could meet with you all in person–we don’t currently have a support group for OCD in my town, although I really wish we did. This is helpful discussing the disease and how we feel without too many details (because I’ve found that details can be a bad thing with this disease because it starts making you worry about another facet of it & your mind runs with it). When my mind starts to wander away with another thought based on something I may hear through the media, I find it helpful to nip it in the bud by saying just because that person has done something bad does not mean I would & then build yourself back up by reminding yourself what a wonderful mother you are (because we are all wonderful mothers on here). Or say to yourself, wow that’s a strange thought–we all have strange thoughts and I’m glad I am not the type of person who would ever act on that, like the person on TV did. TV, media, stories–yuck, it’s like I want to cover my ears most of the time.
I was in a really good place for a while, but then my hormones fluctuated again and many of the horrible feelings/doubts came back with them. Although it’s not as bad as it was originally, it’s still such a nag on my soul & it threatens to rob me of my time with my precious daughter IF I let it. That’s the key, I can’t let it–I won’t let it! I pledge not to allow it to get a foothold this time. I read in a book about OCD that the beauty about having little control over your thoughts is that they have little control over you. So true.
But, God is good, and I believe that He has given me strength and stepping stones throughout this whole thing. I simply need to learn to trust Him more. Bee-taking it a day at a time is the best thing we can do. And we know that we have good days, and I have hope that eventually those good days will start multiplying into good weeks, good months, and good years for us all. I am trying to remember all of my blessings and all of the good things in my life when I get down in the valley of sadness from the OCD.
What has helped you all get through the OCD this week?
xoxo -Surviving OCD
Hey there S-OCD, you always make me feel better. I’ve been struggling big time. I feel like I don’t want to be a mum anymore, I gave no love to give anymore.
Some things that help me are telling myself that I now know that anxiety is a dirty liar, and it has a mind of its own. We can’t control the thoughts that enter our mind, but we can control the analysing and judging. Like you said everyone has bad thoughts, it’s just that we latch onto them and make them into something that they are not. I tell them, thanks for that, but I’m not paying you any attention today.
I’m really struggling to deal with the thoughts that I have had and are having,morally it’s just so wrong. I keep thinking that if I can’t get over it in nine months, what hope is there.
But, tomorrow is a new day, and we will get through it, just like the rest. Hopefully it’s a better day than today.
Talk to you soon. 😉
Hi Surviving OCD & Cass!!!
I agree with you Cass surviving OCD always makes me feel better too! And yes this site is what I hold onto to get me through the day. It reminds me I’m no alone because I feel so VERY alone when I am struggling with these thoughts & feelings. I constantly look at other people & think they would never have thoughts like this why can’t I be normal like them. Surviving OCD I completely understand about hearing things in the media-whenever I hear about the awful cases I get a surge of anxiety & feeling in the pit of my stomach & think see that could be me. I am constantly worrying what if I act on these thoughts one day? Cass I also identify with wondering if this is something I want to do. At times I question myself-am I enjoying these thoughts? Why do I keep having them? I must like them if I keep having them. Recently I have tried to take the approach of when I change a diaper or at bath time telling myself I know I’m going to have the thoughts right now & trying to accept that I’m going to have them instead of worrying & being scared of having them. And I am really trying to work on mindfulness. Did you guys see that there is a new mindfulness workbook for OCD? You can get it on amazon. I have never liked myself either & going through this makes it worse. I really wish we could all get together & talk in person that would be great. Thanks for being there ladies. It really means so much. Love you & hopefully talk soon. Xoxo
yes it would be great if we could all get together! but this will have to do I guess. what is normal? no such thing in this world though our mind likes to tell us we are anything but! I remember someone told me when I was first pregnant with bub no 1 that I would feel guilty for the rest of my life with kids. wow didnt think it would come in this awful form! Today has been ok so far, but still challenging. Im trying some exposure therapy and CBT at the moment so lets see how that goes over the next week ey!
A few things…
Well, first of all JG and Jessica are the same people: me. I feel like a real idiot because I did not mean to type in my whole name on that post. I am not really trying to hide who I am, but I was just already so nervous about posting that I was just going with initials. However, I have been completely sleep deprived for a week or two now, and I did not even realize I had typed in my whole name until some of you started addressing me by my first name. So, basically I bared my soul and then stamped my name on it, which I did not mean to do AT ALL. Secondly, I really did not mean to put my last name on there. I noticed that no one else has their last name on their post, so I really hope I didn’t break some kind of blog etiquette by doing so. I also felt that it looked shady that I was posting under two different names, so I did not mean to be confusing. Sorry! I will just be Jessica from now on!
NJP, I think I found the CD you were talking about online. Is it called Mindfulness Skills, Volume 1? I wanted to make sure before I ordered it. I really, really appreciate your help!
Now, I would just also like to say that I have struggled for years with this particular brand of OCD and for most of my life with anxiety and other OCD issues, but I have never felt like I had a support system until I found this blog. I so appreciate you all sharing your stories and caring enough to write back to me. I check the blog almost every day because it makes me feel so much better and not so alone in this world. I hope I can find some way to be helpful to all of your to pay back the incredible kindness. I think you ladies seem wonderful, and I do wish we could all meet at some point in time, though I know that is probably not practical. Thank you for being a life line!
Okay, I thought I posted this a few days ago, but now I don’t see it on here. So, I guess it is lost in cyber space. I just wanted to clear up that JG and Jessica are the same people. I accidentally typed in my whole name (including my last-so much for any anonymity) at some point when I was severely sleep-deprived. I am a little horrified that I wrote down my whole terrible story and then stamped my full name on it, but I can’t take it back now. Also, I hope it is not against blogging etiquette to put your last name on your posts. I noticed that none of you have done that before. I apologize if that is considered bad. I will just be Jessica from now on.
Also, I wanted to say that I am so thankful for this blog. I have struggled with this particular brand of OCD for several years and have had a lifetime of anxiety and other OCD symptoms, but this is the first time that I don’t feel totally alone. I also wish there was some way we could meet in person, but I realize that is not very practical. You ladies are a life line to me, and I wanted you to know that you make a big difference in my life, and I hope that one day I maybe can help someone, too.
Jess, matey, please don’t stress about the name thing. No one on here would have thought any different. We are not going to go around telling anyone. But, I can feel the worry that you would have been feeling doing so. Especially when you are not feeling great as it is. Just another stress to add to the list hey?
The mindfulness is great,, I too have Russ Harris, and I’m just downloading another one as I speak while I’m writing this. I swear mindfulness is what is getting me through this, and kinesiology. I have had a week of pretty much intrusive thought free, I can’t believe it. I’ve been cleaning the house, going down the st, doing Xmas shopping, loving spending time with my baby.
Now, today I did have a horrible thought come across me while I was changing her diaper, but I just popped it on the cloud next to my head and watched it float away, gave it no charge what so ever. Everyone has terrible thoughts, it’s just when we have obsessional thinking and severe anxiety, we latch on to them and a make them into something so big, when at the start we should have just let it be. I have been like this for nine months, and I think it is really starting to sink in. I have a great therapist who knows her mindfulness stuff. I can see now that I am going to get better, and I tell you mate, I have been very very I’ll with this. I thought I had schitzaphrenia, major depression, a discusting pervert, some crazy mental illness. But my psychiatrist has now informed me, I don’t have OCD, I have intrusive thinking with severe anxiety. I have a personality that likes to be busy and perfect, but it’s not OCD. I thought the whole time that’s what I had. But intrusive thoughts feed off anxiety, and anxiety feeds off intrusive thinking. Crazy circle. If we can not think of anything physical that we have done in the past, there is absolutely no evidence what so ever that we want to or will do these terrible things. No matter how real they feel. Thoughts are just thoughts, we have complete control over our actions.
I’m finding too if you just let these thoughts be there, and don’t give them any power, no matter how bad they are, they seem to disappear. It’s so hard to do this, but I think once you get the idea of it, it does become easier.
How sweet would it be to catch up with everyone. What a relief it would be to just blurt out everything to each other face to face, maybe when our little ones are older.
I was a bit embarrassed to with my posts a while back, my computer wasn’t showing what I had just posted so I wrote it again, not knowing it “had” gone through. All we’ll.
Look after yourself luv, and yes, this site has been a god send for me too. 🙂
Hi Ladies! I finally got a moment go jump online & catch up on the posts. Thanks for the tips on the mindfulness and the new workbook–I will check them out. So, I am noticing another common theme in our posts-many of us seem to have low self-esteem/image issues. I never “liked” myself growing up and have always been my own worst critic. Growing up, I always had to have a boyfriend/someone to “love” me because I didn’t love myself. I guess that’s part of the major lack of confidence I have and the need to be such a perfectionist at everything to compensate/control things. These traits seem to be the perfect breeding ground for OCD/Intrusive Thoughts. Still, current day, I struggle with image & confidence, but something I have come to realize lately is that my little 7 month baby girl thinks the world of me–I am her hero. And when she gives me a little two teeth grin from across the room my heart just overflows–her daddy & I–we are her everything. That is pretty profound for me, and something that I need to learn to accept and enjoy instead of question.
I too struggle with the desire to have another baby so my daughter will grow up with a sibling, but then there is the dread of this coming back as intense as it was before or worse (if it can be worse). Right now, it’s at a just manageable stage, but sometimes not even so much.
I was never abused as a child, but anyone can be affected by OCD, those with a history of being abused and those who were not–it’s just the way our brains have been wired. Something I have been doing lately to try to counteract these thoughts is picturing my brain like a computer or video game. When the bad thoughts invade I try to capture them right away, label them as false messages, and compartmentalize them by minimizing them/deleting them, just like you would close out of a folder or a window in your computer you are closing out that thought because you don’t need it. I also need to remember that I am a Child of God first and foremost and He loves his children unconditionally even to the point that He sent is Son to die on a cross from them. I am asking God for his strength to get through this because He can and will provide.
Jessica–please don’t worry another moment about your name. I am just happy you are blogging with us, and able to vent on here and share your story with us, to which I can definitely relate.
Question to you all–do you find that this OCD issue affects your relationship/intimacy with your significant other? I have found that it certainly has affected mine–my hubby has been so patient with me, but I find myself pushing him away and putting up walls that I don’t even want to build, but I still do. It’s frustrating!
Cass–You have got it covered, girl!!!! I am so so proud of you! You are definitely on the right track–I know you are. You have such a hopeful tone in your last post and that makes me happy/hopeful.
Hey S-OCD, yep, I feel like I am thinking more logically this week. I’m just hoping I don’t come crashing back down, but at least I know now that I’m not a monster, and I will just have to keep thinking that if it tries to sneak back in.
Intimacy has been a killer for me, I’m normally up for a bit of lovin whenever, but I too have pit the walls up, it’s kind of ribbed me from that romance love at the moment. I love my husband dearly, to the moon and back, but I just don’t feel that sexy anymore.
I think too we have all got very similar personalities. Body images, making sure everyone likes us, saying yes, even though we really want to say NO.
My father committed suicide when I was 2.5 yrs old, so I have been dealing with that too. That’s why I thought I was going crazy. I swear I thought I was going to end up in hospital.
But, yes, the non judging of the thoughts, no matter what you think, is really what is helping me. I seriously didn’t think I was going to get through this without drugs, but now I think I can.
So, I’m just wondering where everyone is living, I’m in Australia.
Maybe we should all put on here the things that help us get through our days, things that help these thoughts subside.
I truly believe this is some sort of growth for us, as much as it is so darn horrible, I really think we will learn how to deal with other issues in the future. Because seriously, if we can get through this and live normal lives, and beat this, what else can’t we do.
Talk soon lovelys. Xx
Mindfulness skills by Russ Harris is the right cd too. I’ve got that one. 🙂
I just had a look at the post numbers, when I first found this site this year in June, there was only about 20 posts, now there’s 96!!!!!!!!!!
Just wondering if Your reading our posts Katherine Stone, be so great to hear from you. Your amazing at starting this website up. 🙂
Hi everyone. I stumbled across this blog when I googled ‘mothers with OCD’ and I’m so thankful that I did. My son is just over 5 months old and I have suffered from the sexual / perverted intrusive thoughts since he was about 2 months old. I seem to go in & out of the OCD periods – one week I’m ok, then one day I’ll have a thought or image in my mind that will trigger it, and off we go on the OCD cycle. I am also seeing a psychologist and on Effexor 300mg.
At the moment I’m having another down period and trying so damn hard to remember they are just thoughts/images & don’t mean anything & constantly reminding myself “it’s not me – it’s just my OCD’. It’s so hard – my mind will literally try to turn everything I see / hear / do into something sexual! I once heard someone say it’s like having ‘internal Tourette’s syndrome’ inside your mind & for me that sums it up very well. Anyone else feel that way? I’m so glad I found other mums who are going through the same thing as me, it makes me feel not so alone & that there is hope. I just need to be strong & praying for courage for you all during the hard times xxx Jasmin
Sexual intrusive thoughts are a real thing, and they definitely do happen. It’s not just you, Jasmin. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. I know it’s just terrible for you. You’re doing all the right things though by reaching out to a doctor and getting treatment. I know it’s hard to believe but you have to make sure to listen to what your therapist tells you about the intrusive thoughts — they aren’t real and you’re not a bad person for having them. It’s just part of an illness. One that you are being treated for and will recover from. Keep the lines of communication open with your doctors and make sure they know whether your symptoms are getting better over time or not. If not, they might try you on a different medication. Hang in there mama!
I definitely feel like it is an internal Tourette’s syndrome. I really thought I was going crazy when all of this started. I felt like everything turned into something sexual also. I have always loved kids & being around them & all of a sudden I was anxious around kids & worst of all anxious being around my own son. It devasted me & at times still does. I also tried & try to tell myself it’s just my OCD & in the beginning that was impossible. It has gotten easier. Some days I feel stronger than others & I’m definitely better then I was in the beginning. I could not eat, sleep, etc. I could not enjoy anything. Now I can enjoy things & especially enjoy my son more. I still struggle but am stronger then I was in the beginning. I have been doing exposure/response prevention & mindfulness work. And this blog has been a lifesaver. You are not alone!!!!!!!!! I felt more alone then ever when all of this began & this site & my exposure/response therapist literally saved me. What type of therapy have you been doing?
Now, I would like to apologize for sending the same post twice. I didn’t think the first had gone through, but obviously, it did. I am not so great at this blogging thing! Also, you ladies seem to have it so much more together than me…I am wondering why I am still struggling so badly and my daughter is almost FIVE! I don’t understand what I am doing wrong or maybe I have just turned into a bad person? Every day I wake up hoping this will be the day that I will snap out of it and start healing, but it never seems to happen. Maybe I need a medicine change, but I am so afraid of ending up in the fetal position on the couch again. Maybe I need to pray or sleep more or eat better. I just don’t really know where to turn. Does anyone think it might be strange that my anxiety/OCD has gone on for so long?
Also, yes, major intimacy issues with my husband as well. There basically is no intimacy. I feel terrible about this, and it just adds to my guilt. I have literally put up walls between us, as I usually sleep on the couch now, instead of chancing an “encounter” in the bedroom.
I am ordering the Russ Harris CD ASAP. Any other help or tips? I hate to say this, but I don’t feel like I get much advice from my therapist. Help please! Thank you again!
Oh Jess, I’m so feeling for you. I’m telling you now, I’m not recovered, I’m far from it. I think I will deal with this for the rest of my life, but I’m going to make it so it doesn’t effect my life anymore. I want to be able to help other mums get through this, reassure them that it will be ok. Because when your in the thick of it, you don’t want to go on anymore,(I had a few of those days). Def get hold of Russ Harris, and try and do it whenever you can. You have to keep telling yourself, that you are a gd person, you are a teacher, these thoughts were never there until that day u had one. And you haven’t acted on these thoughts for 3 years, that is def saying something. Maybe a therapist change is what you need, if your not getting any results or feeling a bit of relief. Have you ever tried kinesiology. I have found that has helped me so much. Really , really try your hardest to just let those thoughts be there. It’s a horrible thing to do, but if you stop fighting them, they have no power. Just thank them for coming, and let them be there. Thoughts can’t hurt you. It’s not the actual thought that makes you feel anxious, it’s how you judge your thoughts, that’s what makes you feel like a monster. I still struggle everyday, even though this last week has been a blessing for me, the thoughts are still there, but that’s what I’m letting them do, be there. Not judging, not trying to analyse, work out why am I having these thoughts, does this mean this, or does it mean that, looking back into my past trying to find evidence, its just such a waste of energy and time. I’d live on my phone looking up anything about intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression it was endless, and it got me no where. But I am having a gd run at the moment, ask me three weeks ago and I was a mess. But I think that’s just how this works. So when your feeling good, really practice the mindfulness, so your logic side kicks in, so when the bad days come, you can be half prepared and deal with it. I think the worst thing you can do is look into your past, because even though you would have never ever had these thoughts and never had done anything wrong, you will find something, it’s amazing how you can change your past to resemble what is going on in your life right now. I was the same, I was absolutely beside myself when I found out we were pregnant, first pop, I’d been doing the ovulation diary and everything, but I had a terrible pregnancy, hyperemesis, couldn’t even swallow my on saliva, was in hospital on the drip nearly every week, only enjoy the last two months really. And I was the same, obsessed about my baby dying in her sleep, didn’t want anyone near her incase they had the flu or gastro or some king of virus. But then I was fine, and this all hit me about three months after the birth. By a stupid dream. Crazy hey?, but that’s anxiety for ya.
So please tell yourself that you are a gd person, and you can change, you don’t need to believe what your mind is telling you, even though you have been dealing with this for a long time, you can change. Your body is telling you that you are a gd person, that’s why you have anxiety over your thinking, because morally it’s not who you are or who you want to be.
Sending you love Jess. Xx
Thank you, Cass! There is a part of me that knows one day this will get better, but the anxiety has gone on for so long that sometimes it is hard to see that “one day”. I pretty much keep on a brave face all day for my students and especially my daughter, but I feel broken inside. You ladies are giving me hope, though. I want to be able to enjoy life again, and you make me think I will be able to. Thank you so much!
Jessica I know how you feel I feel like I am going to be like this forever!! I definitely think a new therapist & the mindfulness will help!! One of the therapists I saw did not have a lot of experience with OCD & it made it so much more difficult!! Cass I so happy you are feeling better!!!!! Good for you!! And I am so sorry about your dad that is really tough. I am working on accepting the thoughts also which I thought I would never be able to do. I never want to accept these horrible disgusting thoughts. But I am working on it & am trying to expect them to come during a diaper change or bath. Some days it is easier than others. I hope I get good at it. But it really makes me upset that I may have these forever. Surviving OCD I completely agree that it sounds like we are all the same with our confidence & trying to please everyone. I have never loved myself or had much confidence. I think a lot of it was because I had anxiety problems & always felt abnormal & lesser of a person because of it. This has also definitely affected intimacy with my husband. I have wanted nothing to do with anything sexual. And I was someone who loved sex. I told my mom when this started that it was ruining 2 things- the love of being with my son & my love of being intimate with my husband. Let’ s be real though when this started it ruined my whole life to where I wanted to end it. I feel too if we can beat this we can bet anything. I have always wanted to be a mom!! My therapist asked me do you want OCD to rob you of your dream of having another child?? I don’t. I’m scared but feel I would have the tools I need. And I would go on meds right after having the baby if I decide to not take them while pregnant. But yes I never want to go back to the very dark place I was in.
NJP, I thought I was going really good, even though I was still having thoughts over the past week, I could handle them, I was sleeping better, eating better, exercising. Then yesterday I had a horrible thought again, and I spiralled down that dark slope, my brain wouldn’t switch off at all and last night was just terrible. I still went to work today, feeling anxious and exhausted, but I’m just so worried that I am this type of person. I work with women, and I was anxious today about ding a treatment, it was horrible. Had all these thoughts “wat if”, it’s just crazy. I love my job, and now it’s coming there with me.
Is anyone else having this, being good for a few days, then crumbling down. Thinking you have got a hold of it, but you don’t.
The one thing that keeps persisting with me, is that I must want to do this to my baby if I can’t get over it, why can’t I just say to myself, ” no, I don’t want to do that, how discusting” and just get on with my day. I feel like I have permanently change my brain chemistry to this completely different person. Ahhhhh, here I am saying all this positive stuff a few days ago on here,and look at me now, a mess again. 🙁
S-OCD, I think I’m going to go get my thyroid checked. And my hormones.
I know that I was definitely not like this before my daughter, so I do know that it’s just not right, but being like this for so long now, I don’t know what it’s like to be myself again, even when I am thinking logically, and feeling better, I’m still not myself.
It is very worrying that I won’t be me again, just like all you ladies.
I will keep up with the mindfulness and really try to make myself believe that I am a good person, and I don’t want to do these things, and I will get better.
I feel so silly after writing all that stuff and now here I am a mess again. Sorry.
Also, just wondering, when your away from your house, children, husband, do you start to think logically, and think to yourself, what the hell was I thinking, and start to feel a little better, but then when you get home, it all starts to sink back in again. That’s what’s happening with me.
Talk soon. 😉
Cass do not apologize!!!!!!!! I have definitely experienced the same thing with having some good days, thinking I’m turning a corner & then BAM I’m back to the dark place. I also have the same thoughts as you-if I have been having these thoughts for this long it must mean it is something I want to do & I am the horrible person I think I am. I fear I will be like this forever. I won’t be me again. I have been seeing more of myself lately but still struggle with the thoughts. I also have noticed that I am able to have fun again which is something I could not do when all of this started. Some weeks I feel really stro & then the next week I am cpmpletely struggling. I also know how you feel about work. In the beginning although I was a complete mess I still went to work. I did have the thoughts follow me to work. But I really can say that working helped me a lot. It gave me a bit of a break from the thoughts. I used to be so anxious around my son at that time & sometimes being at work made me feel “normal”. It’s a good sign that you are having good days!!! It means you are starting to heal!!! The good days will become more frequent & the not so good days won’t come as often!! Just think back to those days-look how strong you are & it is proof that you can do it!!!
Hi ladies! How is everyone fairing so far this week? Me-up & down, but trying to remain positive all the same. I think this thing has so much to do with perspective. Like you said NJP, am I going to let this thing rule my life and ruin my joy because everything is not so perfect due to this disease? Certainly not!
Work has most definitely helped me as well. I think it’s all about keeping our OCD wired brains busy/distracted so it does not have a chance to play tricks on us. And ladies-I know just what you mean about the OCD following you to work-I firmly had to fight it off and then my brain gets so busy at work that mostly I can forget about it there. Cass–I also know exactly what you mean when you are away from your little one thinking that yeah, this issue is something I can handle, but then sometimes when you are back around you little one, all those terrible emotions tend to creep back in making things feel impossible again. Thank you for your comments on intimacy with your spouse–I am not alone there either, huh. I think it just makes things all the worse. My husband and I have been trying to do the Love Dare book for so long–I just need to force myself to start back up again with that book.
This week, I am trying to remind myself that along with the four step process, that I have already been here/done that in terms of thinking about these things, worrying about them, and wondering about them, so there is no need to test/prove that over and over again. I need to just let them go. I have been there/done that and am free to just be myself. Also, when I get uncomfortable holding my little one, I just tell myself that I am not going to play this game anymore and I think about something else. I think repetition is key in retraining our brains.
Ladies-we are just having these thoughts for a long time because we have OCD–it has nothing to do with us at the core. The evidence will overwhelmingly show that we are good mothers each & every time, now we must just believe this to get our brains back in gear. And NJP you are exactly right–we must think about how far we have come–even small steps are still steps all the same on the road to recovery. This is what I do when I start to despair about my current situation-look back on where I have come from and be thankful for where I am headed. S-OCD
Hello ladies, just want to say that it gives me such peace to read your posts. Especially on the dark days, many ups and downs these past couple of weeks. I have found myself not really having so much intrusive thoughts or should I say pay to much attention to them. I acknowledge them and let them sit there then they eventually go away. What I am having a problem with now is the feeling of no hope. Like I am just there floating around with no purpose. Very depressing, I just want to be the way I was before, full of life and laughter. I feel like I will never get back there. Can anyone relate?
I wish you guys a Merry Christmas!
I know exactly how you feel. I also wonder if I will ever be myself again. I wonder if the people who commented on this article in 2011 are still struggling & how their life going now??
I really look forward to read all of your posts ladies!! I have been having ups & downs too. Some days I feel so strong & don’t let the thoughts bother me. But then I have a day when the thoughts scare me & make me doubt everything. I know it does not help to keep asking myself why am I still having thoughts, am I capable of doing this one day? Why am I questioning it if it is not something I want to do. I don’t question murdering someone so why do I question this? It’s torture.
Having all of you as a support system helps so much!! We can do this ladies!! Look how strong we have been this whole time. When I am having a bad day I just think of all of you & that I’m not alone. It helps more than anyone could ever know!! Xoxo
Hi firends! I am so glad every day that I have this blog. I never realized how much you could relate to people you never met! NJP, I was thinking of what you wrote, “Do you want your OCD to rob you of your dream of having another baby?” I had always wanted to have a big family. I now know that is not a possibility for my family financially or time-wise. However, last spring, I had my heart set on having a second baby. I was doing that much better. Then, BAM, read a news article, had some ITs, back to square one. I am not exaggerating when I say that nearly every one of my friends has recently given birth or is pregnant right now. I am happy for them, but I am so envious and sad, too. Why me? Why did this happen to me? All of these happy, healthy moms around me, and then there’s me…
Noemi, yes, I know exactly how you feel. My anxiety has a quick and easy way of flipping over to depression. I am in the depression stage currently, and I can definitely relate to feeling hopeless. I will take care of my daughter and husband no matter what. Lunches get made, laundry gets washed, etc., but I do not have the will to do anything fun or even beneficial for myself. Well, I am ready for my Christmas break and some sleep and hopefully a better perspective. By the way, the new article “Why Before Wasn’t Better Than After” is quite inspirational and has helped me get through this night. You ladies may like it also. As always, thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and answer me!
Cass, how are you doing??? Jessica you are so right when you say you never realized how much you can relate to people you have never met!! I feel the same way.
I completely understand how you feel envious toward pregnant people or those who have just had a baby. I want another baby more than anything. I want my son to have a sibling. But I’m also very scared. My therapist said that I should not let OCD make decisions for me. She is right! But it is so hard & I do not want to go back to that dark place. I also do not have a lot of time I am almost 38. I feel that if I decide to have another child I will be more aware & prepared after going through this. I had no idea PPA/PPOCD existed-I had only heard about postpartum depression.
Like I have said before I have had anxiety all my life but never thoughts like this. I feel my whole life has been a struggle. I feel I really missed out on a lot of things growing up. So I really relate to the questioning why me?? I have wanted to be a mom for my whole life & it is one of the best things I have ever done despite my struggles. So I constantly ask why me? Why now? Why can’t anything in my life not be a constant battle & struggle. I am always looking at other moms wondering why can’t I be “normal” like them.
It’s really hard not to beat yourself up going through this. I have beat myself up all my life. I have never felt “normal” because of my anxiety & when these thoughts started it was 100X worse.
All I know is I am so thankful to all of you & this site. Definitely a life saver.
Hey there, I’m still here, just.. Today has been a pretty ordinary day, just bawled my eyes to my husband…telling him I can’t handle this anymore, I start to feel ok then I just spiral out of control with these horrible thoughts. I actually thought I was seriously getting on top of it. I’m just so anxious around my daughter it’s killing me. I just want to enjoy her like I used to, be normal like I used to, happy and wanting to do things and enjoy doing things, not doing them because I have to, or pretending I like doing them. I want to love my baby like a mother should love her baby, not thinking these terrible things. I’m having trouble just cuddling her, it doesn’t come naturally to me anymore. I’m seeing my therapist again tommz. My kinesiologist suggests that since all of this has happened I’m getting confused with love and lust. Deep down I’m feeling true love for my baby, but my mind is telling me ” uh uh, hang on, your not allowed to be holding your baby like that….etc”. Because of the OCD. It’s so heart breaking, and I seriously can’t see myself getting better anymore or for that matter forgetting about any of this, it is always going to be there, I know I said earlier that I will try my hardest to give it no energy what so ever and just let it be there, but I don’t know how much more I can take. Girls, I’m so sorry, I’m having a real downer. I really do feel like a monster today.
Is anyone having trouble sleeping, and waking with nightmares, or crazy dreams. I seem to be having these quite a lot. I think it’s because that’s how all this crazy stuff started.
Arrrrg, I just don’t know what else I can do, because I can’t take meds.
I have just got my period today, so I don’t know if that could have something to do with why I’m feeling so low right now.
Please don’t get me wrong, I have been having gd days, where I think what have I been thinking, but when I’m like I am today, I just see no hope what so ever.
I just had to have a big off load, sorry you have to read this. I would love to give all you girls a big cuddle coz you know exactly how I’m feeling. Just can’t tell my husband all the details, he wouldn’t understand.
I try to keep telling myself that I will learn something from this, that it is my path in life, and I will get through it, but my gosh, it’s very hard to think that positively when your so low.
And I do wish everyone a merry Christmas. Hopefully we will all enjoy our day with family and friends and especially our little ones.
What a negative response I am tonight. 🙁 hopefully better next time. Xx
NJP, what you wrote about how you never question yourself about murdering someone, so why are you questioning this, this really stood out to me. I don’t get it either, maybe it’s because we don’t want anything to happen to our children. But it’s very hard to see that when your the thinking these things. But a very good point. 🙂
NJP, you are good at putting words to the rambling thoughts in my head. I have often wondered why my ITs center around this instead of something else equally scary, such as becoming a murderer. I once read that OCD will prey on the thing that bothers you the most. Well, I have to admit that rapists, molesters, etc. have always seemed like the most truly horrible people to me, even somehow worse than murderers. Also, I watched a show about new OCD research that said that researchers were thinking that OCD is rooted in things that disgust you and that people with OCD are more strongly affected by these things. I don’t know if all of that is right, but it makes some sense…
Cass, I bet it has a lot to do with starting your period. I have been victim to the ups and downs for years, too. I feel like I will never get out of this hole sometimes. I wish we could all meet for regular group therapy or something.
I really wish we could meet for group therapy too!!! That would be so great!! Thanks Jessica but I feel as though I ramble! You do not ramble at all. I agree with your comment that molesters are worse than murderers. I know it does not help but I always question why these thoughts? Where did this come from.
Cass we are here for you & I definitely think it has to do with your period! Horomones really are so powerful. I know how you feel about getting better-I feel that way a lot. I could never forget this so will I be like this forever?!! Just think about the good week you had!!!!!! You can do it & did do it!!! I know what you mean about snuggling. I just feel these awful thoughts always ruin a good thing. I love my son more than anything & I know you love your daughter more than anything. I feel like a monster too & feel guilty everytime I look at him. It’s so awful & I really do not know why, why me? I just don’t understand. My son truly is a blessing & such a joy to be around. He has always been such a good baby so then I ask why I am the way I am? I did not have a difficult baby he has always been so good which makes me feel even more guilt that I am like this. I feel selfish. Thinking of all of you xoxo
I got absolutely no sleep last night, had to call in sick today. I look like death and feel it too. My brain just won’t switch off. It’s on autopilot trying to work out this mess.
I’m so not a bad person, and I know this, I’m the total opposite, I can’t even stand on snails.
this time last year I would never have had these types of thoughts ever. It feels so real that’s what’s scaring me. This is my main struggle.. I see my therapist this afternoon, see what she thinks.
I had an idea too, we could be friends on Facebook… Just an idea though. Totally understand if that’s getting to personal, but I’d be keen anyways, kinda like having a pen pal, but electronically. 😉
I now feel like I have crumbled and you all have it together.
I just so appreciate that I found this site, because it’s such a good way to get all this stuff off your chest when you can’t see your therapist and You bunch of girls are real chicks, and I thank you for listening, and being there when I can’t tell anyone else and giving me advice.
I’ll let you know how my day goes. First time I’ve called in sick, so feeling even more guilty bout that. 🙁
Xxxxxxxxxxxxx. Enjoy your day lovelys.
Cass how did your appointment go?? I would love to connect on Facebook!
Do not feel you are alone!! I have good days & not so good days. I still struggle. I still have the awful thoughts & doubts. I’m trying to learn to accept the thoughts instead of resisting them but it’s hard. And I’m trying to work on the mindfulness but I need to practice more. And I constantly wonder & fear I will be like this forever. Any time I’m around kids it triggers it which makes me so upset because I have always loved kids. But we are strong & we can get through this!!!!!! Do not feel guilty about work you need to take care of yourself! Talk soon xoxo
I am so grateful for this site and for all you ladies and your stories and support. I truly thought I was the only one who was dealing with something like this. Oh gosh, the guilt, right?! My brain has always loved to chew on things so that wasn’t entirely new but something about my little boy, my baby…why?! I truly hate it. It is terrible and causes my brain to swirl…never getting anywhere. I just want to shut it off and happily move on (if only it where that easy). I’ve actually been working hard to attack these thoughts and it seems that it was getting worse at first but now MAYBE getting better (finger crossed). Cass, I know how you feel with the brain on auto pilot. Hang in there girl! We so badly want to fix this and get rid of these thoughts forever but the more we fix — the more the brain tricks us or makes us feel worse. Sometimes I almost forget what it would be like not to have intrusive thoughts spinning around my head. Yep, frustrating. You are brave to share on here. You ladies have provided me so so much relief…we live in a scary world so maybe our protection goes overdrive?
Appointment went well. Have had no sleep, head feels like there is a brick in it. We talked about sexuality, I think this is the main prob with me. I just feel so wrong in that department now, when I never used to. I love sex. But all this has really effected me. So yep, I really just have to stop ruminating. This is my big downfall, I constantly ruminate. So that’s where this mindfulness is the key. How exhausted is everyone. I’m just so exhausted about thinking about my thinking, trying to let my thinking be there, not analyse my thinking. Unjust want to chop my head off. But all this thinking is getting me NO where. No matter how disgusting my thoughts are, I’m guna let them be there.
So I can give my email if you like, I don’t mind, and who ever wants to be friends can email me their details and I can befriend you on Facebook. Totally up to You guys.
Praying for sleep tonight. Talk soon. Xxxx
Cass I really hope you are able to get some sleep tonight!!! And I’m glad your appointment went well. I also used to love sex & all of this has definitely affected that area of my life also. When this all started I completely avoided any type of intimacy. Now I try not to avoid it but it is still hard. I need to let the thoughts just be there also but that is hard when I hate them so much. Some days it is easier for me to do that then other days. I just constantly wonder if it will ever go away. I don’t see how it ever could. 🙁 I would love to get your e-mail!
Sorry I have been gone for a few days. I had a crazy work week and then got a stomach bug. I can definitely relate to feeling like this will never go away. I ask myself every day how one scene from one show could cause my life to go downhill so completely. I keep trying to find the good in all this, the silver lining, but I can’t figure it out. I understand what you both say about snuggling. I nursed for an entire year, which is a very intimate thing. It never bothered me, and now I have to check myself for “appropriate” reactions when my little girl hugs me, which I just hate, hate, hate. I have tried very hard to make sure that she never knows this, but sometimes I think she can see my fear. As for the sexuality part, it has definitely been a problem for my marriage. I have to admit that I have never been a really sexual person, but pretty much, my husband and I have stopped having sex due to my fears. My husband has been super understanding, but I feel a lot of guilt about this. I just want to be normal again!!! I want to go back in time to three years ago and never watch that show and never have that stupid thought and never have this happen. Okay, I have gone on for too long now. I hope you ladies are feeling better! I would love to connect on Facebook, email, any way that you feel comfortable. I am so happy to have this support!
It’s currently 4 in the morning and I am feeling so relieved to have found this blog! To me this is a lifesaver. I am currently pregnant and also have a 4 year old. my world has suddenly changed as I started getting upsetting and IT thought. it’s only been a couple of days but I haven’t been able to stop worrying or feeling guilty about this. I first started feeling anxious a couple of weeks ago when I started worrying that my son might die and how I would survive especially now been pregnant. before been pregnant I always thought if something happened to my son I would kill myself as I would not survive without him. Recently I started following the news a lot and seen abductions and child molest. I started panicking and thinking someone can hurt my children- who can I trust. I starting thinking I needed to be cautious of my family, friends and my husband. I haven no history of sexual abuse but psychical abuse by my mother. I then read an article that a mother tortured and did horrific things to her child, disgusted I kept reading. then I thought what if I hurt my children , what if Ido something to cause them pain. What if they need protection from me. I started getting intrusive thoughts in every nature possible. The guilt that came afterwards was heartbreaking. I been getting panic attacks and cry whenever I think of my sons face. I had severe PND with my son and left it to long. I feel like I have failed my son and my unborn child- what kind of mother am I. I have tried talking to my husband but even though his loving and supportive . I need further help. Tomorrow am going to see my doctor. It hope the guilt goes away and I can be happy again.
Stephany, I’m so glad you’re reaching out for help from your doctor. The symptoms you describe could certainly be those of postpartum anxiety. Postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression are temporary and treatable with professional help. You don’t have to continue to live with panic and constant fears that interfere with your daily life. I hope your doctor is knowledgable and helpful to you. Let us know!
So, the last two days have been ok, still crazy thoughts, but I have gotten through without feeling like I have to cry or feel horrible. The whole sleep thing isn’t really happening though. Shocking insomnia.
Something I have been telling myself, is NO I don’t want to do that, that’s definitely not the type of person I am, even if I don’t believe it I have just been telling myself that. I’ve also been doing some reading, and if we can change our brain chemistry to think these horrible things, there is evidence that we can change it back. Since we never thought these things before our incidences, we have trained our brain to fear all of these situations with our children which we never had, so I’m hoping we can change it back. Well that’s my theory this week anyways. It’ll be different next week no doubt.
My period has got a huge impact on all of this for sure, the few days before this week, my gosh I was an absolute mess, even my husband says so too. Jess, your lucky to have such a great husband, my man is amazing. He has been my rock through all this, he is so understanding, and I think this really does help. I had kinesiology again on Thursday and we went through a lot of the stuff that I am fearing about my daughter and I seriously do feel so much better after the treatment. It’s kind of like therapy but not if that makes sense.
I really do believe girls, that we are so protective of our babies, even if it doesn’t feel like it, that we will even protect them from ourselves. Even though we are not going to do anything to them. What a crazy journey we are on girls, I’m with you Jess, mine started from a nap during the day, I wish I could go back to that day and wash the floors or something else other than have a nap. You will get better Hun, we can’t be like this forever, surely not. I’m coming up to a year, I know I am better than what I was, but I just keep belting myself up for thinking these things. Hey, check your Facebook too. 🙂 night girls. Love to you. Enjoy your Christmas, I will be thinking of you all. Xxxxxx
I have been checking my Facebook? How are you doing? You are so strong you am do this!!
So ladies I think I may be pregnant. I always have wanted another baby but after what I have been going through I was not sure. I am shocked, excited, & scared. I say shocked because I had trouble getting pregnant the first time & I had take a medicine to make me ovulate. I was on birth control & thought I had another pack of pills but I didn’t. I am also worried because I was taking an antidepressant & Xanax which are not good to take while pregnant. I have stopped taking them & know it is not good to stop cold turkey. I am happy & thankful I was able to get pregnant on my own. I really was not going to start trying for about 6 months to make sure I was stronger. And I really hope everything is ok because I was taking the meds. It is really early I think I am only a month along. I really do not want to go back to the place I was. Happy holidays to all of you! Xoxo
I hope you ladies are having a great Christmas. I’ve eaten lots of food and been very spoilt with gifts.
But, I’m still no good, I’m sick of this up and down, so I’m here for a bit of advice about the medication. I seriously think I need to try again, my brain is just not coping. I’m not sleeping, and can’t concentrate, my day is just a blur because I’m so I my head. I can’t even relax. I’m feeling so distant from my little girl.
I do react to the medication, it makes me more anxious, and my head flips out, racing thoughts. But I was wondering if anyone else has had these side effects at the start and then they start to even out. I couldn’t even leave the house last time I was on them, made me so anxious. And now that I am back at work, I can’t afford to take time off work. And advice would be so appreciated. I really need help. Just can’t switch this brain off.
Sorry to burden Christmas Day. Hope you are all well. Xxxx
You are not a burden Cass!!!!!! I have been having a couple tough days too. I am very sensitive to meds also & when I started my meds I began at 10 mg & slowly increased them 10 mg every 2 weeks. Maybe that would work better for you?? Before that I was given 25 mg of Zoloft & did not react well to it. I could not sleep & I felt dead inside with no appetite. So for me a very gradual increase seems to work best. Maybe it will work for you too!! Xoxo
NJP, thank you so much matey. I’m shit scared to go on them again. I tried Prozac at 2.5mg and increased every 4 days till I was at 20mg over two weeks, that was still too much for me, so maybe if I start really slow it might work for me too. Do u think it is helping you though? that’s my biggest worry,, I’ll go on them and I will feel worse. Been a bit traumatised by my last two experiences. I have been on Luvox before, and I was on that for 6 months, so I know I can handle them, I thinks it’s because I’m just so sensitive now. Anyways, I’ll see how I go, bit hard at moment as everyone is on holidays, but I will try and get in to my doc, I also told my husband everything tonight, couldn’t believe I did it, but he was so supportive. He just wants the old me back, he hates seeing me so miserable. This is the first Christmas ever that I have not enjoyed. Broke my heart. Thanks again matey. Means a lot to hear back from you. Antidepressants are such a hard call!! Big decision really. Xxx talk soon
Also NJP, just wanted to see if the anxiety and insomnia subsided after a while when you started the meds. I’ll hang out if they do subside. 🙂
I believe the meds helped me. I mean I was & am still having the thoughts which I hate but it seemed I was better able to handle them better. That along with exposure/response therapy. Along with my antidepressant I was taking .25 mg of Xanax at night so I slept well. When I tried Zoloft I had insomnia & that with the other side effects was too much for me. I was only in it for a couple days so I did not give it a lot of time but I felt so awful I knew it probably was not right for me. I went back on the antidepressant I took when I was 19 & my anxiety was bad. Not thoughts like this ever-back then I did not want to leave the house.
So I just found out I am pregnant. It was a complete surprise because I had trouble getting pregnant the first time & had to take fertility meds. So I am surprised, excited, & scared all wrapped up in one. I wanted another baby but after what I went through I was not sure. I was maybe going to try in 6 months or so when I was stronger. I still struggle. And I had to stop taking my meds because they are not safe to take when pregnant. I hope everything is ok with the baby because I was taking them & I am also scared of how I will feel not taking them. I know that I definitely want to get back on medication. I do not want to go back to the place I was.
Cass, I had a really bad first experience with meds. They put me on Wellbutrin, and a week or two in, I felt like I would crawl out of my skin with anxiety. When I met my first therapist, she quickly recommended a change to Prozac. It has been much, much better. I take quite a bit-60 mg-and may need to go higher with it I was told. I went off of it for a few months, but I had a bad relapse. Both times they have started me on it, it took at least a month to “kick in”. I still have issues with insomnia, though. Could they give you anything to help out during the transition period? I have taken small doses of Ativan to help me sleep and calm me down. The doctors say it is not a good one to take long term but can help get over the roughest anxiety. Maybe that would help? Sorry, I don’t know much about meds, except the ones I have tried. Feel better!!!
Also, Merry Christmas, ladies! Let’s hope that next Christmas will be filled with less intrusive thoughts and anxiety. I know we can get there! Thank you for your support and know that you are all in my prayers!
Hi Ladies-Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of you wonderful mamas! Sorry I have not been posting lately, I’ve had so very little time & energy left these days. Naomi–regarding your post a couple weeks back, I can relate to the way you are feeling–sometimes when I am not anxious & experiencing the thoughts, I go to feeling kinda numb and down because I have this problem. I think it’s just another face of the OCD/ITs/Anxiety/Depression. Have you ever read the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren or Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer? You may find those reads helpful; I have in terms of purpose and feeling hopeless.
Although today was a good day, I have been struggling lately. A while back, I had like a great 3 weeks in a row–it was like I was FINALLY beating this thing. Now, I am just day to day–some good, some not so good. I have found that my period/hormones, diet (like having too much sugar), stress levels, and lack of sleep have a HUGE impact on how these thoughts attack and the way my brain processes them. My baby girl is 8 months old now and is going through a major sleep regression period, which has really taken its toll on me, so I have been running on adrenaline lately & it makes everything so much more intense for me.
So my most recent tactics to deal with this thing, which has helped over the past day and a half, is to tell myself that anything that comes into my mind that is not in agreement with my core (anything that makes me uncomfortable) is just OCD, I ask God for strength/help, and I force myself to think about something else (anything else). I am done trying to understand these thoughts, over-interpret them & feel guilty about them. I believe that God is bigger than my problems, I just need to learn how to better hand over my problems to Him & trust that He will come through for me because He loves His children.
Cass–I also believe that we are very protective of our babies. I am very cautious when we are out in public (which is not a bad thing), but I think I am down right paranoid about other people trying to hurt my baby. I am so glad you were able to share everything with your hubby. My hubby has been incredible about this whole thing, but at the same time I can see that his patience runs thin with me sometimes because he just does not know how to “fix” me and he does not really understand how dreadful this is/what I face every day.
Cass-I have never taken OCD meds, but have been seriously considering them lately.
Jessica-you are so right! This has to get better & will. Wishing everyone a better & brighter new year!
Hello ladies!! Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I have some news….I found out I am pregnant. It is a huge gift & blessing. We were not trying or expecting this. I had to take fertility meds to get pregnant with my first so we thought there was no way I could get pregnant on my own. I am thankful but very scared. I had to go off my meds & am so scared of having a relapse. I have still been struggling. I wanted to have another baby but after going through all of this I was not sure. I was just starting to feel I was getting back to myself & wanted to wait about 6 more months so I could keep getting stronger. I do not want to sound unappreciative because I am so very thankful but also scared.
Hi NJP! Congratulations!! Girl you have got this! You are so strong & have gotten to a place where you can provide others encouragement & that’s a good thing. You, not the med, have gotten you to the place you are at today, and I believe you are just going to keep getting better from here. Who knows, the hormones may work in your favor this time! Way I see it, this is all just a mindgame, well, now you have the strategies to block every one of OCD’s moves no matter how hard the game may get. You got this, mama. You are an overcomer. You have the upperhand because of your knowledge & strength. God bless you, your family, & the little miracle growing inside you now. I am here for you if you need anything. -Surviving OCD
Awwwwww Surviving OCD I cannot thank you enough for your kind words!! You really always know how to make me feel better. You have helped me so very much. You always have such good insight & tips that I try to use all the time. I hope you are right that I will keep getting better. Some days I still really feel that I struggle 🙁 wonder if it will always be this way. Then I find myself wishing I was “normal” and analyzing why I have ever had these thoughts. How is everything with you? Thank you again so much it really means the world to me 🙂
NJP- congrats! That is amazing! I know you are scared but we are all here for you. You can I this girl!!
NJP……….that is such great news Hun, I am so happy for both you and your hubby. I reckon you will be fine, and you know what, it might actually take your mind off everything else that is going on. Your posts lately really do show that you have gotten so much stronger, I just can’t wait till I’m strong enough like you to want another baby. I do so badly but with my head at the moment, I think I’ll wait a bit. You will have to keep us posted on how your going. 🙂
So I’ve started meds today girls, absolutely shitting myself, only taken a quarter of a tablet. I’m praying that this will help me get out of this black hole, I’ve really been quite bad. But, I’ve got it out there now, no sugar coating anything. I’ve started to think that if I really was a monster I wouldn’t be telling people. So here I go. I’ll let you know S-OCD how I’m travelling on them and if they seem to help. Me and my husband came to the conclusion that I have been going on way too long now, I’m exhausted and just not strong enough anymore to do this on my own. I reckon I’ve tried every natural therapy possible, thousands of dollars later I’m still no good,I’ve been having terrible thoughts and feelings that I don’t love my little girl and that I just don’t want to be a mum anymore, so that’s not good. I need to go to plan B, which is medication. So I have a plan now.
Thank you so much ladies I really appreciate it!! It really helps knowing I have all of you there for me!! Today I was feeling better. The last couple of days I was pretty anxious & I think it has to do with coming off the meds. I am really afraid of a relapse. I also feel I was not completely recovered. I still struggle with the thoughts. Some days are worse then others. And still when I read things I question eveyyhing. Like I have read so many times that if you fear the thoughts it is a good thing. And then I sit & question well I know I fear them but what if I don’t? What if I am really sick inside & know it’s wrong & that is why I am so tormented? Deep down inside is this really who I am? Does anyone else ever feel this way? Do you ever feel you are fighting urges? Are urges a part of OCD too? I really wish I was just normal. I do not want to be like this with my next baby. I was planning on waiting until I got stronger but I really am appreciative that this miracle happened. I just hope I am strong enough & that everything is ok. I am pretty early so hopefully it goes well.
Noemi I definitely do not blame you at all for the language. I feel the exact same way. It truly is torture & you feel why the f*** me. Why now. We are here for you & will get through this together. It really helps knowing you are not alone. When all of this started I felt more alone than I ever had in my life.
Cass I am so happy you started meds. What are you taking if you don’t mind me asking? I know you love your baby girl so much & are an absolutely wonderful mother!!! When the anxiety & thoughts are bad you feel so far away from that & just want to avoid your own child which is the worst feeling in the world. I am so happy you & your husband are working on this together. That is so important & helpful.
Surviving OCD you are so strong & you are right we have to remember God is there for us & for some reason this is happening. I hope one day we discover the reason why we had to suffer through this. I would not wish this on my worst enemy.
Thank you all for being there! Love you guys! Xoxo
NJP… I completely understand what you are explaining regarding the thoughts and urges. My mind will also start spiraling the doubts and questions further and deeper – that’s when it can get very upsetting. Makes my stomach turn but I force myself to remember this AGAIN is the OCD and our minds playing tricks. It is hard to completely disassociate with the thoughts because along with the thoughts come our emotions and anxiety which can convince us that there is substance to these manifestations. Ahhh! Frustrating. Anyways, I think the reason for the urges or severe doubts/fear is due to the fact that our babies/toddlers are so innocent. The truth is there are no physical barriers to stop us or anyone else from crossing the line, yep that’s extremely frightening. Maybe that’s why this creates such havoc in our minds. We just have to keep remembering who we TRULY are and the thoughts we want to have. We have to remember how much we love our little ones and we have to also remember how much we love our lives and how we want to live. Moving beyond this is hard because then comes the guilt from thinking these thoughts in the first place which spirals me backwards. Sometimes I can’t make sense of it but I try not to make sense of it…the fact is, the more we try to make sense of it, the more we fall trap to the thoughts. Now, I am trying to have tools to stop the mind when it wants to ruminate. I’ve started reading only positive books at night. I’ve steered away from reading the news. When I feel panic, I take it head on and give my son a huge hug…even give him a bath. It almost makes me feel like I’m spitting in the face of OCD. It isn’t easy but I don’t want to let it win. My goal is to keep compiling tools so that I can have different options to battle the anxiety and fear. Hang in there girl!
Thank you Kate!!!!!
I have good days & not so good days with this battle. I am almost 3 months pregnant now & still not on meds & not sure what to do about that. I’m torn. I do not want the OCD to get worse & I also do not want to obsess about possibly something being wrong with my baby because I have to take meds. Although I know there are safe ones. Now that I look at things I obsess over a lot of things & think I always have!
I am trying to use all the tools I have learned also to fight this beast. I love my son more than anything. And when you talk about the guilt from just having these awful thoughts-it’s tormenting. I feel so guilty & that I should not even be a mother. I am also trying to work on knowing that this is OCD not me. I think it takes awhile to get there. I am constantly wishing I was “normal” & did not have a messed up brain. I know that does not help & I definitely ruminate a lot also. I am trying to stop the ruminating it seems to be such an automatic response a lot of the time!!!! I cannot thank all of you for being there & being willing to share your stories it really helps so much knowing you are not alone!!! Xoxo
NJP, you are really an inspiration to me! I am so excited for you and am sending you all kinds of prayers your way. I also really would like to have another child, so I have hope in knowing that one of “us” is trying it. I can understand you being scared, but I know you are a strong person. Now that you are more prepared, I bet this second postpartum period will be easier. And if not, you have resources to help. Do you mind me asking what meds you were on and if the doctor said that you had to go off of them or if that was just a personal decision? If that is too nosy, don’t feel obligated to answer. I am just trying to figure out what I would do medication-wise should I be given another chance at pregnancy. Thanks and congrats!!!
Thank you so much Jess!!!! I could never do this without you guys. Really!!! I think you are right in that the second time we have the resources we need & we will definitely be more aware. I had no idea what was going on with me for so long. I am worried about how I will be through the pregnancy. I still struggle with the thoughts, doubts, etc.
It is not too personal I ask at all!!! You can ask anything!! I was taking nortriptyline 100 mg & .25 mg of Xanax at night. My primary physician & my psychiatrist both told me to stop the meds. My primary dr said to talk with my OB about the meds & he was ok with whatever we decided. So I will talk with my OB about it. I think I will try to get through the first trimester without them & see how I feel. I honk I may definitely go on them towards the end? And I most certainly will right after the baby. Just a little worried of finding one that will agree with me & be ok with breastfeeding. I could not take Zoloft & I took Prozac a long time ago & it did not help much either. So we will see! How are you doing? Thinking of all of you each & every day.
Hello Ladies and Merry Christmas to you all! Surviving OCD- I will def look into those books you recommended. Lately I hav just been feeling so low. I do have comfort knowing you guys are out there and supportive. I drive myself crazy trying to figure all this out and well I feel like a mad woman!!! It is so f’ing frustrating! Sorry guys for the language but shit hat is how I feel right now. Ha ha all this is so new to me and I am trying to find my way. But I have to ask, will I ever get there? And when? I am just so exausted. I hope you have a great new year, and thanks for letting me vent. Hugs!!
Noemi, I am surely no professional, but I can say that you will never get it all analyzed and figured out. That is part of the OCD. The minute you think you have found a reason for this fear, you will doubt your own reasoning. That’s why they call it the doubter’s disease. So, the best I can say, you have to stop giving it your time and effort. Now, trust me, I KNOW, that is easier said than done. I struggle every day with exactly that kind of rumination, and I am 3 years into this disease, but it gets better. Hang in there because it will get better a little at a time until you can one day smile at yourself in the mirror. I have gotten there. I have also relapsed, so don’t think I have some kind of super strength. But knowing that it gets better is what gets me through the day. I don’t know if this rambling helps you at all, but just know that you are not alone and you will recover.
Jess, love your words, coz I need that right now. Everyone sounds so much stronger than me, I really thought I was getting on top of it. I think these meds are making my thinking go a little haywire. Hopefully that wears off in a fee weeks.
Noemi, it’s so so true what Jess has said about trying to figure it out, I’ve been doing that now for 10 months and it has gotten me into more trouble. I’m believing so many more horrible things about myself now than what I was 10 months ago because I’ve been trying to figure this out. I’m getting no where too. Hang in there, WE are seriously ALL going to get through this, and where guna have a massive party when we do. X
Oh and I wanted to share with all of you a couple songs that I have found helpful (music is very soothing/inspirational to me). They are “Before the Morning” by Josh Wilson and “Amazing Grace” by Chris Tomlin.
Jess your words are not rambling at all!!!!! They are awesome!! So true about the analyzing. I am constantly wondering where these thoughts came from, why these thoughts, what does it say about me, is there anything in my past that tells me I’m the horrible person I think I am. I found out through therapy that it is ruminating. It can be a type of mental compulsion. It’s hard not to go down that road when the thoughts happen!!!
Thank you! It is my hope that I can say something on here that will help someone. Otherwise, I really cannot find any silver lining in these years of struggle. The rumination is definitely a compulsion. It is the mental equivalent of checking the locks 10 times before bed. You keep trying to find some answer that will ease your anxiety. So, I have read and been told by therapists that this is the part that controls you-the compulsion part.one technique that I have had some success with is telling your thoughts to stop or picturing a big stop sign when you start ruminating. It is really hard and you have to do it super quick as soon as you start analyzing, but it helps you have some control. Sometimes I even curse at my ruminations or tell them they are ridiculous and stupid. I know that sounds silly, but it helps break the cycle. Again, this might not be helpful, but just in case it helps one person win a day from OCD…
Thank you! It is my hope that I can help someone on here. It is the only silver lining I can really find in these years of struggle. Ruminating is definitely a compulsion. It is the mental equivalent go checking the locks 10 times before bed. You keep flipping through thoughts, memories, etc. until you find something that relieves your anxiety for a little while. One technique I was taught is to tell your thoughts to stop or picture a big stop sign. It is hard to do and you have to do it super quick as soon as you start ruminating, but it can help break the cycle. My own spin on it is to mentally curse at my thoughts, which I know sounds ridiculous, but it has helped. I don’t use cuss words a lot in every day life, so I think the shock value helps me snap out of the ruminating a little. Again, this might just be me writing a bunch of stuff, but just in case it helps one person win one day or hour away from OCD…
I don’t know what is wrong with my computer! Sorry for the double post and just read it once. My computer said it didn’t go through the first time. Well, that shows you ladies how much I care about you because that took a long time to write twice!
Jess my computer does the same, I just let it go now, because I did the same a while back. Re wrote a post. That s exactly where my problem is coming from, when I first started CBT, I was to look for evidence I my past to confirm that I wasn’t this person, which there isn’t anything, but my mind found things, even though they weren’t relevant to what is happening now, it somehow combined the two together, and now that’s why I feel like this. One of the things is that I’m a pretty sexual person, I love sex, and now I find it discusting that I was a sexual person, and maybe that’s why I’m like this. Of course, in reality, this is ridiculous, but my brain is not liking anything remotely close to sex. It’s killing me. My poor husband is so confused as too what is going on with me. I’ve completely changed as a person. That is what is scaring me the most. Don’t know where the old cass is. I’ve tried the stop sign, and swearing at the thoughts too, it def did help, but my rumination is that full on now, I just can’t escape it. The depression is horrible, never really experienced it before, I’ve always only had anxiety. So hopefully the meds relieve that a bit. Another thing that is scaring me too is that I feel so numb towards my daughter. That is breaking me in two. I just can’t love her when I have thoughts like this. Does anyone else analyse their dreams too.? This could just be me because mine started with a dream.
All you ladies are so lovely, and you have georgeous family’s. Was saying to NJP that we will have to have a postpartum retreat when we have all recovered, I’ll come to the states or you guys can come stay with me down here in Australia. 🙂
Love yas. Xx
Hi Ladies! Thanks for all the tips lately. Jessica–you are 100% right, this disease keeps reinventing itself so that one could never really figure it out and I have exhausted myself trying to do so before–it’s not worth it & just sucks you back into the cycle. Best thing to do is to nip it in the bud by calling it what it is and redirecting your brain. And yes, it’s so much easier said that done. Yesterday I was doing really good, but today I have spent most of the day ruminating on something that came about mainly due to my mind playing tricks on me, and I’ve worried myself sick about it–it has literally sucked the energy out of my entire day. But it’s also helped me come to a realization tonight–if I am so bothered by the idea of hurting my child, how could I ever act on one of these horrible thoughts? Answer: I would not. And if I know I would never act one one of these horrible thoughts, then why do I need to worry about them so much? Answer: I don’t need to worry about it, and I need to reassure my brain it is safe to let these irrational fears go.
On top of all this, I do believe my little one is coming down with her first cold! : ( It’s so hard to see her not feeling well.
I have been off of work for the holidays, and it’s almost like I look forward returning to work to help try to normalize my brain again. (Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed this time off with my baby girl, hubby, and family and I am grateful for it.) Oh, why does this have to be such a struggle? I’ve often times wished for a brain transplant. This OCD is such a bummer.
NJP-The urges are a part of the OCD–I have confirmed this through research. It’s one of the worst parts for me.
I am currently reading this book called Brain Lock (previously I had just read the Self Treatment manual in the back), and it’s very informative. The author says “It’s not how you feel, but what you do, that counts. Because when you do the right things, feelings tend to improve as a matter of course. But spend too much time being overly concerned about uncomfortable feelings, and you may never get around to doing what it takes to actually improve.” I guess you could say this has been me lately, BUT I am taking charge in the new year. I vow to do whatever it takes to get better this coming year (read more OCD books, work through OCD workbooks, follow through with all of the suggestions my therapist gave me to work through my past–no matter how hard or painful that might be), and I am going to get better for my baby & my hubby, but also for myself. They deserve the best mom and wife I can be, and I deserve to be able to enjoy my life with them. Will you take this challenge with me?
Hi surviving OCD!!!!!
I wish I could always have you with me! You always put exactly how I feel into words & always make me feel better. I definitely want to take the challenge for the New Year.
I am so sorry your little one is sick!! It is the worst when they are sick 🙁 I know exactly what you mean about the rumination got is the worst & I find myself constantly doing it. I also have wished for a brain transplant. I just want a normal brain.
I have been off of work too & I know how you feel about getting back to work. I have definitely appreciated the time off with my family-I always do. But work helps keep my mind busy.
Do you like brain lock? I have been thinking of getting it but sometimes reading books dare me more!
I am so glad we have each other. You all help so very much. Happy New Year!!
S-OCD, your words are very inspirational! And yes, I am definitely up for the challenge. I’m not sure how long the rest of you have dealt with this, but this is the fourth New Year that I have rung in totally depressed and anxious over theses thoughts. I think it’s about time I move on. I simply don’t know how to exactly, but having this blog helps and I am hopefully changing therapists soon. I understand the work part as well. I used to never want to leave home, always want to be with my family, and now I find myself staying after work to do stupid little tasks that could wait. It makes me very sad to say the least, but I just keep praying this will get better.
Cass–I wanted to follow up with you on your last post, I don’t analyze my dreams too much because I don’t usually remember them. Also, the OCD is just trying to get the best of you and telling you because you were as sexual person before that it has made you this way. I can say for sure it’s the OCD doing this and not the truth, because I was never a very sexual person and the OCD tries to tell me that because I was never a very sexual person, I have now reached a breaking point and become a horrible sexually obsessed person–the truth is in both of our cases, its just the OCD. The OCD will twist our thoughts in every direction to confuse & torment us. I have also been through the numb part and it’s very scary & just makes you feel 100% worse about everything. Just know that you will work through it & feel the love that is there again. Your feelings for her have not gone anywhere, it’s just that you are so confused & overwhelmed right now, and you feelings of love for your daughter are mixed in with all of the other emotions you are working through. Rest assured, they are still there, we just can’t trust our feelings right now.
Thank you S-OCD, your words are reassuring. I’m up for a better year this year, I’m so tired and exhausted from competing with my brain. I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve been on meds for nearly a week, and it can tell I’m on them. Very anxious. I’m going to try really hard and stay on them to give them a oh instead of giving up. I want to also be the best mum and wife and the best me. Got a lot of shit to work through, but hopefully this time next year I (we) come out of this stronger and wiser. I’m on a new plan too, seeing someone with experience with OCD, got workbooks to do aswell.
Hope your bubba is ok, the first cold is horrible for them.
Talk to you soon.
I’m def into kick this illness in the butt
Beth, thank you for being so open and honest. I know sharing your story was not easy. It has helped me tremendously to know that I am not alone dealing with these intrusive thoughts. It can be downright frightening. Also, I want to thank all the ladies who replied to this post. You’ve given me so much hope and support. I want more than anything to get over these horrible thoughts and feelings and maybe with the power of the group we can all succeed. It isn’t easy! I’m trying everything in my power to beat this thing but sometimes it sneaks up and I feel like I’m moving backwards and not forwards. I would love to know if any ladies have ever successfully banished these thoughts?! I always feel even if I overcome the intrusive thoughts…how will I overcome the guilt for ever even thinking that way (that has sent me spiraling backwards)?
Kate, I have dealt with this illness for over three years now and I cannot lie, it has been hard. But there was a point where I mostly had gotten rid of my scary thoughts and the ones that did pop up I was able to dismiss. Unfortunately, I have regressed A LOT, but that is mainly because I was not wise about my recovery. When I started getting better, I stopped therapy and later stopped my meds because I wanted to have another baby (I was feeling that much better!). I will say from experience that neither of those are good ideas at all! So, now I am starting over essentially, but I know it is possible to get better. And I also know that there are some meds that are fine to take while pregnant. Just don’t stop treatment without a lot of consideration and discussion with professionals helping you!
I know exactly how you are feeling & how awful & terrifying the thoughts are. It truly is living in your own personal hell. I have been dealing with these thoughts for almost 8 months now & I wonder if I will ever be the same. I know I can never forget having these thoughts. But I’m jut wondering if I will always be like this & always be plagued by these awful thoughts & constantly doubting myself. I would love to know how Beth is doing now! I’m sorry you are going through this. And I am so very thankful that I found postpartum progress!
Thanks NJP for the welcoming reply! I love and truly appreciate it. The most upsetting thing for me is to not be able to reason with or toss aside the intrusive thoughts as nothing because then I think they may mean something (even though they don’t). I always feel like there are two battles waging in my head even though I know I want no part there this the intrusive question that loves to pop in and challenge everything I stand for saying things like …oh really? tossing in millions of what ifs? creating fear that doesn’t even exist. I’ve attempted so many times to worry about something else, anything else—cancer, the end of the world, death, dying ANYTHING but my mind is like…nahhh, I’d rather turn your stomach and keep the thoughts spiraling on the one thing that means the absolute world to you. UGH. Even in my peaceful most happy moments I’ll recognize that my mind is calm and happy then it will almost turn a switch…reminding me of the intrusive thoughts. I feel like the mind is now in a habit of swirling these thoughts constantly — the question is how to break a habit of the mind especially when fear, doubts, and emotions are at play. I’ve read so many books that say confront the fear, expose it. I mean, technically, I do that everyday. I’m with my son all day. I don’t try in anyway to avoid him but the fear trickles in. I’m in therapy working hard to combat everything but the funny thing is I have anxiety over the therapy that’s supposed to tackle, yep, anxiety. Therapy always makes me feel a bit worse before feeling better. I try to be 100% honest and forthcoming in every single session but it is hard. I hate that I can’t make sense of it, rationalize it. I’m a pretty rational person so this really bothers me. I almost can look at myself from a distance and say Hey, you’re never going to act on these thoughts so why worry, move on. I mean, it sounds simple. Move on – toss it aside – just stop the thoughts but IT ISN’T THAT SIMPLE. They stick and since they stick, the doubt always remains and if there is doubt there is fear and so the cycle continues. You ladies do help me so thanks for that and I am getting better from where I was 2-3 months ago. I just want to take this little gem out of my brain and I’d be good to go.
Hey Kate. Your words and thoughts are exactly what all us mums are going through. Everything you wrote is me to a T!! Are you on meds? I’ve tried three times, still haven’t found one that agrees with me. It is a 24 hour battle with yourself hey? Tis site is so great, I have connected with these girls, and am not afraid to tell them how I am feeling, because pretty much all the time they are feeling the same way. We are just to scared and ashamed to tell anyone about our thoughts, including our husbands or loved ones. In therapy, just let it all out, it really does make a difference. The more you talk about these demons, the more you start to look at them as WTF was I thinking. I’ve had a few of those moments this week that iam grateful, and just keep thinking of them for hope. I’ve been like this for 10 months now, it does feel like my reality, but I’m going to try so hard to beat it. 🙂
Kate, I know exactly what you mean about just needing to get rid of that part of your brain and move on. I have battled and battled this disease. It is a monster to say the least! I pray for peace for all of you, as I do for myself. This site is super helpful and just keep reminding yourself that you are not alone at all.
I can relate to all that you are saying. How long have you been dealing with all of this? What type of therapy are you doing?
It really is torture going though this. All my life I have wanted to be a mom & now this. I know it does not help but I just keep asking why? Why me? I know what you mean about the thoughts constantly swirling in your head. Mine are too. I really try to dismiss them; some days are easier then others but it is a constant battle & is exhausting. I just want to be normal. I wonder if I will ever have a life again without these awful thoughts, doubts, & feelings. I pray so much that this goes away. It really helps knowing you are not alone. Thanks for being brave & posting.
I just started therapy. I won’t try any meds but I think meds can be a lifesaver for some women. My problems arise from some unfortunate events starting from a young age which, we’re guessing, switched my brain into a more anxious worrisome state…a habit ingrained in my brain for 20 years now. OCD and obsessive thinking have been a part of me for a long time. Now, we are trying to come to terms with the past and switch how my brain thinks and reacts. I would say that I functioned pretty darn good with my ocd in the past haha (maybe even worked in my favor)…I’d worry about things or be a bit obsessive but nothing to the point of getting in the way of my life or happiness. These intrusive thoughts are really hard to handle. I mean, it is so challenging. The worst is when the fear grips me when I’m alone with my son. That is the hardest, scariest, and loneliest part. The fear — I wonder why it is so strong and why it has to be there when we are simply enjoying each other’s company. I can’t understand the fear. I know I’m not supposed to try and understand it but when you’re in that moment and you’re stomach turns over a few times you start analyzing and questioning the reason behind all this madness. This hits me hardest when I am alone. If people are around or even just my husband, I do pretty good. It is like I feel safe.
Kate I feel exactly the same way when I am alone with my son also. I feel that I have the thoughts more & the fear & doubt take over. I have had anxiety all my life. And I believe I definitely hae had obsessional thinking all my life. Now I wonder of I have had OCD the whole time? Before I had a generalized anxiety & became agoraphobic. I did not have thoughts like this. This truly is torture. I realize that right after I had my son I began obsessing about his safety. One of my compulsions is Internet seeking & I was doing it then but had no idea that it was. I was convinced something would happen to him & I would lose what meant the most to me. I thought it was normal first time mom stuff & that I was a little more of a freak because of my anxiety. My OB tried to give me meds at my 7 week visit after I had him but I was too scared to take them because I was breastfeeding. Then when he was 18 months it changed to this & I felt my world ended. I am still struggling & wonder if I will ever be the same.
Hi Ladies! Welcome Kate and Faith—I hope you can draw strength & comfort from this blog & the wonderful ladies on here. We are all in this together. When I read all the posts, I feel like I am reading a page out of my own life story—there is so much overlap, it’s stunning. I just wanted to check in and report that I am almost done with the book “Brain Lock” (by Jeffrey Schwartz), and I am finding it extremely helpful so far. NJP—when I first got the book, I just did the quick reference workbook in the back and at that point my anxiety was so high that I could not read the personal stories in the actual book (it contains lots of personal stories as examples), as my brain picked them up as too suggestive and I didn’t want my OCD to mushroom even further. Current day, I could read them for the most part, but skipped over some that seemed to trigger me. And although the book talks a lot about compulsions as well (and I know the Intrusive Thought issues surrounds mainly Obsessive Thoughts/Obsessions, I am still taking away a lot from it. I wanted to share with you ladies some insights from the book that I am finding particularly helpful:
“Right off, it’s vital to understand that the simple act of relabeling (calling OCD what it is—it’s just OCD, not me) will not make your OCD disappear. But when you see the enemy for what it is, OCD, you sap its strength and you, in turn, become stronger. In time, it won’t matter that much to you whether the bothersome thoughts totally go away because you are not going to act on them. Furthermore, the more you are able to dismiss the importance of your OCD, the more you will feel in control and the more it will go away. On the other and, the more you focus on it, wishing and hoping and begging for it to leave you alone, the more intense and bothersome the feelings will become.”
Schwartz talks about the importance of the Impartial Spectator in dealing with OCD—the capacity to stand outside of yourself and watch yourself in action (mindful awareness). “People use the Impartial Spectator when they take a step back & say ‘This is just my brain sending me a false message. If I change my behavior, I’ll actually be changing how my brain works.’ It’s inspirational to watch people with OCD shift from a superficial understanding of their disorder to a deep mindfulness that allows them to overcome their fears and anxieties, to mentally organize their responses, to shift gears, and to change their behavior. This process is the basis for overcoming OCD.” “Any moment the mind is using the Impartial Spectator, an unwholesome thought cannot arise. (I can say that I have started practicing this & it’s been helpful—I have to nip it in the bud right away & call it what it is saying—I know what this is & I know how to handle it. Knowledge really is power with OCD.)
“Always remember that a firm grasp of reality is your greatest ally in the fight against OCD because in the end, fear and false messages are OCD’s only weapons.”
It’s what you do that counts, your emotions will follow. “OCD cannot take over your will, certainly not in any way that would make you do something you believe is wrong.”
Some examples of good self-talk from the book include: “You know, it won’t do any good to get all upset about this thought. I’ve been through all this before, and it doesn’t accomplish anything to allow myself to be sucked into OCD’s tricks.” “My rational mind says this isn’t true. This is reality. This is not. I’m going to follow the advice of my rational mind.”
“How do I know I won’t do it? Because I don’t really want to! It’s only an obsession, a false message from my brain. It can’t take over my will.” Anticipate that these thoughts will happen and accept they are happening, although of course you don’t like them. “It’s only an obsession, a false message from my brain. It can’t take over my will.” “This is an OCD symptom. I don’t believe it, and it is not a reflection of what I feel in my heart.”
“The more clearly you see what OCD symptoms really are, the more rapidly you can dismiss them as worthless garbage that is not worth paying attention to.”
The four steps: “It’s all right—it’s just OCD (relabeling), then reattributing it to a brain glitch, refocusing on a constructive enjoyable behavior, and revaluing the true meaning of these thoughts (don’t take them at face value).”
He also talks about the reason that these thoughts keep occurring over & over again is not due to the person, but due to the condition (a chemical imbalance in the brain).
It’s getting really late–will post more when I can. Take care ladies!
Thank you Surviving OCD!!!! I think I may try to get that book. I need it right now. I feel I have regressed a bit. I have tried saying it’s just my OCD but I don’t think I completely believe it yet. Does it take awhile to get there? Thank you your words are always helpful & inspiring.
NJP, I’ve been there…I say, oh it is just my OCD then my other brain says – oh no, it’s not. I don’t overly try to define it as OCD but I try to simply let the thought be there and not let the fear and emotions attached get too elevated. Yes, the thoughts bother me but once I started focusing on not having an anxious or fear reaction, they could sit there without causing me too much distress. Any time I’d say the old IT IS MY OCD my brain naturally retaliates with a NOPE, THIS IS YOU kinda thing and that is horrible so I try to use it more directed towards my emotional/stress response. Once you can calm that down a bit, it will help quiet the thoughts.
Thank you Kate! I hope I get there. I just feel I have done the exposure/response prevention & I have done everything they tell me but I still struggle. I just found out I am pregnant again which is a complete blessing but I am also very scared. I had to go off my meds which I don’t think is helping. But I just fear I am that hopeless case that cannot be helped.
You working up the strength to share your story is heroic. I am currently suffering with PPD and unfortunately have some of the same thoughts. I know they are so wrong, and feel horrified when these thoughts come about. It is comforting to know I am not alone in this, and to be reassured by women who have also suffered from the same illness that there is hope and in time things will get better. Thank you so much
God definitely led me to this article and the comments below. It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone. I believe I have had OCD my whole life and its episodes always coincided with stress and major life changes. I had obsessive thoughts of a sexual nature, and I, too, never was abused. I have these episodes with both my sons, one during pregnancy and the other happened (well, is happening) postpartum. I’m currently struggling with the postpartum episode. My son is one month old. In addition to support from family, meds, and faith that God will bring me through this, I am reading Brain Lock by Jeffrey Schwartz and am just starting to work through the steps. Prayers to all you lovely ladies. You are not alone!
Glad you found us Jen!
Hi Jen! Welcome to the group! We are all here for you. I have to say you guys have been my strength through all this. You are not alone Jen. Many hugs going your way! You can beat this!
Welcome Jen!!!!!!! I too thank God everyday that I found this page! We are all here for you & each other. It really helps knowing that you are not alone. It helps me get through the day.
Do any of you have really good days and then slip backwards the next day? It feels like an emotional roller coaste that never ends. I think the thing I fear the most is that I’m afraid that deep down maybe I actually want to do the things I see in my head. Of course, i would never do them. I feel evil, though. The anxiety and depression i feel gets so bad. Please help- I could use some reassurance.
Yes Jen all the time. I feel really strong one day & think I may be turning a corner & getting a handle on it & then the next day BAM I feel I take 50 steps back. It is an awful roller coaster & I wonder if I will ever be off of it. My deepest fear also is that I will act on the thoughts. The doubt in all of this is torture. Lately I have been trying to not react to the thoughts & just let them be there but it is really hard. I just hope & pray that someday this will be over.
Jen-you are definitely not alone in that. I think for me it’s the hormones plus the whole doubting game that I play in my head over and over. I noticed that when I’m going through this, like on the weekend, it also puts me in a really bad mood with the hubby…this disease is really out steal our joy. I made up my mind this weekend, no matter how confused my brain gets, I Know Who I am and will always go back to that knowledge, no matter how muttled things getting my head.
Thank you, NJP and Surviving OCD, for your quick responses! I was feeling super panicky. It’s crazy how in some moments you have complete clarity and know it really is due to OCD and in other moments you can completely doubt everything and lose all clarity. I HATE this disorder. I want to get angry enough with it that I have the strength to fight back instead of cower. I pray multiple times daily for this strength. Any tips you both have to offer are welcomed! Thank you SO MUCH!
I absolutely despise this disorder too Jen!!!! I really do. I keep wondering if I will ever be the same or if I am going to struggle with this daily for the rest of my life. I have been dealing with these thoughts for almost 8 months. And some people said they felt better when they found out it was OCD well I didn’t. And I still doubt & question everything. Constantly reviewing my past to see if there were any signs that I am the horrible person I think I am. All I want I do is enjoy being a mom. It is something I have wanted all my life & I was crushed when I found out I would have problems getting pregnant & now this. Naeomi-wow you are so incredibly strong to do this without meds or therapy!!! What books did you feel helped you????
Jen, yes I too have good days, or a couple of weeks, then fall back to the thoughts and fears. it is part of the cycle. things WILL get better, I promise. The way I see it, when I have those days or moments when the thoughts want to take over, I take it a an opportunity to fight back! The time to practice on how to turn it around. I too have been to the place in my mind where I start to second guess myself, and convinced myself I am that evil person. I try not to go there because then other things start to pop in my mind and it is a damn roller coaster! The best advice I can give you at this time, is to try to replace those images with something else. or replace them with someone else. I have battled this for over 6 months and I tell you I am getting better at it. I don’t take any meds and I just cant afford to see a professional. I simply rely on this site, and other self help books. I also have very high anxiety, i know it is hard, but you can do this! You are NOT evil, you are a loving parents, and you want to get better. That is the difference. I hope you feel better soon! keep us posted on how you are doing, we are here for you. xoxoxo
Jen—consider yourself at home with us moms on this blog. I am really taking away a lot from Brain Lock—it’s so informative and straight forward. It was also interesting to read about the science and function of the brain behind the cause of OCD. The four step process (Relabel—the reality is I am having OCD thoughts, Reattribute—I am having OCD thoughts because I have a disease, Refocus—work around the OCD thoughts by doing something else or thinking about something else, and Revalue—the OCD thought does not have any meaning/don’t read into the thoughts; it’s just mental noise caused by OCD) are also reiterated throughout the book to reinforce the points. For me, the “It’s not me, it’s OCD” was very cliché and the slogan really never worked well, so I try to say it with a twist to myself in a way that is more meaningful and understandable to my brain. Also, the book points out that merely saying the phrase over & over again, is of no help because it loses it’s meaning to your brain, you have to say it in a way that each time you consciously understand and are aware of what you are saying as you work through the other steps. The four steps are like mental exercises, but that’s the theory that you are changing your brain through these exercises. It’s exhausting, but it will be worth it in the long run.
NJP–to answer your question, it does take me time to build back up, and then sometimes just when I am up my hormones knock me down again, but I have decided that no matter what I am going to fight this thing with every fiber of my being. Each time it tries to knock me down, I will come up swinging. And you are not the one case that cannot be helped. Many of us feel that way–it’s the OCD–it wants to make you feel isolated and shameful. We are all beautiful & great moms, and we are all going to beat this together.
I’m grateful for each and every one of you and your courage to share. What a great support group! I have found that the experiences you share help me to believe that it’s not me- it REALLY is my OCD. Praise God!
I wanted to come back and write an update on how I’m doing. When I returned to the story I was absolutely BLOW AWAY by the responses and the support shared here!!
It always amazes me how God uses our deepest pains for good somehow.
This was truly the darkest period of my life to date. Trudging though it was like living in a bad dream, and an experience that even now many people can’t understand and I sometimes feel amazed at degree at which my thoughts controlled me and how REAL it felt at the time.
I am happy to report that I am well now. I had another child that I found out I was pregnant with just as I started seeing a psych doctor who put me back on the meds that helped me the first time. It turns out going off and “roughing” it without them was a huge mistake for me.
I was desperate to move on with me life and be the mother I deserved to be, so I made the difficult decision to stay on my meds and I have been on them for almost 3 years now! My doc suggested I never go off, which was hard to hear, but after going through what I did (as you know) I was willing to do anything to be better.
He finally made me see that I had OCD, always had. He diagnosed me properly and explained how common my condition was, my specific condition with the sexual IT’s. So many others didn’t understand and you know that an ounce of doubt will throw a person with OCD into a tailspin.
I also stayed under a care of a psycologist for a long time, and after seeing a total of 3 mental health professionals, I still had a beef with how she handled some things with me, and I let her know so that she can do better next time. There is still a lot for the mental health community to learn in terms of dealing with this type of OCD. Saying we are sensitive about it is an understatement!
Now my thoughts happen very rarely, and if they do they don’t bother me very much because I realize that they are not me; it’s just my OCD. Whatever. And I move on.
I do talk with others about it whenever it comes up, and I tell them that my thoughts were sexual in nature. This is just one of the faces of OCD, not a face that is “worse” than another. I know that telling my story and being open about it will help others. I don’t even obsess about it after “opening up.”
It took me about 3 years to get better, but that journey looks different for everyone.
I will be praying for you all. Remember that you are wonderful mothers and you are not your thoughts. XOXO
I cannot thank you enough for your responses!!!!!! I am so happy to hear that you are doing so much better. It really gives me hope!!!!
Many times during this I was wondering how you were doing & if it was really ever possible to recover from this. I just have felt so many times how will I ever get past this??? I have had anxiety all my life but never horrible thoughts like this. I realize now I have always obsessed about things also.
I unexpectedly got pregnant while I was trying to recover from all of this. I am thankful because I had to take 2 rounds of fertility meds to get pregnant with my first. And I had always wanted more children but once all of this happened I was not sure I should have any more children. I am almost 3 months along now & I had to stop taking the meds I was on because they were not safe to take. I definitely plan on going back on meds at some point. I still struggle & am still in therapy. I will continue all of this through my pregnancy & after the baby is born.
The guilt of all of this is so tormenting. Often times I wonder if I should even be a mother. I love my son so very much but a lot of times feel he deserves a better mother. This truly has been the worst thing I have ever been through.
Thank you again for responding!!!!!! And for giving me the hope that it is possible to get past this horrible beast called OCD.
What a blessing you have been to all of us, Beth! Thank you. I pray for all of you ladies daily. Together we will get through this. Much love!!
Hi ladies, and welcome Jen and Faith.
You will be so relieved to have found this site. I know when I first came across it I thought, wow, I’m not the only one suffering from this.
I have been up and down like a yoyo. And all these girls have helped me so much. It’s such a great support system. Because you can’t just go around telling everyone about these thoughts.
I’m trying medication once again, as my anxiety and depression has got pretty bad. It really is affecting my functioning on a day to day basis. But I have a good team behind me now, psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health nurses and my doctor, and most importantly my family.
I just want to get better and enjoy my baby girl instead of being in my head all day.
I have tried everything under the sun, homeopathics, yoga, meditation, mindfulness which are all fantastic, but my mind is just way to fast and wired that I need medication to slow it down. At first I was so ashamed to take it, and the side effects were just horrible, they made my symptoms worse, but I’m giving it another go for the forth time. And I’m going to stick with it, even if I have to have a stay in a hospital, I’m prepared to do anything for my family.
We are strong ladies, this is one of the hardest things I think anyone could injure. I don’t wish it upon anyone.
We just have to keep strong and keep fighting. We will get through it, with time and patience we will come out of this the strongest mothers ever. Love to you all. Xxxxxx
WEll since the last post, I’ve come to the realization that I just cannot do this without meds anymore. I think I am at the Self-Doubt phase of this OCD thing. The biggest question now is, if I DID act on one of these thoughts– would I even KNOW it? I started Zoloft 25 mg about a week ago, and I feel a little better. The intrusive thoughts are much less, but still just as disturbing as ever when they do occur. Just before I started the meds, I had this really vivid, disgusting, unwanted sexual thought cross my mind and it’s haunted me since. It was SO vivid, and I am having a hard time convincing myself it was NOT REAL. Has this ever happened to any of you? I feel completely traumatized by it. I am 28 years old, and have never been sexual abused or had a sexual problem, why in the world do these thoughts keep happening?!!! I feel like a monster. There are certain times when I feel so strong and am so clear, and other times I am so weak and unsure about everything. I’ve started group therapy, and have an appointment in a couple weeks with a psychologist who specializes in PPD. I’m hoping this will help…
Faith, please know you are not alone. This site is going to be a rock for you. Your mind is trying to trick you but don’t let it! I have never been abused either and often wonder where in the world theses thoughts came from. I don’t know if there is an answer to that question but I do know you have to fight this thing as hard as you can. Hang in there!
Hello Ladies! Faith, you have lots of support here. Remember that you WILL get through this. Some of the things that have helped me, are simply letting the thought be there. I sometime challenge it. Scary scary scary, but when a crazy thought comes up, I say to it “oh yea, u f’n bastard!, just to prove you wrong, watch me not do it!” sorry for the language, but I do cuss at my thoughts. I usually don’t cuss at all, but when the thoughts start to overcome me, I simple challenge the thought and prove it WRONG! For example, my thoughts would come up while changing diapers. So I would get super nervous before or even thinking about changing diapers,then I challenge it, by saying ok mf’er I am changing the diaper and I am not doing this horrible thing you making me think of doing. So there!
I feel better once the diaper changing is done, and the thought is still there, but it doesn’t scare me as much. The thoughts are LIES, keep that in mind, it is not who we are. BTW I am reading Brain Lock and it has helped me tons! xoxoxoxo hope this post makes since, ha ha sometimes I have trouble typing what I actually want to say. IF anyone else has tips, please let me know thanks!
Faith, I can tell you now, the thoughts and images and that have gone through my head, are WRONG, that is why I am still like this and that is why I have started meds again today. It’s your brain trying to test you, seeing if you do really like it or not, and honestly, you don’t, that is why you are on here. All our thoughts are the same, it’s just that we can’t write them because they are so horrid and disgusting. And you are not making them yourself, your mind is, it is stuck on the hamster wheel as we call it, and you just can’t stop them. It’s like automatic now. I have been an absolute mess these last ten months, I’ve just had to give up work for a bit, as I have a really hard time starting meds. I’m also on Zoloft, but I’ve started on 12.5mg, as I’m so sensitive, I’ve got Valium also as a backup for the worsening of the anxiety. I also find my thoughts go a little crazy when starting meds. Hang in there girl. We are all here for you. I can’t tell you how much I am so please I found this site. It’s like a therapy session. All of us are seeing therapists so we all have something to share.
How are you finding the Zoloft? 🙂
Also with the vivid thoughts, my started with a dream, so I know exactly how you feel, I feel as though I have done something to her, which feels so damn real. That’s why I’m so depressed and feel utter most guilt and shame towards her. It’s just horrible. One of the worst things we could ever go through in life.
We have to keep telling ourselves this is an illness, my psychiatrist just kept telling me this.
It is not our fault, we have a slight glitch in our brains. And when we are treated properly, we will be all ok. We will be able to shrug off these thoughts just like everyone else does who hasn’t got obsessional thoughts OCD.
Being a perfectionist and controlling is another downfall with this type of illness, as we want everything to be perfect, and this is def not that. Hope this has helped. 😉
Thank you ladies for all the support. Cass, I too have had the same dreams. I am so mentally drained from constantly fighting this and myself but I am also scared sometimes to fall asleep in fear I might have another nightmare. But then again this whole experience has been a nightmare. If I was the same person I was before this whole thing began, I’m not so sure I would believe it to be true. I’ve always believed I could control just about anything which is another reason why it was so hard for me to accept I have PPD OCD. And it all happened so fast. I woke up one morning a completely different person. The Zoloft has helped. I have the thoughts less frequently. And I don’t get as worked up by them as before when I could spend all day just wrapped up in my head. My husband gave me a good piece of advice, he said when these thoughts occur, picture there is a raging tiger running through you and you just hug yourself and hold on as tight as you can until its passed. You are in my prayers! We will get through this.
When did all of this start for you???? I know exactly how you feel. This truly is a living hell. I wish it never happened. I wonder how & if I will ever be the same. This site has definitely helped save me. I also was hesitant to take meds but I did not know what else to do. They helped but I still had the thoughts. Just know we are all here for you. I know the thoughts can feel so real & the doubt is excruciating. I wish I could hear a success story or how Beth is doing now.
Faith I also have no history of any of this (thank goodness) which constantly makes me ask why this? Where the hell did this come from? I think I could understand it more if there was a history.
I thank GOD for finding this outlet. This all started so abruptly about 2 months ago. When I saw my PCP about the symptoms, she suggested I might have severe PMS since I hadn’t had a menstrual cycle since before I got pregnant which would be about 2 years ago since my daughter is now 10 months old. I Googled Severe PMS and PPD one day, because my gut was telling me it may be a combo of the two, and I found this site. It has saved my life! I love my daughter to death, but if I ever did anything to hurt her I would not be able to live with myself. Now I am so scared of being alone with her. The times I am left alone with her, I think back and wonder, “Well did you…?” Is that why you are having these thoughts? Or are they really flashbacks? I know in my right mind, they are definitely just heinous thoughts but that doubt just kills me at times! It’s insane. This PPOCD is of the devil!
Hi Mommies! I hate this disease with a passion and really appreciate all of the strategy sharing and support we give each other on here. I was so tired of this back and forth ping-pong game in my brain that I recently decided to make a pact with myself and say okay, no matter what I may be feeling emotionally (depending on the day), I know that I love my daughter and would never hurt her (or ever want to hurt her). When I start to feel uncertain about everything, I remember the pact. The book Brain Lock and the strategies presented there have been really helpful to me this month, an absolute life saver. I have also been listening to Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries (http://reneeswope.com/) in the car, and she speaks to self-esteem issues, having battled with them and depression herself. Something that she said that really hit home to me was that we are made in the beautiful image of God. So, I am a child of God, made in His image, and OCD can’t touch that.
So, hopefully, when my monthly visitor comes in a couple of weeks, I can stay on top of the hormone shifts by re-reading the Brain Lock tips and listening to Renee. Currently, I am battling more with feeling uncomfortable/uneasy while holding/taking care of my daughter where my mind tries to play tricks on me, and less of the thoughts per say, but I am trying my best to work through the uneasiness & not to get sucked into the “what if I accidentally did something” mode.
I wish they had group therapy in my area. I think I would benefit from that, as long as too many details about the thoughts were not shared (for fear my brain would try to absorb them all). But, yes, this blog is like Cyber Group Therapy, right!?
I was thinking about some Points to constantly remind ourselves of:
1) We are loving mothers, not monsters, we didn’t cause this disease to happen, it just did, so don’t accept guilt for having it, not for one more moment. (Brian Lock compared it to someone with Parkinson’s disease and said you don’t see someone with Parkinson’s going around beating themselves up because they have that disease. It just is something they are affected by.)
2) We would NEVER act on these thoughts, as real as they “seem”. We are so bothered by these thoughts that having this issue hangs over our heads & stays with us all day every day.
3) We must not take our thoughts at face value—they are just false messages coming from faulty wiring in our brain, they have NO REAL MEANING OR POWER. They are not what they seem, so call them what they are (yes, LIES), trying your best to distract yourself before your emotions try to attach themselves to them.
4) Don’t try to figure this out—you never will, so don’t waste your time trying. Just label if for what it is and try to move on with another thought/action.
5) Keep in mind you are not alone, which helps to reinforce all points above—we are all affected by the same horrible disease. Look at all the beautiful mamas posting on this site and (unfortunately) there are many more out there suffering from this affliction as well. We are all here for each other.
6) Have Hope. Did you all see that PP Progress article on hope this week? See link below. Very inspiring. http://postpartumprogress.com/hope-come-looking-part-ii
I love the tiger analogy—totally going to use that one! Talk to you all soon. xoxo
Faith-I know exactly how you feel. There was a point where I could not be alone with my children in fear that I would do something. just remember it is the illness, it is not you. I know how you feel as if the devil is messing with you and trying to trick you. it is pure hell! just know we all have been there, and YOU WILL GET BETTER! Praying for you and all of the ladies on here. Together we will win over this illness! xoxo
This bible verse has helped me this morning and also makes for a great prayer if you put it in the form of a request to the Lord:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV)
I especially like the part about not leaning on our own understanding because we know where that gets us! Hope this helps you all too.
Thinking of you all!
Thak you for sharing, Jen. I needed that today… So appropriate. Have a blessed weekend!
You are most welcome, Faith! I needed that verse too this morning. I’m here for you and identify so closely with all of you! You all are the silver lining in this situation!
Hi Mommies! I hate this disease with a passion and really appreciate all of the strategy sharing and support we give each other on here. I was so tired of this back and forth ping-pong game in my brain that I recently decided to make a pact with myself and say okay, no matter what I may be feeling emotionally (depending on the day), I know that I love my daughter and would never hurt her (or ever want to hurt her). When I start to feel uncertain about everything, I remember the pact. The book Brain Lock and the strategies presented there have been really helpful to me this month, an absolute life saver. I have also been listening to Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries (http://reneeswope.com/) in the car, and she speaks to self-esteem issues, having battled with them and depression herself. Something that she said that really hit home to me was that we are made in the beautiful image of God. So, I am a child of God made in His image, and OCD can’t touch that.
So, hopefully, when my monthly visitor comes in a couple of weeks, I can stay on top of the hormone shifts by re-reading the Brain Lock tips and listening to Renee. Currently, I am battling more with feeling uncomfortable/uneasy while holding/taking care of my daughter where my mind tries to play tricks on me, and less of the thoughts, but I am trying my best to work through the uneasiness & not to get sucked into the “what if I accidentally did something” mode.
I wish they had group therapy in my area. I think I would benefit from that, as long as too many details about the thoughts were not shared (for fear my brain would try to absorb them all). But, yes, this blog is like Cybergroup Therapy, right!?
Points to constantly remind ourselves of:
1) We are loving mothers, not monsters, we didn’t cause this disease to happen, it just did, so don’t accept guilt for having it, not for one more moment. (Brian Lock compared it to someone with Parkinson’s disease and said you don’t see someone with Parkinson’s going around beating themselves up because they have that disease. It just is something they are affected by.)
2) We would NEVER act on these thoughts, as real as they “seem”. We are so bothered by these thoughts that having this issue hangs over our heads & stays with us all day every day.
3) We must not take our thoughts at face value—they are just false messages coming from faulty wiring in our brain, they have no real meaning or power. They are not what they seem, so call them what they are (yes, LIES), trying your best to distract yourself before your emotions try to attach themselves to them.
4) Don’t try to figure this out—you never will, so don’t waste your time trying. Just label if for what it is and try to move on with another thougth/action.
5) Keep in mind you are not alone, which helps to reinforce all three points above—we are all affected by the same horrible disease. Look at all the beautiful mamas posting on this site and (unfortunately) there are many more out there suffering from this affliction as well. We are all here for each other.
6) Have Hope. Did you all see that PP article on hope this week? Very inspiring.
Jen: Thank you for the reassuring scripture verse—I love that one & thanks for the suggestion to say it as a prayer.
Faith: I love the tiger analogy—totally going to use that one! I will be praying for all of you ladies. xoxo
Thank you for your post, SOCD! Your optimism is so inspiring. I allowed myself to go too deep into my thoughts today and freaked out! It was awful. I’m also trying to apply Brain Lock, but it’s so hard! No one said it was going to be easy, but you give me hope. I’m so thankful for you- I wish we could all get together. Would love to connect with you all on FACEBOOK- how do we do that without posting our info for the world to see??
Jen, my email is up a bit further in the posts, send me your details. A few of us are already connected through Facey. 🙂
I just had a thought tonight amongst my other crazy thoughts: anyone is capable of these thoughts, our husbands, friends and family. We just latch onto them because we want all our thoughts to be perfect. But we have more than definitely had horrible thoughts in the past which were prob fleeting moments and we let them pass, but because it is to do with our children, we are beating ourselves up, self sabotaging and telling ourselves we are evil mothers. (Well that’s what I do anyways). We need to have more compassionate and have more respect for ourselves. We are human. Every human has bizarre, horrible thoughts. These are my positive words for tonight girls. Hope it helps a bit.
I’ve also ordered brain lock. Looking forward to getting it. 🙂 xxx
Does anyone else feel completely disconnected from their children because of this? I know I love my sons, but it’s like I feel numb towards them right now. That feels awful!! A month ago, before all this happened, I felt so much love. It’s so sad and I feel so sad and guilty!
Yes Jen I know completely how you feel. It is devastating. I went from loving every minute of being a mom to feeling depressed, anxious, & guilty around my own son. All I have ever wanted was to be a mom & just don’t understand why this had to happen. I just keep wondering if I will ever be the same? How can I ever forget these thoughts & get past this? It is a struggle everyday. I thank God & Katherine Stone that there is this site. It has saved me. Thinking & praying for all of you! Xoxo
Thank you, NJP. Makes me feel better. I appreciate you, all of you!
Jen, disconnection and numbness can be a significant symptom of postpartum depression. I know you feel guilty but it’s not your fault. It’s part of the illness and doesn’t represent how you really feel about your babies. Have you reached out to a doctor for help?
Thanks for your reply! Yes, I have reached out to my Obgyn and have an appt with a therapist. My doctor has upped my antidepressant dosage (I’ve been on a low dose for a few years) and hopefully the therapy will help. I’m optimistic and know that God will bring me through this- he always does!
Katherine, I was just wondering if you knew of any success stories regarding our illness. I am still struggling very badly, now thinking I am this type of person. I’m just hoping that there is hope we will get through this. Because I seriously don’t know how much more I can take of it, it is so debilitating. And the numbness and disconnection I feel from my baby is unbearable. I am seeing my therapist and doctor on a regular basis, and they have said that it will adventually pass, but I swear it is the hardest thing that I have ever ever had to go through. And feel as if I’ll be like this forever.
I do thank you so much for this site, I have made some great friends, which have been the best support. Thanks again.
Cass, hang in there! I am right there with you. “God promises to stand by you through the storms in life. Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” I know for sure this is the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but know you are not alone. You are a strong, and loving mama and you will beat this thing! I have been on 25 mg Zoloft for a few weeks now, and I feel much better but still nowhere near “normal”. I still have these thoughts occassionally, and then the shame, and guilt, and then disgust, and then sadness. The list goes on, but I am holding on to the faith! Keeping you in my prayers!
Ladies, you could also connect via our Postpartum Progress private forum and have conversations privately about postpartum anxiety and OCD. Here’s ho to join: Go to this link:https://smartpatients.com/postpartumprogress
2. Underneath the Warrior Mom logo on the left hand side of your screen, input your email address and click “Request An Invitation.”
3. You’ll then receive an email from Smart Patients inviting you to join Smart Patients. Be sure to check your spam file if you don’t see it in your inbox.
4. Click the link in the email and choose a name and password.
5. You will then be automatically added to the Postpartum community on Smart Patients. From that point on, clicking this link — https://smartpatients.com/postpartumprogress– will take you to the community
SOCD, I’ve heard so much about this Brain Lock book. I am going to have to pick it up this weekend! Good, something to look forward to. 🙂 Just wondering, are there any mommies out there that have a success story to share to encourage those who are still going through it?
Reading these post ha me feel a lot better, because I was actually. Very worried and frustrated a few moments ago . I have these intrusive thoughts that really bother. I was feeling guilty and disgusting; however reading the post above has helped me realize that I am afraid of someone else hurting my kids. I would consistently ask them questions about some harming them … hUGHe fear of mine …..so to even have those thought regarding myself hurting them has changed my life … But the post above mad me see that it’s just a fear not the truth .
Ladies, I recently returned to my story and when I saw all of your responses and the support you are giving to one another, it made me so happy to know that you have found one another,as the solitude of OCD is horrible.
I want you all to know that I am better! Three months after this was written, I found yet another psychologist after the one I was seeing turned out to not be a good fit. She ended up being the third one, and even then, I had to give her some tips on how to deal sensitively with someone like me. She ended up referring me to a psychiatrist who played a big part in my recovery. He diagnosed me, officially with OCD, which helped me to truly believe that my brain works differently than others! I had always had OCD, that ruminating on tracks that I can’t get off of (always topics that bothered me). He explained that anytime I experienced stress in my life, it would worsen. Having a baby did that! He suggests I go back on the anti-depressant that worked for me before (after roughing it for 6 months of misery) and suggested a higher dosage of that drug because a larger dose is often needed to treat OCD patients.
While I was being treated by him, I found out I was pregnant (I was tired of putting my life on hold). I stayed in constant care for the next year being seen by both of them, and I got better and better. I didn’t suffer with anxiety during my pregnancy.
After having RJ I went back to him a couple of times and my psychologist as a precaution. I was fine. Praise God!
There were/are still time when those scary thoughts cross my mind, but I know what it is now. I separate them from myself, even if they do bother me mildly, I don’t linger very long on them. Funny, I’m already seeing some obsessive symptoms in my daughter. I feel fairly prepared to help her and I understand why she can’t stopping thinking about the scary witch in her dream. It took me between 2 1/2-3 years for me to get better. I thought it would never end. I remember bargaining with God if I could just be better. I am living proof ladies that this won’t last forever. Remember, your brain just works differently. I am still medicated and my doctor suggested that I stay that way. That’s still hard for me to accept, but given what I’ve been through, I’m not changing what I’m doing anytime in the near future.
I love you all. Be kind to yourself. It gets better. XXXX
Beth, thank you so much for you reply. It is refreshing to hear someone is better and healing. I continually thought that my intrusive thoughts were ppd related but never felt that that was a good fit. Just recently discovered my intrusive thoughts were due to OCD which explains a lot about my past struggles. In the past, I had sought out help but was never diagnosed with OCD…everyone simply put it as depression or attention seeking but I never felt depressed and definitely was NOT trying to get attention (probably the opposite if anything). I was happy except for the OCD (hard to explain). Now that I recognize my intrusive thoughts as another manifestation of OCD, I am better able to fight back and realize it is my brain misfiring and not me. Having a baby raises stress levels and anxiety so that’s probably when I use some sort of coping mechanism to manage all the responsibilities — of course, OCD and intrusive thoughts are not a very helpful coping mechanism but for some reason my mind falls back to this obsessive trick to deal with stressful situations.
I also got the book Brain Lock and found it very helpful. It is nice to know other normal people struggle with intrusive thoughts. Makes me not feel so crazy. It has been helpful though I feel my brain loves to challenge these books. I have to shut it off, not listen because again it is simply spiraling useless thoughts. My biggest struggle still is when my husband needs to leave for business. It is hard for me to be alone for a few days. I always have to fly home or have a friend/family stay with me. I know it is ridiculous but anytime my husband tells me he has a business meeting or trip…my stomach sinks, I feel a huge amount of fear. Does anyone else deal with this? I don’t understand why I am so terrified as I am alone with my little one all day. It doesn’t make sense and sometimes it is huge work for me to setup travel or make sure someone is home with me as we don’t live near family. I have stayed alone a few times but always fell uneasy. Anyone have a good coping strategy? I need all you girls around!!! haha, I seriously wish we could have a group meetup everyday.
Kate–group meetup would be GREAT, right!? I too struggle when my hubby is not home & completely understand the uneasy feeling that comes with that. My hubby works late often, so I am right there with you. I don’t know if I have any strategies per say, except for the more time I spend alone with my little girl the more confidence I build for next time. I seem to be bombarded by the ITs when we are alone too, so that’s tough, but I am just trying to keep my confidence up, and that seems to help. Also, even when I don’t feel like it, I act silly/goofy and laugh a lot with my little one which seems to distract my worried/troublesome brain & makes my little one full of giggles too, so it’s a win-win. Just know that you are not alone, we are all going through the same thing, and are here for each other.
I have been flying through books…trying to find any and all advice how to battle and win against these thoughts. Obviously some things will work and some won’t but it is a bit reassuring reading these books that this is truly a reflection of my brain misfiring and not me. Though the ongoing battle is always the doubt (hate doubt). One of the most helpful books I’ve read is called ‘out of the rabbit hole: a road map to freedom from ocd’ — these reoccurring thoughts are very much OCD and this book gives a wonderful perspective and tools. It uses both a personal story and actual clinical evidence on how to re-wire our brains and thinking. It is definitely a calming read and kept making me think “yay, I’ll totally get through this!!!” Anyways, hoping for a day I never think these thoughts, doubts or fears again — that would be amazing but sometimes it feels like no matter what it creeps in. Almost like a bad habit or something I can’t refrain from doing. Do any of you have days where you don’t think or ruminate on these thoughts. I hate it because even when I’m fine, perfectly content…my brain checks to see if it is there and then of course it triggers the questioning and doubts which I am trying not to do but sometimes despite my greatest attempts there is the why. Ugh, annoying. I LOVE you ladies! Thanks always for the superb support.
Hi Kate! Knowledge is power so I think it’s great that you are reading up–I must check out the Out of the rabbit hole: a road map to freedom from ocd! Never heard of that one. I wish I could say I recall a day without these thoughts–I may have had a couple when I started reading Brain Lock and my hormones had stabled out. Then, my period returned for the first time post-partum and it pulled me back down. It seems for me although some days are certainly better than others, it is always there in the back of my head trying to come to the forefront and get under my skin & bother me (if I let it–that’s one of the keys…not fearing it). Mine seems to get worse around ovulation and my period–it’s soo hormone related I think. Lately, I am trying to tell myself “Life’s too short-Life’s too short to worry about these thoughts” when my brain tries to take me under. That seems to be helping lately. Talk to you soon! xoxo
Beth I also wanted to say thank you for being brave enough to share your story on postpartum progress. I have never felt so alone as I did when all of this started. Finding postpartum progress & reading your story really saved my life. Can never thank you enough!
I did not mean to post twice. I didn’t think the first one went through. I’m so glad I’ve helped you, and Katherine for validating what I was going through, that was a big milestone in my recovery.
Beth…. To hear your words and your story has given me so much more hope.
You really are an inspiration to me and I think to all the ladies on here. Your originally post is what has kept most of us going.
I have been dying to now how you are, and to know that you are doing so much better, is the best news ever.
I’m still in struggle town, but I’ve learnt to just take each day as they come.
I’m hoping one day I can be like you and be a worrier mum and tell my story, to help other mums out there.
I have made some amazing friendships from this site, and I thank you and Katherine for that.
I think recognising your thoughts to this illness is the biggest key, and once you can separate the two I think this is where recovery starts.
Thank you again, so really have given me hope.
Beth, thank you– thank you, thank you, thank you. You have no idea how much your story has helped me to reach out for help. When I initially started feeling these symptoms, both me and my husband agreed we should keep them to ourself in fear our children might be taken away from us! I don’t know what I would’ve done if I I had never found this website! I said it before, and will say it again, this is the hardest thing I have ever been through. I have no idea why my brain decided to go haywire on me, but I have chosen to not drive myself crazy and figure out why anymore. I am so glad you are feeling better. God bless all of you ladies out there. I know we have never met, but I feel we have a connection having battled the same monster. I wish you all the best!
I wrote this reply before but I guess it did not post. I cannot thank you enough for responding & for giving me hope. There have been so many times when I have been going through this & wonder how you have been & if it is ever possible to get past this.
This truly has been the worst thing I have ever been through. The guilt is horrible. I feel my son deserves a better mom. I have had anxiety all my life but never thoughts like this. I constantly wonder will I ever be the same.
I am so happy you are doing better & had another baby!!!!!!
I feel the same way exactly. Before I had my baby I was going through extreme guilt of something that happened when I was a child. It resurfaced when I got pregnant I don’t know why.i was so fearful of it affecting my relationship with my baby that when I was in the hospital that worry was already in my mind. I get bad thoughts and feel so guilty about it that they resurface like I psych myself out into the thoughts. I feel like a horrible mother. I have no fear that anything would happen because I would never let it. These thoughts disgust me and are clearly unwanted. I want to just dismiss them but then the guilt of me ever even allowing the thoughts to enter my mind comes on strong and they start to try to come back. I a, responding to you because if you would ever like to email me please feel free to.
Sarah, have you talked to your doctor about these thoughts? Postpartum anxiety is a treatable illness. Reaching out for help can make a big difference.
I have not yet I am extremely scared. This is horrible. I do not judge anyone on here one bit I have nothing but sympathy because I know all of these women are good people. I can’t seem to stop judging myself. I also want to continue to breast feed and don’t want medications. I just don’t want to become uncomfortable all the time. Like I have a fear of a thought popping up a lot and that’s when they happen because I don’t want it to so much. When I am not thinking of it I realize how happy I am and how much I love my baby. I just question everything. Some days I am able to say that’s absolutely ridiculous and I would never do that nor do I have any urges to do anything, these thoughts literally I believe cause me to have almost a panic attack. I thought I was alone and reading this has helped me control it better. Is there any advice you could give me on how to forget these. And is it ok to forget and just dismiss this? That’s another feeling I have is that it is too late the thoughts already entered my mind so it’s too late I’m already a bad person.
Hi Sarah! Calling a therapist to schedule an appointment was one of the scariest things I had ever done (I could barely find my voice to speak when they answered my call), but once I started going, I realized that it was worth it & that I had made the right decision. Just try to find someone who has experience working with OCD, that is key. You are not a bad person–you are a great mama and trying to do your best by your baby. These thoughts have a way of playing tricks on our minds & one of the best ways to counteract them is not to buy into their lies–these are just thoughts as a result of imbalance we are suffering from and not a reflection of who we are. I have found that by calling the thoughts what they really are & dismissing them, they loose their power and start to shrink down. Lately, every time my brain tries to suck me back in, I tell myself I have a choice–I can either feed my OCD by giving it attention or starve it by calling it out for what it is and moving on (I actually tell myself, now I am going to think about something else). Easier said than done, but I keep reminding myself that although we cannot control having these thoughts, we do have control over how we react to them. God chose us to be mothers to our beautiful babies and I know He will give us the strength to climb out of this. We are all here for you.
First I want to say thank you so much for replying to me. I felt like I was losing myself and was desperate for help. You have helped me. I was feeling ok today and then had an episode over a thought and it got worse. I was able to finally dismiss it. I know I don’t want to do anything. You helped me realize these thoughts have no meaning because there is no intention behind them they are just there. I try to remember it is just my mind pretty much playing tricks on me. I just don’t want them to be there at all. I almost just get angry now when they come up. I just want to be happy with my family I love both my fiancé and baby very much and I noticed I’m starting to distance myself. I’m going to continue to try what you said no matter how bad I feel about a thought and hope they fade away.
I know exactly how you feel. I have felt the same exact way. I would definitely recommend calling a therapist & like surviving OCD said try to get into one that has experience with OCD-that is so very important.
This disease really is a beast. It is living in your own personal hell. You are not a bad mother. I know how easy it is to feel that way. I still feel that way sometimes.
I still struggle & am trying to get through this & accept that this is the way I am.
I too am fearful I will have these forever. I don’t know how I can ever go back to before when I had never ever had these horrible thoughts. I wish I could turn back the clock & never had the thought that made me spiral downhill to a very dark place. I continually thank God for finding this site. We are all in this together & we just have to keep hope that it will get better. Xoxo
Thank you for the support. I know I have posted on here a few times. I did call to schedule an appointment with a therapist however I can’t get in for a few weeks. I am sorry for posting again I’m not trying to take advantage I think I’m just desperate for help. This is horrible I have never had any thoughts like this before. I am coming to realize that this is only due to what I was going through when I was pregnant and I had such a fear even during labor I didn’t want it to affect my relationship with my baby. I know that it is only due to that. However I just feel so guilty and horrible and I question maybe I am evil or something. When I think so much about not having a bad thought I go into a panic state and that’s when I get a bad thought. I feel like it is only because I don’t want it to happen and because of me worrying about it it’s always in my head. I am trying to not have so much fear and just dismiss them and maybe they will start to come less and less until they fade away. I am so scared and just want to see if they have faded away for anyone else.
Sarah, my heart breaks for you because I know exactly what you’re going through. I’ve never had a history of mental illness or anything significantly traumatic, so this took me by storm. I thought I for sure I had snapped, and there was no turning back– I’d never be the same. There was no limit to the dark places my mind would take me. NO LIMIT. I felt like I wanted to give up. That’s when survival mode kicked in, and I would tell myself if you can just make it rhough this minute, this SECOND. It was hell. 5 months later, I am the closest to feeling like myself i’ve felt in a loong time. And even though there are some days I can feel the thoughts try to fight their way to the forefront of my mind, there aremore days now where they’re not there at all and I am winning. So just hang on… Reach out, talk about it, ask for help. You will make it through. My prayers go out to you!
Thank you for responding. I feel like I understand this better because I know this is only due to what I was going through during my pregnancy. I’m hoping this is the first step to getting rid of these horrible thoughts. I never had any images basically my mind goes to the gutter about things people say around me or my baby. I feel like I’m slowly stopping the anxiety and panic a little better because it doesn’t last long. I have a moment of weakness where I feel guilty or anxious and start to worry so much about if i am going to have avnother thought or twist my or someone else’s words to something bad. I just want them gone so many times I say why can’t I be normal and feel like a horrible person. I hope it is my hormones that are blowing this out of control I have so much fear that it won’t fully go away.
Hi Sarah–don’t feel bad about writing on here. We are here to help each other, so feel free to write whenever you need to vent–just look at all the comments above your post–we all do the same thing. It is NOT you, it’s your hormones taking your brain where you don’t want it to go and torturing you. When I was in the thick of this issue, it’s like it came in waves, the next one more terrible than the last. It attached itself to everything in my life–everything got twisted around and became a trigger and it made me so afraid. Then the fear perpetuated it and so on and so on. But one thing that I didn’t have that I hope you do, is knowledge and information about this disease. If I had had that early on, I could have stood up to the fear, called it what it is, and been a bit stronger, I think. See, if you give this disease attention, it will just call for more and more of it, until you find that this issue is all you can think about–it literally consumes you. But, if you can constantly remind yourself about what is really going on (even when you feel so out of control) then slowly the anxiety will decrease (you will start to starve the disease). For me, everything has not gone away, but it’s at a lower level and I can control it better than before. It also gets worse around my period (hormonal for sure).
Go and hug your baby, and if OCD tries to make you feel uncomfortable, holder your baby even closer–show OCD who is boss. That’s what I am trying to do.
Have you seen the Finding Art in the Dark article at the following link from a mother who has recovered from OCT/ITs–it’s very hopeful.
Thank you. I may need to get on here from time to time. Knowing I’m not the only one helps to. I am able to dismiss these thoughts better. I don’t get into a panic attack I realized when I get that way it gets worse. They have no meaning to me I have no intention behind them they just kind of pop up mostly when I’m worrying about not thinking something bad. I was told to try medication for now at least until my hormones balance. It has only been 10 days since I had my baby but I was dealing with intrusive thoughts (not about this) during pregnancy on and off that I know led to this. I never was like this ever. Sometimes I do get very scared about them staying with me or if nothing works. I feel horrible about having to have medication however I know some people just do and I don’t judge anyone for needing it. You have to do what you have to do. I can’t stop judging myself. I have put my body through a lot so I don’t know if it is the hormones blowing this out of control. I had an ectopic pregnancy in December 2012 and went into a depressive state and thats when i had the memory of something happening when i was 12 due to sexual experimentation. It was practically nothing ( which i now realize) but i completely had extreme guilt and obsessed about it and thought so horribly of myself. From my ectopic my doctor asked me wait a year to try again. Me being stubborn I only waited 6 months before I was pregnant. Now I have my beautiful son which I know I’m blessed and it truly hurts so much that I let myself get the way. Again thank you for your support and I truly appreciate the responses.
Dear Beth-first thank you soo very much for your extreme bravery in originally posting your story on Postpartum Progress. Your post also helped me so much in a very very dark time for me. Thank you for your update–it gives me hope for sure. I still struggle every month, but this site has been therapeutic and you started this international conversation for us moms who all suffer from this monster, and for that I also thank you very much. It’s been so helpful to know that we are not alone. I also believe that God can use our struggles for His good, as hard as it may be to accept sometimes. Ashes to beauty, right? God bless you and your family! xoxo
I came across this article after a Google search. I’ve been having horrible intrusive sexual thoughts towards children and they are destroying me. 🙁 I would never hurt a child at all. I feel so incredibly guilty for having these thoughts. 🙁 I don’t have Postpartum Depression, but the intrusive thoughts started just after my little boy was born (he’s 14 months old now.) I already see a psychiatrist for my anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder but nobody knows about these thoughts – not even my husband. I’m worried that my baby will be taken from me if anyone knew. I, myself, was in the care system and I worry that they’ll see that and think that I’m going to hurt my baby too when I wouldn’t.
These thoughts are destroying me and I don’t know what to do. I would never hurt anyone. The more I try to fight these thoughts, the more they push back. I don’t know what to do. 🙁
Oh hon. I’m so sorry to hear you are experiencing this. I know you are scared to death. But you have a history of mental illness with your anxiety and BPD, so it’s not surprising that you would have significant postpartum symptoms. It’s not your fault. Intrusive thoughts are a symptom of postpartum anxiety so you should talk to your psychiatrist about the fact that your anxiety symptoms have increased since having the baby and your current method of treatment isn’t working. In these situations psychiatrists sometimes up a person’s medication dosage or might suggest weekly therapy to help get you through it. The other thing is, if you’re not comfortable talking to your own psychiatrist about it, talk with a reproductive psychiatrist in your area (if there is one). They know a lot about postpartum anxiety and intrusive thoughts and will recognize what’s going on with you. Don’t give up! http://postpartumprogress.com/womens-mental-health-treatment-programs-specialists-us-canada-australia
I ended up breaking down infront of my psychiatrist when I saw her last week. I felt so embarrassed. She’s going to up my Pregabalin and try me on Sertraline to see if that will help. She did say that intrusive thoughts usually end up being the complete opposite, so if you’re a parent you could have horrible thoughts about hurting kids, even though you’d never in a million years hurt anyone. She was really understanding.
I ended up breaking down infront of my husband too. He’s so supportive and that has helped massively. He said that they’re just thoughts and I wouldn’t hurt a fly. It doesn’t make them any less soul destroying though. 🙁
Please don’t be embarrassed. I’m sure it helped your psychiatrist see and understand what you are going through, and that’s important. And she is right — moms who have intrusive thoughts of postpartum OCD/anxiety usually do every single thing they possibly can, to the point of going overboard, to keep their children safe and sound. Definitely soul destroying, but I’m grateful that you know these thoughts are NOT a reflection of who you are as a person.
Wow this story is amazing for mothers that deal with intrusive thoughts! I am dealing with it myself I just had a beautiful baby boy. I love him so much and could never hurt him or let anyone for that matter I never knew how much love you could have for someone until I had him. This is exactly how I feel whenthoughts come about that are completely ridiculous that I know I would never let happen and the more I feel I try to stop it the harder it is because I go into a panic state. Thank you for sharing your story I know it couldn’t have been easy.
Hey girls, there seems to be a lot more mummas out there suffering from this terrible illness. And I am so glad you are all getting help or are trying to.
I’m Ina pretty bad place still, not only do I get these horrible ITs, I’ve started to believe them now, which has made me pretty depressed.
I’m upping my medication due to how bad I’m feeling.
It’s just killing me, to not be able to cuddle and kiss my baby like any other mum does is just torture, without having these thoughts go through my mind. My thoughts have taken over my life. I don’t enjoy anything anymore, when I was such an outgoing person. I’m just so so scared I’m never going to get better and this is my reality now. I so wanted to have more kids.
Sorry to be a downer everyone.
I am seeing a therapist, we are upping my sessions to three times a week, I asked if we could do some OCD stuff, but we are working on my self esteem first. I seem to be reading though that with OCD you need to just get into the work straight away, I have had this for a whole year now, this is why I just can’t see any hope anymore.
I am still very grateful for this site. I just wish I could be of more positive support, and have my S!&@ together already.
Love to you all. Xx
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I just wanted to say that there IS hope. I’m not going to say that I’m cured by any means. Recovery is a process that happens over time. BUT- I do feel better than when this all started. I’m taking a four-pronged approach: medication (20 mg), therapy, neurotherapy (see eeginfo.com), and applying the four steps in brain lock. I actually like the book “You Are Not Your Brain” better. It’s a book by the same author, but I find it more informative than Brain Lock. I have a ways to go, but I know God is bringing me through this and is using my situation to transform me into the person he wants me to be.
I pray for you all daily. Keep the faith. We will all be victorious!
Hi again this is my only source to be able to talk to someone. I am still having an extremely difficult time. It’s only been two weeks. I cannot imagine dealing with this much longer. You women are so strong for holding it together for your families! I just want to go back to me! I am going to try medication when I go back to the doctor and am extremely nervous. My fear is what if it isn’t OCD and I truly just am a bad person. Has anyones thoughts went away? I want to be able to look back on this and think wow that was absolutely ridiculous because I know I don’t want to ever ever do anything. And also I never have images or thoughts of particularly doing anything. Its just like snide bad comments that pop up randomly when I hear a certain word that either I say or someone else says. Basically I am constantly nervous and try to guard myself because I am worried that something will pop up. Has anyone dealt with that? I am able to dismiss them but I don’t like them in general. I feel like I should be able to control this and even if I feel like i am doing good a randomn thought happens again and just tears me down again. My appointment isn’t for a little while. This site and everyone’s comments have helped me. I just have no where else to turn. I want to nip this now before I get worse.
Sarah OCD comes in all different forms. For me, I would have thoughts not only about harming my child but also unwanted sexual thoughts as well. I mean, you could not image how vivid some of these thoughts and dreams were. It is absolutely horrifying. But I know I would never act on these and God knows my heart. I LOVE my children more than anything on this earth. Dn’t let this monster fool you!
Faith, thank you I truly appreciate anyone’s feedback. I will be praying for everyone on here I know how difficult this is and how real this illness is.
This article is great and made me laugh, too. The writer is an OCD therapist. Please read! Love and prayers to you all!
Jen! This article is Awesome-thanks for finding & sharing. Paints such a clear pic. of the disease, but in a lighthearted way!
Hello again, I feel bad for keep having to post. I do have an appointment. But I had a really bad thought today worse than before I believe. I am having a very hard time and am in a panic over it. I absolutely hate this i feel like this is my fault and I’m letting this happen. I am so upset that I let myself get this way. I’m not sure if I am going to be able to forgive myself or be able to forget about this. The worst part is that I feel like I am losing bonding with my baby I don’t want to be around as much and I hate that. I just want to be able to bond and love my family.
Hi Sarah-keep telling yourself these are just thoughts, they cannot hurt you, and that you are a wonderful mother who loves you baby. Try to just repeat to yourself when they come into your mind what you are currently doing and focusing on and that that is all you need to do for that moment. Picture them like waves coming toward you-they will just go right over you and you can then move on. I understand you’re worried about bonding, but all you can do right now is try your best and hug your baby and be close to your baby even if you’re scared to – that is what your baby needs right now. For me in the beginning, I had to do a lot of fake happy acting but it was worth it in the long run. I am praying for you. It Will get better, trust that.
Yes agree with SOCD- just keep repeating to yourself. I know it’s scary we have ALL been there. I have more good days now than bad, You WILL get better. Remember they are just waves of thoughts. They can’t hurt you or you baby. You will get better. You are a great mother! You can beat this!! We are here for you
Sarah, I echo what the other ladies are saying. Please, please, please keep ahold of your hope & faith. No matter how hard things get, there is always some glimmer of hope. I remember when things were at there worst, and how lost I felt. I would repeat the ‘Our Father Prayer’ repeatedly in my head, or if I was alone or with my children, OUT LOUD. Try not to think about the future, just take it one step at a time and reassure yourself, this too will pass… Sending prayers your way!
So it’s ok to hust dismiss these thoughts? To tell myself they are meaningless to me? That doesn’t mean that I welcome them because they disturb me so badly. I feel like I’m doing this to myself. I just feel so guilty that I let myself have any kind of thought in the first place. I truly don’t believe I meant to and then after that I had so much fear and felt so guilty that it got worse because I was so worried about having any other thoughts. I am constantly nervous around everyone because I don’t want anything to come about. So I feel like by being nervous all the time about I’m just setting myself up for something bad to come up. That’s why I want to be on medication because I can’t stop the nervousness or anxiety and I believe that’s what causes them. Even if I’m not that anxious its just always in the back of my head not to think anything so I’m always nervouse about it.
These thoughts are, in psychological terms, called ego-dystonic. This means that they are so out of line with who you truly are and how you really feel that they cause so much anxiety within you. The anxiety itself is a reaction showing you don’t want to and wouldn’t do the things you are thinking about. Hope this helps- it helps me to remember this. Prayers and love coming your way!
Sarah do not ever apologize for writing on here!!!!! That is what we are here for!!! I know all the feelings you are having. I have had the exact same feelings & still do at times. I’m constantly questioning am I monster deep down inside?? Is this who I have been my whole life & I just did not know it until now??? And if I dismiss the thoughts or are not as anxious when I have them I feel oh my gosh am I liking these horrible thoughts? And I always am questioning what if this is not OCD & I am the horrible person I think I am.
It truly is the worst thing I have ever been through in my entire life. I have read & heard so many times you have to just accept the thoughts & let them pass through you. I constantly question how can I ever accept these thoughts they are never thoughts I want to accept. We are strong & will get through this all together. Thinking of all of you xoxo
Thank you ladies for replying. It means so much to me, truly! I am so grateful. I am just so fearful of this. I know I have to keep hope and pull it together I do in front of my fiancé(he does know partially that I am just having a difficult time) and I take care of my baby no matter what because it wouldn’t be fair to either of them. I have so many “what if” fears about a lot of things. Like “what if it isn’t my OCD what if it is just me” these thoughts are very disturbing to me. I try to just dismiss them and then I start to think if I am able to just dismiss them does that mean they don’t bother me? And if they don’t bother me does that mean that I welcome them? I feel like it never ends. I feel like deep down I know that’s not true and it’s ridiculous but when I am fearful and in a panic I seem to forget that. I know how strong everyone on here is because this is such a horrible situation and so hard to keep it together. I just want everyone to know I am praying for you and that your comments and advice do truly help! Maybe that can end up being a positive out of a negative that now you can help others in similar situations I know it helps me.
I’ve shared the same thoughts, Sarah. Sometimes I still have my moments of doubt- is this really who you are? Do you really want to do these things? Is this real??? I remember the moment I knew I needed medication. I was giving my daughter a bath, and these thoughts were running through my mind. Thoughts I have and probably will never share with anyone because they are so heinous. I actually turned the video camera on in my phone and RECORDED myself giving her a bath to ensure myself I was not doing anything to hurt her. I couldn’t differeniate my thoughts from reality. It was the hardest thing I’ve been through in my life. I’m in a completely different place in my life, thank GOD. I am not 100% but I am getting there. And so will you!
Thank you! I spoke to a counselor and doctor they are starting me on medication. I am not even thinking about will I be on it forever I just want to be me again. The counselor said similar things to me. I feel like the actual thoughts we don’t have to accept. But we just have to accept that they re bound to pop up now Only because of the reaction we gave even the first initial thought by getting high anxiety or panicked caused it to stay embedded in our mind. We have to dismiss them until they fade away. I feel like the actual thoughts can fade away completely. I think I will always remember I had a hard time post partum but I want to be able to just look back and be like wow that was just a hard time and ridiculous because I know I didn’t want to do anything or never would! It has only been two weeks now since I have had my baby. This started a few days after. I know it was only because of what I was dealing with during my pregnancy. I have put my body through a lot since having an ectopic pregnancy and then shortly after getting pregnant again when I probably shouldn’t have. Which I am happy anyway I did or I wouldn’t have my little boy. So I do believe hormones have a great deal in this at least blowing it out of control to the point it might stay even after hormones balance out if not taken care of. So that’s what I am doing I am going to work hard at taking care of this I am getting hope back I think. I am going to try to focus on my baby and not be fearful or nervous around him because that’s not fair. Thank you everyone again for your support and I will still be praying for you.
Yes that is exactly what is meant about accepting the thoughts. Not accepting the content but the fact that you have the thoughts. That is really hard for me because I do not want to have these thoughts at all. I keep wishing I never had the one thought that started all of this!!! I have always had anxiety but never thoughts like this. So happy you talked to a counselor & doctor & will be starting meds!! Thinking of all of you everyday!
It is so brave of you to seek out help right away. I dealt with it alone for over a year then just broke down. For the past 2 months, I’ve finally been able to put the thoughts aside and totally embrace spending weekends/nights alone with my little guy (that always scared me the worst even though I stay at home with him all day). The GREATEST trick I have found to quickly quiet the mind and thoughts is MUSIC. definitely a miracle for me. Music can elicit huge emotional responses so the key for me is anytime I feel the dreaded thought or anxiety come on I play upbeat, positive, happy memory inducing songs and I dance with my little man. It works every time to quiet the mind. I keep music on in the background at night as we play and eat even having his little music channel on or Disney songs is fun BUT it really really helps. I to went through a very rough patch where it seemed impossible to climb out but now can almost have days where those thoughts don’t linger. We have all been there…fear can cause intense feelings though not always TRUE feelings. Breathe and Distract.
Hello everyone I new here. I have been suffering with sexual intrusive thoughts as well. This all started when I watched a horrific story on the news and since then I have been plagued by the thoughts. I have good days and them bad days. I had extreme diaper changing anxiety for awhile but now that is getting better. Now I seem to suffer with thinking I feel something when I hold my baby a certain way. It makes me so sick. I absolutely get naucous! I have been taking Zoloft and Xanax to sleep it seems to help a bit. I mean yesterday I was having a great day got stuff done around the house then boom I thought I had a weird sensation while I wa holding my little guy and my life kinda spiraled again. It does not help me either being stuck I the house in this terrible winter. Being home everyday alone. I have not yet let my husband in on what I am truly going through. Have reached out to a few of my closest friends and it seemed to help to get out. I start seeing a threpist on Thursday so hopefully it goes well. I feel all you guys pain. I honestly thought I was a nut when these thoughts started. I honestly considers not being here anymore like I did not deserve it with thoughts like this in my brain. I love my little sweety so much. It just hurts me to have and thoughts. Brains are a tricky thing they do play tricks on you
Hi Gen! Welcome to the site! I completely understand what you mean about the sensations and being uncomfortable just holding your lo, as I battle with that myself. It’s so not fair. This thing really is a monster, but we must keep it in perspective it’s just the OCD and has no bearing on who we truly are as mothers. I read that OCD has a way of attaching itself to the things you love most, and it seems to ring true for us moms on this site. I know it’s hard, but try as much as you can to just disregard the sensation and write it off as what it is just a side effect of OCD. If you get anxious, it will only feed them, I speak from experience. Opening up to my spouse really did help me, but of course he doesn’t really completely understand what I go through on a day to day basis. Love and prayers to you, and know that we are here for each other on this site.
Just curious the sensations you feel. Mine seems to hit me in the lower stomachs nd shoots down to my crotch not exactly the spot that helps me considering what I am going through. It makes me think I am having weird feelings towards my baby. And the more a worry about it the more they come. I basically switch from having intrusive thoughts to having these sensations the sensations really freak me out just making me think and then I cannot stop thinking about and I have been obsessing over it for the past two days. I know it has to do with anxiety but it easy enough to say but my mind makes me crazy. Sorry if this is a bit to personal
Yes Gen those are the sensations I unfortunately get too. It’s awful-complete torture. It seems pretty common with this type of OCD. But for me still makes me doubt everything!
Welcome Gen! I have been fighting PPD/PPOCD since November 2013. I will say I’m about 85% better but still have some bad days/moments, mainly due to the OCD. I too suffer from unwanted sexual thoughts toward my baby, and sometimes of self-harm as well. Due to the stigma that comes along with PPMD’s, I find it hard to be open with others with all of my symptoms. I think sometimes, what “normal” 28 year old would be feeling this way? If I can “think” these things, that means I must be able to do them as well, right? Please feel free to reach out to us when you need to. We have built a nice little community here for each other that has helped me SO MUCH during my recovery process. My thoughts are with you.
Thanks for your reply. Yea this all started about two months ago when I got the terrible first thought. I think due to my stressful pregnancy triggered this to all happen. First I was told at my first ultrasound that my baby had dialated kidneys. Which I stupidly googled it and it said it was a marker for down syndrom. I worried insanely about it basically till I have birth and found he was a healthy boy. Then I had gestational diabetes. Which was a huge upset to me then my husband started suffering with irregular heart beats. Whih scared me as well and I obsessed over that. Then finally pregnacy was over my beautiful baby boy was born and I was instantly in love he was my second everything since I do have a 7 year old as well! Two weeks down the road enjoying being a new mom again loving life I got a call from my pediatrician to let me know that my precious baby tested positive for a cystic fibrosis gene. Which tore my work into peices. Had to go for furthur testing and he ended up being fine just a healthy carrier, but I could not stop thinking that they had it all wrong and he had. I was very obsessive over it for a long time. Then my baby was projectile vomiting for a long time a I was convinced that he had something wrong. But he ended up being ok. Then soon after all of that this all set in and truly wrecked my world. I just feel like a terrible person. Scared to wake in the morning. For the thoughts and feelings coming back. I just absolutely love my baby I am hoping getting all this out to my therppit will help
Thanks u so much surviving OCD and faith for writing me back. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one in this!
Let’s keep talking
I know exactly how you are feeling!! I also thought I was going crazy when all of this started & was ready to check myself into the hospital or end it all. It completely tore my world apart.
I definitely know about the thoughts & sensations & how sick they make you feel. I am doing better but still struggle with all of it. Still question who I really am & feel awful for having thoughts & feelings like this. I just wish I was a “normal” mom. This site & all the ladies here have saved my life!! We are all here for you!!! You are definitely not alone!!!!! Glad you are going to therapy & if possible make sure they have experience with OCD-that is very important!!!!!! We are all in this together & I consider us damn strong mamas to battle this horrible beast daily!!!! Thinking of all of you Xoxo
Hey all. I was finally starting to think everything was getting better had no sensations or thoughts for a week and a half. Then I began to fear it returning and of course there it was been suffering with the sensations again :(. I get them when I am burping my little toot. It is terrible. But I do have I say it is not happening as bad a it was in the beginning. So I must be getting somewhat better. The key is to keep busy! My family was in town too when I was feeling better so mYbe just being preoccupied with them made me better for the week. Hopefully soon I can just go day to day with no worries or fear of it rearing it’s ugly head again. My therapist is great to she actually told me that my story was almost a carbon copy of her postpartum OCD that she had when she had her three year old. I think god for sure sent me to this specific therapist. Who knew that my therapist would have gone through the same thing as me, so she totally understands. I do feel a new lease on life when I see her, I dart to not doubt myself but after a week I am sure ready to see her again to get reassured again. I would not wish this on my worst enemy! I just wondered if there are any ways that u guys deal with the sensations. Cause with the thoughts she told me to write on a paper to see red and then burn in but not sure how to do that sorta therapy with sensations. Let me know if any of I have any helpful ideas! Love to all. My prayers are with u all as well.
I know how you feel when you say you start to feel like you are getting better & then bam it hits you again. I too would never wish this on my worst enemy. It truly is hell.
I too get the sensations & they make me sick. This whole thing is such a nightmare. I have done exposure therapy & it did help but I have not been good about doing my exposures recently. I feel I have been avoiding them. I just wonder if there will ever be be a day that I don’t struggle with these thoughts, feelings, sensations etc. I just constantly wish I never had the thought in the 1st place. I know that does not help but I just want to be a “normal” mom. Thoughts & prayers for all of us. Xoxo
Just checking in on you ladies (NJP, Cass, Surviving, and all the rest of you) since it’s been awhile since anyone has left a comment on here. I truly hope that’s a good thing. I’m so much better than when I left my first comment, and if it were not for you ladies and this site, my recovery process would’ve been a lot different. Again, I hope you all are doing better. Would love to hear from you. Sending thoughts and prayers.
Hello ladies yes doing much better, there are times when I continue to fight with thoughts but it has gotten better. I wish you all the best and hope you are all doing well. Happy Mother’s day
Thanks for checking in!! I’m doing ok. I’m better than I was in the beginning but by no means am I back to myself. I get scared because it has almost been a year since these thoughts started & I just question myself. Is this who I really am?? Is this my new reality & I will be this way forever?? I still struggle. I am pregnant with my 2nd. It happened unexpectedly which I really am grateful for because I had trouble getting pregnant with my first but I wanted a little more recovery time under my belt. I had to stop my meds also. I am really nervous about postpartum also & so scared I will be worse. So for me it still feels like it has been a roller coaster. I am so happy to hear others are feeling better!!!
I would consider staying on your meds throughout the pregnancy. I worried about it a lot myself, but I’m so glad I did now. I stayed under regular supervision of my psychiatrist who held my hand through it all. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks.
Thank you for replying Beth!! The meds I were on were not considered safe so unfortunately I had to go off of them. I have been taking something for anxiety. Lately though I think I may need to go on meds. I am setting up an appt. Do these thoughts ever get better??? I really feel that there is something seriously wrong with me because they are not going away. I wonder how I will ever heal from this. I am really scared about getting postpartum psychosis too. I am scared about all of it. I really wish I was normal.
Get on a safe med and stay on it for awhile. I’ve been on mine for 3 YEARS and counting. See a psych doc. Did you know that people with OCD require a higher dose to manage their symptoms? I’m only now considering changing up my meds, or maybe going off (petrified), but I won’t make a decision like that until I get a couple of opinions from professionals. This is serious and we should take treatment of our OCD seriously. It is just as real as high blood pressure, no matter what your mind tells you 🙂 There is nothing wrong with you. Your mind attaches and won’t let go of the things that UPSET you the most because of a glitch in our brains that we were born with. Having children will trigger OCD. A friend of mine had heart problems she had never had before after having her third child. Laugh, I mean LAUGH your butt off and those ridiculous thoughts in your head because that’s how silly they are. I started feeling better when I could laugh at them. This won’t last forever and this isn’t who you are. XOXO
Thank you so much for replying Beth!!!!! I plan on staying on meds for a very long time! As long as I have to & forever if that is the case!!! I made an appt with my psychiatrist & am going to talk to my OB about it this Monday. I was planning on starting meds right after I gave birth but if I have to start earlier I will. I’m really nervous about going through this again & having 2 kids to take are of! I always wanted to have another baby but after this happened I was torn. Did you do exposure response therapy??? I am having a hard time accepting that I may be like this forever. I know that whatever you decide to do about your meds will go well! I know it is nerve racking thinking of coming off of them but you seem very very strong!!!! Xoxo
Hey there Fiera and all you lovely ladies,
I’m going ok. I ended up going on meds and was getting through my days so much better, still struggling with the thoughts, but coping with them and getting SLEEP.
I did a stupid thing though, my therapist and I decided to wean off my meds as I was getting some horrible side effects. Well this week I have been an absolute mess, so I’m back on them again.
I really was getting on top of things, prob feeling 75% stronger than what I was when I first wrote on here.
The doubt has just really got to me the last few days, and my brain is just having a hard time understanding what is going on.
But we will be ok. Love to you all. Xxxx
Hi Fiera! Thanks for checking in on us. My OCD ebbs and flows depending on the time of month, but never completely goes away (oh, how I wish it would leave me alone). I guess I’m seated on the rollercoaster right next to NJP. I’ve been trying hard to give these thoughts and emotions over to God instead of trying to manage them all on my own–I have to trust that He made me in His beautiful image. He would not want me to suffer with this & bear the burden on my own when He’s more than capable of shouldering it. Lately, I’ve just been fighting against the ever consuming doubt & uneasiness, and trying not to get depressed. Long weekends are good & bad all at the same time for me–wish I could feel carefree and happy like so many other people seem to be. Xoxoxo to all the mamas out there. God bless you all and do your best to keep the faith. -Surviving OCD
I have had these thoughts for four years, my Son is four and I just had a girl. I never would have thought there was a name for this. I thought I was really messed up in the head. I have never told anyone. I don’t know what to do because I can’t afford a phycologist.
Praise God! I am so grateful for Beth for having the courage to share her story for there are so many AMAZING mothers who suffer from PPOCD. I was diagnosed with depression, PTSD and OCD when I was 19 years old, due to various traumatic experiences I faced in my life, including sexual abuse. For all of the many years that I have known myself, I always was (and will always be) an individual that firmly stood up for justice, especially, where respecting the mind, body and soul are concerned. I applied to university for social work as a means to help other kids out who faced a similar past to myself and women’s studies to help women having difficulty with their past. I would NEVER in a billion years think that I would have any intrusive thoughts because I always believed that I was strong in my position as a positive and respectful woman. When I first had intrusive thoughts, they surrounded my sexual orientation and I feared that I was disconnected to men and would become a lesbian (I am 100% heterosexual). The thoughts changed and were directed towards my sister and children. I feared that I could become the one thing I absolutely hate: a molester. I wanted to commit suicide and tried but God had a plan for me and I lived. I began CBT with an amazing counselor and in 6 months, the IT were behind me. I learned to look at the thoughts as simply thoughts and without judgement, they disappeared. I was doing WONDERFUL for 5 years then the thoughts and anxiety came back 9 months after giving birth to my beautiful and loved son. I had a few IT after he was born but I used to dismiss them and go on with my life, however, when he was around 9 months, I could not shake them off. I became sick to my stomach and again contemplated suicide to protect my son. I know that I cannot leave him motherless though. As scary as it can get, I know that I have only one option, which is to survive. I am seeing a therapist who assures me that she has no concerns about me ever acting upon the thoughts and she believes I am a wonderful mom. She explained that underneath all of the thoughts, fears and anxiety is pure love and protection for my son. All I know is I will do anything to fully heal again and be the best mother to my son. I just want other mommies who are going through this to know that if I could get through it once, they can too and they will rise. Finally, I just want to share a few things that have helped me out,
1. Remember that OCD goes completely against who YOU are as an individual.
2. The fact that you and I are both mortified and disgusted by these thoughts speak volumes: We are good mothers!
3. The fact that you are on this forum shows you that you are a wonderful mother because you are searching to find the tools to heal and be the best mommy ever!
4. Whenever I have an IT I do not judge it, I tell myself it is the PPOCD and I imagine throwing the thought into a garbage bag, swinging it into outer space and watch it disintegrate. (sometimes creating little mental games make a huge differences).
5. Give yourself some credit. You made it this far, you’re doing yourself justice by fighting to heal.
6. Remember to listen to your heart and spirit: If an IT is giving you a sick, disgusted feeling know that your heart and spirit are yelling, “I love you ________, mommy will do anything to protect you.” Make your heart and spirit louder and more powerful than your mind.
7. Pray. Therapy works wonders but prayer has saved me.
I have my ups and downs but I always remember LIFE IS LIKE AN ARROW: SOMETIMES IT PULLS YOU BACK, ONLY TO SHOOT YOU FORWARD.
Peace and Love and be proud that your child/children have a mother who will do anything in their power to protect their baby/babies and you have the right to live up to your true calling: to be the best mother ever!
I’ve been through all the comments and It impresses me how many of us struggle with the same issues. I am a fellow intrusive thoughts sufferer. I have had severe anxiety for a year now due to major life changes. I got pregnant 7 months ago and the intrusive sexual thoughts started on my second trimester. How are you all getting on ladies?
A very useful and insightful website for me has been this one:
Please have a look. While for some people It could be an illness, like OCD for most of us It’s psychological. This means that we will not be able to get rid of the intrusive thoughts If we don’t find the route of them. If we get rid of the anxiety, the intrusive thoughts will go away as well. Please let me know what your thoughts are.
Thanks so much! This article helped me a lot!
Hi Ladies I have been reading this blog for almost 2 years. The first time I went to a therapist for my OCD she reported me to CPS and my whole experience was HORRIBLE. Things with CPS got cleared right away but I never went back to search for a therapist because I was too afraid. I am on meds but recently my OCD has been flaring up not as bad as the first time but I can feel it creeping in. I want to get the proper help but I cant find the right therapist plus I am too afraid to talk about it. Its so frustrating I cant believe this exist.. all I want to do is enjoy my son and be happy like Ive always been. I hope and pray all of us ladies get through this soon. God Bless 🙂
GP, I’m so sorry you had that experience. It might be helpful to reach out to someone who specializes in women’s mental health. You can check here to see if there is someone in your area (this is not an exhaustive list – but it at least might help): http://postpartumprogress.com/womens-mental-health-treatment-programs-specialists-us-canada-australia
Gap I am so sorry to hear of your experience, that must have been so terrfying and demoralizing.
That is one of my fears that I will get reported because of my thoughts towards my daughter.
I have just recently reached out to PANDA, it’s part of the post natal womens health support group and they have been fantastic. I have been seeing a therapist, well a couple of different ones, and i still feel like I am a lost cause. I thought I was getting on top of things but somehow I really don’t think I am.
Keep us posted on your progress, and don’t feel shameful at all reaching out on here.
These women know exactly what you are going through.
All the best.
I haven’t been on here in awhile because I have been working like crazy on my exposure therapy. Things have gotten a little better (I cross my fingers that it stays that way). I just got caught up on a lot of posts. I think we are all battling the same monster, but it will get better eventually. My daughter is almost 5 1/2 years old, and I still battle. But the good thing is that it gets a tiny bit better a little at a time. GP, I read your post, and I just wanted to say don’t give up. Reach out to someone else who knows what they are doing. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I am with my 3rd therapist right now, and she is finally getting somewhere with this OCD. It is the hardest thing we will live through, and we can’t even share the weight of the pain for fear of judgement. But we have each other…
Please help I have been dealing with everything written here! Last night I had a dream about my child and in it I was aroused to the point of orgasm in my sleep! I can’t escape these awful thoughts even in my dreams. Has anyone else experienced this?
Hi does anyone still comment on here? I’m really struggling 🙁
Yes Pam we are still here!!! Are you on meds or seeing a therapist??? You are not alone!
We are still here Pam you are not alone. Remember you can get through this. We are here for you don’t be afraid, they are just thoughts not reality. Hugs!
Both, I was better for a month while I had family staying with me, but now it’s hitting me again, think I need to up the meds :-/
Hi ladies, I have been reading your messages for a while. I too have been hot by this terrible illness and even though it’s been 8 month since they first diagnose me with OCD antenatal depression. I still feel I haven’t recovered. I know now that I have my baby it’s trying to sneak back. I don’t allow it and I am using the exercises the puschologist have told me to do. My anxiety focus on me and the fear of my children been sexually abided by anyone including family. I hope it will go away but at the moment I still feel am living a nightmare.
Stephany, I understand what you mean by living in a nightmare. And the anxiety just makes things feel 100 percent worse. How are you doing this week? We are all here for you!
It definitely is living in a nightmare!! Worst thing I have ever been through. A definite roller coaster.
Hi Pam-you are definitely not alone. It’s a daily struggle, but I have to believe it gets better. I’m going through The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD and finding it helpful. Quote of the day: “Don’t dig up in doubt what you’ve planted in faith.” Praying for us all. Xoxo
its funny how your story is exclaly like mine.. i read this post everyday to assure myself that im not crazy and that there is hope for me. wish you the best and im praing for all of us good moms
yois, have you been able to get help from a doctor or therapist?
Does anyone else struggle with vivid dreams around your anxiety?
A previous post I made about the dreams I’m having hasn’t been approved by the moderator, now I’m feeling terrible like they think I’m awful!!! God this is sooo upsetting!!
Pam, OCD is very sneaky and seems to display itself in different forms and fashions for different people. It targets what do you love most. I have heard other mothers on here to talk about dreams as it relates to their OCD / anxiety. The most important thing to remember is that you are not your thoughts and these dreams don’t have any bearing on who you are as a person or a mother. It’s just the OCD trying to get you. Quoting from the workbook I’m doing, they are spoken in a language based on fear not on evidence. We need to see things as they actually are not what you fear they could be. I know this is hard it’s so hard and we struggle with it daily, but the less we fear it the smaller it will become.
Hey girls. Im not doing so well.
I havent been on here for ages as I was getting better.
I did write a post but it hasnt come up. So I apologise if jt comes up twice.
I think I have acted on a compulsion. Its terrifying me to the point im in a constant panick.
Can someone reply and tell me if anything similar has happened to you.
I was playing with my little girl on the floor and she rubbed her hands between my thighs, and I thought to myself did I like that? And so I just thought to myself surley not and let her keep doing it but then I felt as if I did like it and then thought omg I have just violated my daughter. And I just cant get this out of my head. Im feeli g so much shame and guilt I cant concentrate. Any tboughts would be so helpful. Im feeling like I am acting on my thoughts and thus is what monsters do. I am seeing a therapist but not for another 5 days. So sorry to be selfish and write this. 🙁
Oh Dear women, I can totally relate to your stories bc I have lived this nightmare too. I have to say that if it weren’t for my faith in Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with Him I would not have survived this ordeal. I have had this twice with my 1st and 3rd children. The first time was horrendous but didn’t touch the second time as it was much worse. What I have found that has worked for me is first prayer as I wouldn’t have made it to the point of finding the medical help I needed if I hadn’t had God in the picture. I cannot emphasize enough that God loves you and completely understands your heart and good intentions towards your child/children. Many scriptures I clung to and still do to make it thru second by second. I ended up on Zoloft which helped a lot but I still struggled just more quietly. The depression still hung in the air everyday and the thoughts were still difficult. The true turning point for me was when I went to a doctor who specializes in bio identical hormone replacement. First I took a saliva test from ZRT labs (I have no affiliation) and mailed it in for analysis. It showed my estrogen and progesterone to be about half of what it should have been. Also my testosterone and dhea were also low. The doctor thought I should supplement with all those hormones except estrogen as lots of women are estrogen dominate. Through much trial and error I found that the bioidentical estrogen (that I was given to help with a bladder prolapse not to balance) was what made me feel and think normally again. I do to want to give false hope to any of you but I have been using the estrogen for about 1 1/2 weeks and I feel wonderful. I am also still on the zoloft. My hormone doc says to stay on the zoloft til my hormones are done doing some major adjustment over the next few months. I am also using progest cream during days 12-26 of my cycle but couldn’t use it without feeling sad and lethargic before I got my estrogen up as the imbalance was too much. I also want to say that I had to quit nursing to get an accurate hormone read and that estrogen can dry up or ruin your milk. The way I see it is nursing was important to me but my sanity was more important. I have left out many details of the trial and error and how long it took me to figure this out for the sake of getting to the point. But, don’t give up as adjusting hormones is different for everyone and can be a challenge to find what works for you. If you go to your OBGYN he/she will likely poo poo the idea. You need to find a physicians assistant or doctor that specializes in these bioidentical hormones. Btw, I didn’t share my thoughts with my doc specifically I just said I was having “crazy thoughts” and told her my other symptoms horrible anxiety, night sweats (early on), dry skin/hair, bad insomnia. I will be praying for you all as you search for your healing. God is faithful and loving even when it feels like He’s not there. He loves you ladies!! If you look up symptoms of peri menopause/intrusive thoughts they are the same things we have been experiencing bc the problem is the same a huge hormone drop! Also, I read that the brain cannot produce seritonin right without estrogen which explains why the zoloft wasn’t doing its full job without the addition of the estrogen. I pray this all helps!
I am going through this again with my newborn daughter. I am feeling ashamed, I thought I had moved past this after I had my son almost 4 years ago.
Oh Karrie I am so afraid of this. I am about to have my 2nd & am really worried about going back to that dark place. Are you on meds or in therapy??
NJP-don’t be afraid-OCD feeds on fear & you’ve got this covered mama. The OCD will try to drag you down just due to the hormones, life changes, & lack of sleep (expect that & by doing so you’ll stay one step ahead). It’s going to try to come at you, BUT you will be anticipating it armed with much knowledge, resources, courage, and strength. You are so strong–don’t let it get you down. When you get that sinking “what if it comes back” feeling in the pit of your stomach tell yourself I have OCD and I will deal with the uncertainty–I’ve done it before & I’ll do it again. Then go dream of holding your new born baby in your arms and the magical feeling of his eyes meeting yours for the very first time–that’s the real stuff, that’s the good stuff. The bad may try to pull you down–don’t let it–you have way too much good to look forward to.
Thank you so much Surviving OCD you always know the perfect thing to say!! I hope this time I am more prepared. And thank goodness I have all of you.
Yes I am on meds (Zoloft, progesterone shots) and in therapy. My daughter is just 3 weeks old. I was managing fine the first week or so but then I had some setbacks with nursing; I don’t know if that played a role. The thing is I know this will get better because it got better after my second son, I guess that is why I felt confident that we would be OK with a third. NJP- I am sorry I didn’t mean to worry you more.
Hi Karrie–it’s definitely the hormones from the pregnancy-they wreak such havoc on our minds. I am so sorry you are going through this. I had been doing good for a while, but since my daughter is only nursing just about once a day now, my hormones also shifted and tried to pull me back down. We must stay one step ahead of this OCD and know that no matter what we would never harm our children-in fact we are so protective of them our own minds test us to ensure we are safe (our mama bear instincts are in overdrive I suppose). We just have to stay one step ahead of the OCD so it does not take us by surprise. I keep trying to picture my mind as a river and all of my thoughts are like water continuously flowing in that river–when you have a bad thought just let it flow through with the rest of your thoughts; you don’t have to wonder, doubt, or analyze it–just let them all flow through. I keep trying to post a link with a good article on this site, but it gets tied up in moderation–instead try Googling “Harm OCD Part Three: Son of Harm OCD” & it should pull up–it’s a three part article. God bless you, and please feel free to write on here whenever you need someone to talk to.
I haven’t been on here for ages. As I thought I was starting to feel like myself again and could dismiss some of my thoughts.
I have already typed this post twice now but it doesn’t seem to be coming up. So third time lucky.
I had a major trigger yest and I am wondering if anyone has experience anything similar or am I a terrible monster that I think I am.
I was feeling very anxious yest as I do have these days, and I was playing with my little girl and her hands went between my legs, I instantly thought I liked it and thought to myself don’t be silly, and just let her keep playing, then I thought omg your letting her do that and you like it, and I totally freaked out to the point I felt like I was going to pass out and did not sleep one bit last night from the shame and guilt.
If anyone has had an experience like this could you please reply. I know this is reassurance seeking but in my mind I absolutely feel as if I am this terrible monster now.
I was doing so well now I feel like I am back at square one. 🙁
Please don’t judge me.
Just can’t concentrate at the moment from the constant thinking what if…….
Cass I totally understand what u are going through. Don’t beat yourself up. You brain just goes to those weird thought because that is what we are going through. I feel very uncomfortable when I am breast feeding and my lo kicks my crotch I always reach down and move his feet. It is normal though our brains just do this to us to makes us think we r monsters. But in all reality we know we are wonderful mothers. Hang in there.
Hi Cass-I sure have experienced something similar. Our bodies are just hypersensative because we are on pins & needles about having the OCD & the OCD plays off of this to make us doubt ourselves. It has NOTHING to do with your little one actually–it’s just the OCD. My mind plays tricks on me all of the time and it’s torturous to constantly be reviewing your thoughts, feelings, and actions because you are afraid that you have accidentally done something wrong–rest assured you have not it’s just one the tactics OCD uses. It’s hard for me to feel comfortable in my own skin and relax. I too have been feeling a lot of anxiety lately, and the OCD feeds off the anxiety, makes our brains spin, and makes us doubt ourselves. Don’t let the OCD bring you back down–you’ve worked way too hard to climb out girl. You deserve to be happy & enjoy the beautiful family God gave you. I know if feels so real, but it’s not. It just isn’t. Brush this off for the silly thought that it is.
I posted the below article in another comment, but I think it’s really helpful. Also, I’ve been trying to get back into doing The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD which has a good chapter on this form of OCD we are afflicted by. No worries about reassurance seeking or judgement here-we are all in this thing together & are here to lend a shoulder to each other.
Hi Cass-I sure have experienced something similar. Our bodies are just hypersensative because we are on pins & needles about having the OCD & the OCD plays off of this to make us doubt ourselves. It has NOTHING to do with your little one actually–it’s just the OCD. My mind plays tricks on me all of the time and it’s torturous to constantly be reviewing your thoughts, feelings, and actions because you are afraid that you have accidentally done something wrong–rest assured you have not it’s just one the tactics OCD uses. It’s hard for me to feel comfortable in my own skin and relax. I too have been feeling a lot of anxiety lately, and the OCD feeds off the anxiety, makes our brains spin, and makes us doubt ourselves. Don’t let the OCD bring you back down–you’ve worked way too hard to climb out girl. You deserve to be happy & enjoy the beautiful family God gave you. I know if feels so real, but it’s not. It just isn’t. Brush this off for the silly thought that it is.
I posted the below article in another comment, but I think it’s really helpful. Also, I’ve been trying to get back into doing The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD which has a good chapter on this form of OCD we are afflicted by. No worries about reassurance seeking or judgement here-we are all in this thing together & are here to lend a shoulder to each other.
Hi Cass-I sure have experienced something similar. Our bodies are just hypersensative because we are on pins & needles about having the OCD & the OCD plays off of this to make us doubt ourselves. It has NOTHING to do with your little one actually–it’s just the OCD. My mind plays tricks on me all of the time and it’s torturous to constantly be reviewing your thoughts, feelings, and actions because you are afraid that you have accidentally done something wrong–rest assured you have not it’s just one the tactics OCD uses. It’s hard for me to feel comfortable in my own skin and relax. I too have been feeling a lot of anxiety lately, and the OCD feeds off the anxiety, makes our brains spin, and makes us doubt ourselves. Don’t let the OCD bring you back down–you’ve worked way too hard to climb out girl. You deserve to be happy & enjoy the beautiful family God gave you. I know if feels so real, but it’s not. It just isn’t. Brush this off for the silly thought that it is. I keep trying to post a good article link, but that may be what is causing the issues with the blog accepting my post. Also, I’ve been trying to get back into doing The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD which has a good chapter on this form of OCD we are afflicted by. No worries about reassurance seeking or judgement here-we are all in this thing together & are here to lend a shoulder to each other.
Thank you Surviving OCD you always know the perfect thing to say. I hope I am more prepared this time but still worry. I’m really worried about the hormonal changes. Karrie you did not scare me more. I have been worried about it the whole time. How long have you been on the meds? Do you feel they are helping??
I have been on meds for a long time… Since college about 15 years. I weaned with my 3 full term pregnancies a few weeks ahead of due date. I feel they work, it’s postpartum I have had an issue with my last 2 full term pregnancies.
Hi Karrie and Cass-I tried to write you both back last night, but the blog says my comments are awaiting moderation. I’ll try to go on in a little bit and get them to go through.
Hi everyone, I have read through this before and its amazing what curve balls life can throw us. I have been struggling since last October. October 3, 2013 to be exact. I will never forget it as I feel it changed my life forever. And it did. I was changing my daughter who was 20mos old at the time and she was being a typical little toddler and exploring herself I guess as I was trying to put her diaper on. I thought to myself “I could easily take advantage of her right now if I wanted” – referring to vulnerability of little ones, not that I wanted to. There was no desire there at all!. As soon as I said that I stopped and thought to myself “Why would I think that? Am I a pedophile?” and there it went….I have struggled with OCD in the past but never to this extent (a lot of repetitive touching of light switches etc, and for a few years before my husband and I married I obsessed that I would end up breaking up with him and hurting him even though I didn’t want to). I left my daughters room after that diaper change on Oct 3, 2013 and said, “I won’t think about this tomorrow”…knowing otherwise. Two-three weeks following I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. Thought I would need to be admitted to a hospital. I told my husband who dismissed it as my normal obsessing…thinking I would get over it in a week. I knew otherwise. I started on medication and a psychologist but I feel like I could read everything that the psychologist tells me. I have come a long way and I am pregnant with my 2nd child now, due in December. I know it is my OCD and not me. I have struggled DAILY for almost a year with the worries occupying my mind a good portion of the day. Mentally checking if I am aroused or not around all children, especially my daughter. Even looking at a kid can produce anxiety.
However I have had groinal responses too – have you ladies have those? Those are super awful and confusing. My last “groinal” response, I think it was anyway, maybe it wasn’t was when my daughter was having a bath a few weeks ago. She again started to play with herself down there. I told her to not do that (nicely, not to shame her) and she found it funny so kept doing it. I swear she actually penetrated herself with her finger. I saw her do this and I felt what seemed like a tingle or full feeling in my “down there”. This has happened before when I got anxious. But for some reason this time it happened as I saw her do this I said “Oh my god do you like this?!” and got anxious about the fact that I had what may have been a sexual reaction to my daughter exploring herself. I wasn’t horny, I didn’t feel horny towards her or anything. The only thing I can compare it to would be what I presumed was a sexual response to her doing what I perceived as a sexual action. I guess similar to if you watched it happen on tv. I think anyone could have done it and my reaction may have been the same. If I think back on it, it made me uncomfortable. If I didn’t say to myself “oh my god, do you like this?!” then I don’t think I would question if it was a sexual reaction or a groinal response due to anxiety. But the fact that I can’t be certain to which one it was makes me feel guilty and shameful. I feel that if that didn’t happen I would be much happier. I have found ways to cope with what I feel are mostly intrusive thoughts and rumination. However the physical sensation that I felt like I got from that is hard to dismiss.
I know it wasn’t HER that maybe turned me on? Just possible the action of what she was doing that gave me that feeling? I told my husband and he said “did you feel the need to want to go get off or pleasure yourself at the thought of what she was doing?” and of course the answer was a DEFINITE certain NO! And truly if I had to think about her doing that in the tub in order to pleasure myself I swear I would remain celibate forever as it would never get me aroused just thinking about it now. So what does this mean? Was it sexual or just groinal? Because I cannot differentiate I find myself ruminating.
Sometimes I am hesitant to post on these sites as I feel it is a checking strategy as I am seeking reassurance, but in cases where you ladies have been though similar situations, sometimes reassurance is what is needed.
This story really rings true with me. I searched for it in some of the darkest days and have read it a number of times since then. I look for it when I feel I am alone even though I know I am not. I am a lot better than I was when this first happened to me (in Oct 2013, when my daughter was 20 mos old). But still struggle daily. I am pregnant with my second (a boy) who is due in December and I pray daily I can get through this pregnancy/raising a baby without the terrible thoughts that plagued my mind about my daughter for almost a year now.
Is this thread still active? I notice not a lot of activity for a few months.
EMN yes it is still active.
And I am pretty positive all the girls have experience something that you have mentioned. I am happy for you to be having another baby. You are stronger than you think. When I see pregnant women now I feel so sad and angry at myself as I just couldnt do it at the moment. I so desperatley wanted to have more than one child I still hope I can. But at the moment my head just isnt in the right place.
And yes I get the groinal responses too which freak me out coz I then start ruminate to see what they mean and then I start to thjnk that it must be a sexual response. But its not.
I hope your feeling a little better from when you posted last.
Im seeing an ocd specialist this week as I have been seeing just psychologists. And ive been very bad for over a year and a half now.
But there is hope. And we will get better.
Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.
Hi cas, I have read several of your replies and I hope you are doing better. I am feeling better but still have my moments. I reflect to when my daughter was in the bath and I had what I am confused as either a groinal or sexual reaction. I want to be certain it was not a sexual reaction. I know this is OCD, seeking certainly. I know it is likely anxiety and a groinal response as I notice a full feeling in my “down there” whenever I feel even a slight bit anxious. Sometimes I notice the feeling and then realize I feel more anxious. Usually during diaper changes or when I am buckling her into her car seat and have to do up the harness buckles between her leg. Always trying to consciously watch every move you make. It is truly exhausting.
I am learning though that the key to overcoming the OCD, in addition to medication, is actually NOT ruminating. When the anxiety flares up, let it sit. It will dissipate. Do not check, do not wonder “what it means”, do not think “what if I liked it”…and if you do worry “what if I liked it” then do not try to figure out if you actually did. Let the anxiety sit. It truly is one of the hardest things you can do but when the relief comes, you do feel stronger.
There will always be a vice…my latest vice is worrying the what if I had a sexual response to my daughter exploring herself. I do go somedays without thinking about it, and those are the days I am typically am working all day and not around my daughter.
Truthfully, the worst thing about it all is the memory that it happened in the first place. All of it…from the very get go. I have been struggling for 1 year this Oct 3rd. And it has gotten much better. But I am not cured. But I do realize that it may take several years before it is all better. It’s not something I like thinking but we don’t have a choice. Recovery takes time and it will be different for everyone. It is nice to have this thread to chat with everyone. Take care.
I was getting ready to check myself into the hospital when my husband found this thank you so much
Oh Krissy! I’m so glad you found us! You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you! I’ve been better for 2+ years, I will probably be on meds for the rest if my life, and I still have thoughts from time to time, especially when out of routine or under stress. Now I recognize that and try to put OCD in its place, but still I deal with it sometimes.
Beth, when I first started feeling a bit better (after the meds kicked in), I said that I was going to start journalling or someday tell my story. I felt that I needed to help other women going through this as it is your own personal hell and nightmare that feels like it is never ending.
I was so happy you posted this story. Thank you.
Krissy, when this first started I remember waking my husband up one morning at about 5am, pacing the room telling him I was going to have to be hospitalized. My daughter had slept at my mother’s house the night before. I went to my mom’s the next morning around 8am and my daughter was eating her breakfast. I couldn’t even look at her without feeling I was crazy. I broke down to my mom and told her I had to be hospitalized (she knew what was happening to me at that point). It is the scariest feeling.
I remember thinking that I was going to have to move to a different country to be away from my family so I could make this all go away.
I even said to myself that I would rather die, and I meant it, than feel like I had to live this way for the rest of my life.
Medications did help and if I have to be on them forever and ever it is what I will do to help myself. You can do it. You’re not alone.
I dont no if i have filled this in right as i am new to these forums, but I am feeling in hell. Im 21 years old & a woman and have just had my first baby. My partner is from turkey and is currently in the army over there. He couldnt be here through my pregnancy and the birth and I miss him very much .For about 6 weeks now, my brain is creating thoughts of me sexually abusing my daughter., she is now 14 weeks old. When im changing her nappy, when im in the bath with her, when im lying cuddling her and it is ruining my life to the point of being serious about concidering suicide. I had a terrible pregnancy, being told my daughter was high risk for disbailtys that may cause her not to life for example condition tri 18, and other disabiltys and also downsyndrome. I went through my full pregnancy not knowing if she was going to be okay or not. I longed so much for a healthy baby girl and i got my wish. I was so happy and enjoying being a new mum. Then it started. A family friend come to our house to meet her, and started telling us the story of how he had been acussed of molesting his daughter, anyway later that day me and my mum continued to talk about things along this line. The next day i had just got out the bath with my daughter and we were lying on my bed, she was on her play mat laughing and giggling away, i started giving her kisses and she was poking her tounge out so i was kissing her with my tounge as well, nothing sexual and harmless. Anyway the next day that was it, the sick disgusting thoughts came. I couldnt stop crying, i stopped eating, when i was going out, i was breaking down in the street and shops uncontrolably crying. I couldnt hold my daughter or anything. I was thinking that it would jist go away as i was saying to myself of corse i dont think like that, shes my daughter and i went through so much to have her. Then i told my mum but not the full story as i was scared she recommened i go to the doctors.. I went to the doctors and told her about my crying and how i felt and she gave me fluxatine.. I didnt tell her about the sick thoughts as i was so scared. I have been on the fluxatine for 3 weeks now. Im alot better with my daughter, but the thoughts are still there and it kills me. Ive told my family who are very surportive and i have told my partner and he has been brilliant. There telling me its an illness and i cant be a peophile because of how much its effecting me and how i never had these thoughts with her before & kids i know. I have a goddaughter and have been in her life since she was a baby and have never ever thought anything like this about her, also im close to my friends daughter who calls me ‘aunty’ and i have never thought anything like this at all. Ive been around kids all my life and never dreamed of hurting them so im so frightened from these thought. They dont at all arouse me or make me happy, they make me suicidal and gutted im having them. I keep saying no no no but its like my brain wants to tourcher me. I never had thesr thoughts about my daughter for the first 7 weeks of her life and i keep looking at pictures of us from then and crying wanting it to be like rhat again. Everytime i go back to myself my head brings me back down by saying pedophile and things. I dont no how much longer i can go on. I go to turkey and see my partner in 3 weeks and I just want to look forward to me him and my daughter bonding and going back to how things should be. Any advice or help would be marvellous and im extremlly surprised at how many people have been and are going throughy the same. Thankyou so much. Its so heartbreaking knowing how much pain i am in with it to think that other people suffer it. Some really helpful things in the posts. I just want to go back to how things were before desprately so seeing some recovery posts would be good. I have just been with my littlw girl and changed her nappy feeling a bit more positive when the thoughts come. Its like my brain feeds of things. When i was talking to my dad about it a week or two back, he said ‘these people (meaning the monsters that do harm children) think its right & okay, and your sitting here crying so you know its not’ this made me feel great. Since then, my brains been saying ‘ its okay, its not wrong its not harming’ when i know it is. My partner said about me being attracted to males not females which made me feel better, then my brain fed from that and started saying how i must be atracted to females. I think when ive been kissing her the way i dis ( not meaning anything sexual at all) thats triggered it. I remember when i was younger, i have a little sister,, 4 years younger, were as close as could ever be, shes my best friend, and we use to go in and out eachothers beds watching films ext, one night we gave eachother a kiss and my brain started saying rude things, i was traumertised, i went to my boyfriend at the time and broke down and told him. He laughed and said how silly i was being and said it was because we were so close and i was very protective of her. And my mind playing tricks. After spending time with him, the thoughts went and i was fine with my sister. I new if i was like that they wouldnt have went and Nothing like that entered my head again and i new how rediculous it was. So since getting these thoughts with my daughter ive been going back to that and saying it must be true because of that??? My goddaughter is 4 and i have new her since she was born, we are extremly close and i have never thought such a thing with her. U have pictures of me and her and keep looking at them thinking surely if i was this way enclined i would be thinking things when i had this picture cuddling her ect ect. I have been around and close to my cousins since they were born and never thought such things. Ive been round friends babys and never thought things. I was sexually abused when i was 16 years old by a man who followed me from a club to a house party. Not extremlly, which i count myself lucky for but he put his hands in places i didnt want and tried to make me preform an act on him and very much upset me . I always said i wouldnt be a victum and didnt tell anyone. I have recently told my mum last year but didnt go into it greatly and my partner i told him when we first got together 2 years ago. I dont no if that will have anything to do with it. My favriote bonding time with my little girl was the bath. She loves being in there with me, i wash and masage her with softwash, let her splash about, sing to her, dry her put her jarmies on and chill with her. I never thought anything like that. Not anymore, since these thoughts, i dread it and i mean DREAD it. I dread changing her nappy, even holding her. I have recently been ringing my partner and having him on skype while we bath… Its been a bit better since doing that. I can even put her lotion on anymore without dread and gutted feeling these thoughts are there. I broke down again to my family 2 days ago sobbing just wanting the thoughts to go away. ( depression is in my family, my mum has suffered for years, auntys, cousins ect ) and i told them that im concidering suicide as i cant take the thoughts no more. No matter all the reassuring of myself my brain stil lfinds a way or torchering me making me think i am like this and want to do these things. I cry thinking about how much me and her dad wanted a healthy little girl and all the plans we had with her and kept thinking ‘if im like this why wasent it the first thing i thought of when i found out i was pregnant or having a little girl’ i look at pictures of when i gave her her first bath and long to go back to that moment as they wernt there then. I decided when i go back to work i wanted to be a teaching assistant, as i loved kids and never then did i have any thoughts like that then, not in my wildest nightmares. But surely a pedophile would? … Now i couldnt. When i am out its started saying i want to with other kids. I cant take it anymore as i never thought like this before. I look at my gorgeous little girl and think she will be better without me. Im just desprate for reasurance and advice, although it doesnt seem to stop the thoughts ???? i do apologise for the long post, just a young girl going crazy wanting to enjoy the baby girl she longed for.
Bee-it will get better. Hang in there – you are so much stronger than you know. We are all here for you. If you are feeling suicidal please go see a doctor who specializes in OCD. Do it for your little girl-it was the hardest thing I ever did but I’m glad I did. Your brain is playing tricks on you and the hormones compound everything. The less attention you give the thoughts the more power they will loose. Im not 100%, but a lot better than I was. Best of luck to you. I will be praying for you.
I’m the exact same one day a thought came in my head when my daughter when she was around 5 months old and I can’t even remember what thought came in my mind but it made me obsess over it for ages and I felt like I couldnt go on either my daughter has just turned 3 and the thoughts are 10 times worse now I don’t know what to do
Becky, that’s such a hard experience but you’re not alone and there is help. Have you talked to your doctor? That’s a good place to start. You shouldn’t have to feel this way, but reaching out for help is the important first step. You can also check our page of support organizations: http://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-support-organizations-in-the-us-canada-uk-south-africa-australia-new-zealand
I am now waiting to start theropy and have been told i have intrusive thoughts & OCD. I cant bare it. Now my brain is making me feel like i want to think these things and do them when all i want to do is be a good normal mother. Becky – speak to your doc hun; best thing you could do, the hardest but the best
Dear Lord, I can’t tell you what a relief it is to read this. I have not had a baby however I got on Birth Control for the first time then jumped off of it cause it was making me grumpy. I had a severe reaction to that. Anxiety, Mental breakdown. . I had no Idea I was supposed to ween myself off of it. I hadn’t been on it since I was 17..I am now 30. So I went to an emergency clinic. He gave me an antidepressant and told me it was just to ride out the waves. It wasn’t . It was a long term med. So once I started feeling better I just stopped taking it . Not knowing what would happen. I went crazy. Absolutely crazy. And that started the intrusive thoughts. I am VERY overprotective of my niece and we were very close. So when I had the break down it started with me being afraid of other people and what they were thinking. Then I started to wonder what kind of person I was for thinking that other people would think that all the time. Maybe I was sick. I couldn’t get out of bed or eat for a week. My mom had to come stay with me because I was Suicidal. Because the simple thought of being that type of person just brought down my entire being. Then I became so afraid of the thoughts I was afraid of everything. TV. My Family being out in public. Anything that would trigger this again. I can tell you every thing I think built up to that moment of break. And why I think it happened. But it doesn’t matter. As soon as you question your own thoughts,beliefs or the type of person you are. It is brutal. I went to an ACTUAL doctor who put me on anti depressants and told me NOT to get off. It has helped but I still struggle daily. There are times when I feel almost completely normal. When everything is fine and I don’t have Intrusive thoughts at all. It is so strange looking back…I look at how I was there the day my niece was born, at being there for her first bath,her first step., about buying her cute clothes or playing dress up , Letting her sit on my shoulders while we walk or taking her to the park. NEVER in a million years had I had a thought like that. Never had it crossed my mind. I feel like something is broken in me now. But knowing other people went through or are going through the same thing … It really really helps. I know it was hormones and everything. But that doesn’t help. We all want to believe we are strong enough to overcome things without help or meds. But today we hear constantly about these things happening in real life. It is terrifying. Thank you all of you brave people for letting me know I am not crazy and neither are you. That we ARE good people.
I have been suffering on and off. I was diagnosed with Postpartum anxiety when I was 6 months pregnant. My second pregnancy. My baby is now 8 months. I been to the Pyschologist and it helped me. I stopped my sessions as it completely went away. I felt like I recovered. I went away for a few weeks overseas and felt like myself again. Happy and loving life. Then I felt the thoughts creep back . I tried pushing it away but it’s hit me hard again. I couldn’t stop crying and at one point contemplated killing myself. I don’t trust anyone with my two boys, at times not even myself. But I love them and when I have those intrusive thoughts I feel so sick and angry. I could never hurt them ever., I would leave them if I even thought of. I realised it hit me since going on a diet, period coming back and stressing about going back to work. I feel trapped. My husband is amazing and very supportive. He is aware of how I feel. He is always checking up on me. I feel fortunate having him and my family close by. I feel for all you mothers who suffer this. However I believe we can recover. I have full faith. I come and read this all the time to reassure me that am not a bad mother or a criminal. I just love my sons and at times I feel like I am been punished for it.
I know exactly how you feel. Are you on any meds?? I am worried this will happen to me also. I got hit hard with it the first time 6 months after I stopped breastfeeding. I have been doing much better but my 2nd is 4 1/2 months & I am worried about being hit with it again. I do get the thoughts every now & then but have been able to dismiss them pretty well. I am in therapy but have not seen my therapist that specializes in OCD in awhile. I too contemplated ending it all when this first started. I know how awful it is. Keep in mind you can get through it again just like you did before.
Hi NJP! Thanks for replying to my message. No I am no on medication. My psychologist didn’t think I needed yet. Because am breastfeeding and I didn’t want it affecting my baby. But really I wanted to give myself a chance and try doing this without. It worked but feeling vulnerable it’s come back. Yes I believe you and I and every other mum in this forum can recover from this horrible illness. There was a time where I couldn’t even remember the thoughts or how it started. But when it came back I even started looking for past thoughts to obsess about. However because I didnt have those thought when I was doing ok I know am NOT a monster. Also when I think that I prefer to end it all then be that monsters reassures me that those thoughts are just thoughts and I would never do anything. Don’t worry about it until it your going through it again. Thinking that the thoughts will come again will make you just unhappy. Contuinue seeing your therapist. I hope it never does. Did you get unwell with your first? Sending hugs xxxx
i am so relieved i have found this. about 2 weeks ago i was changing my sons diaper and all of a sudden a vision of me molesting him ran through my mind. I havent been able to shake it ever since. It bothered me so much that after a day or two, i broke down and told my friend. She told me i was just stressed and she had the same thing (not to this degree) happen to her after she had her daughter. I had also told another friend and she said the same thing. It made me feel a little better but only for a moment. I have NEVER in my life wanted to touch a child in that way. It made me feel like i was some sicko. It was almost like my mind was trying to talk me into doing it or something. Basically (pardon my french) it fucked with me really bad to the point im pretty sure i had a panic attack. It has made me not want to be around my son because when im not around children, i dont think about it. The intrusive thoughts have went away for the most part but now its becoming a reminder that i had them. So when i change my sons diaper i dont have the visions but it reminds me that i did have them and that, to me, is just as bad. After reading this i made the decision to call my doctor. She has treated me for depression in the past so i trust her. I asked my friend to go with me because i dont think i will be able to actually say why i am seeing her. Im still so scared she will think im some pervert and take my son away. I am so scared.
Donna – I’m so sorry you’ve been plagued with these intrusive thoughts. Like you discovered, many women suffer from intrusive thoughts after having a baby. You’re not alone. I’m glad you’re reaching out to your doctor and bringing a friend along too. The fact that these thoughts are disturbing to you and that you know you would never act on them, should clearly indicate to your doctor that this is a symptom of a postpartum mental disorder and fully treatable. You are brave to reach out and ask for help. We are here for you!
Trigger warning! I have been there. I have gotten a lot better but still have my days. When I have good days I can see a light…but I think the worst thing will be the memories. I have obsessed about other things in the past….but briefly. For a week or two at a time I would fear becoming a lesbian. With my now husband, when we were dating, I remember fearing I would break his heart and break up with him which I turned into the thoughts “you obviously don’t want to be with him if you fear breaking up with him”. I obsessed over that for several years. When we got engaged the thoughts plagued me and when we got married they did too until shortly after. When this started with my daughter I felt like I should be hospitalized. I debated how I would commit suicide. I debated moving across the world to be away from my daughter.
I ended up getting pregnant again. I remained on medication while pregnant. Overall my IT’s were fairly well controlled and if I obsessed it wouldn’t be for too long. However it is funny how OCD will jump from one obsession to another, however I deeply wish that they would jump to something other than sexual thoughts surrounding my kids. I grew up not kissing my parents on the lips but there is something so endearing about having your baby or toddler smooch you right on the lips. I used to love getting kisses from my girl (now 3)….but now when she kisses me, or I give my baby boy a kiss, I worry “do I want to make out with her/him?”…and then I start wondering that maybe I do! Let me make certain everyone knows I have NEVER had thoughts like this (except once when I was a pre-teenr babysitting a little boy I changed his diaper I think I thought something along the lines of if I had sex with him I wouldn’t be a virgin)…but let me stress that is literally the ONLY thing Ive ever thought about a kid before and I promise you I have racked my brain going back in time wondering if I have had inappropriate thoughts/actions before towards kids. I didn’t even like kids before I had my own and even then the only kids I liked were newborn babies because they were adorable and my own kids. I always said I have no idea how people can look after kids for a living because I could never do it.
Anyway, my world has been rocked and not in a good way. But I hope that I eventually will get past this 100%! I have had a hard few days again, but coincidentally it also started when I got back on the birth control pill…? Wonder if there is a link there.
I read something on another site because I have been googling all day about this (well not ALL day, but a lot- bad I know) and it was something about someone coming out of the closet from being gay….their thoughts about being with a same sex partner started when they started feeling love beyond friendship towards the other…almost like I would crush on a male in high school, they would crush on a male…and their sexual feelings just came about…they would look at the person knowing they just wanted to kiss and cuddle them in a sexual way. When I look at my kids it is a wonder ‘Do I want to kiss etc them?” but nothing around the thought of knowing that is what I definitely want. Another thing I read is that sexual orientation is when the way you feel about another sex/gender feels natural, comfortable….what we all go through is the most heart wrenching, nightmarish, uncomfortable thing ever….take some solace in that.
Another note I have debated posting this for a few days however I worry that if I post this I my OCD will become worse.
And let me be sure you all understand that the thought I had as a pre-teen never bothered me again until this OCD thing started because it was a purely benign/harmless thing that as a pre-teen learning about sex etc I thought even though I would never ever ever ever ever have acted on it.
Thank you so much for this! Your testimony keeps others from loosing time of their life due to guilt and anxiety due to unwanted thoughts which everyone has and it is “normal” to dislike these types of thoughts. It is not what you accidentally think but how you act that matters. If you know you would never act on any unwanted thoughts is what matters. Thoughts are just reminders of what not to do!! You also remind others that it is okay to reach out to others for help. Your story saves lives! God Bless You!
This is an old post, not sure if anyone monitors this or not. I have been doing well and my son if 2 months old, no signs of postpartum although I have a history of depression. Last night I had a dream that I was having sex with him. An infant! I wasn’t aroused at the time, it was one of those weird outside of yourself dream things that happen. I have never been aroused by children or had any inclination to do something like that but I am sickened and kind of freaking out. Breastfeeding has been uncomfortable for me today. I don’t know if I should say something to someone or who without risking him being taken away from me. I feel so terrible.
Hi Amanda – I’m so sorry this happened. Intrusive thoughts come in all shapes and sizes, but all of them are troubling and confusing for those thinking them. If you continue to have a hard time with these thoughts, it is a good idea to speak with a health care professional. Because of the nature of the thoughts, it might be best to speak with a doctor or therapist (if possible) that has specific experience with postpartum depression and related illnesses. Here’s a list of specialists: http://postpartumprogress.com/womens-mental-health-treatment-programs-specialists-us-canada-australia
Amanda, I can tell you from suffering with this OCD affliction, that the more you can accept that thoughts and questions are just that thoughts and questions, and let them pass by without trying to analyze them, attach meaning to them, and fight with them, the better off you will be. Don’t engage them – It gives them power. By letting the thoughts just pass through and labeling them as just thoughts that you’re letting float through, they lose their power in the fear is reduced. Every time they try to creep in try to tell yourself just let them pass just let them pass I’m not going to analyze them. I had the same concern about going to see a therapist, but if you find somebody in advance that specializes in OCD, they will understand. Please feel free to write on this page whenever you need someone to talk to you. As you can see, many of us suffer from OCD and we are here to support each other. and write the thoughts off when they try to interfere with your breastfeeding. I also suffered from OCD during breastfeeding, & I pushed through, which I can tell you now I am so glad that I did. I am praying for you.
I am thankful I found this site. I’ve been losing my mind. I actually talk to my husband about this. I have a little girl and I have distanced myself so much from her. It all started when I started analyzing my past. I remembered when I was little I used to play doctor with my girl friends (same age) and I thought to myself…”Hmm I always liked girls when I was little” and boom..The thoughts, feelngs, analyzing has been there since. I get nervous about everything now. I worry about having the thoughts, I analyze why they are there, I doubt myself, some days I laugh at myself and wonder why I think these things, and then they come back the next day. I always have worried about everything since I was about 4 years old. I was the most anxious child ever. I had OCD even at that age. I do believe that I was an overly sexual child but I don’t think that represents who I am today. The problem is ruminating over the past and then also taking my past feelings from when I was 7-8 years old and bringing myself back to that state of mind. It’s so frustrating that I just sit and look in the mirror and convince myself “You are not your thoughts, you are not your thoughts” It doesn’t help that my marriage is falling apart and also, I’m at a time of need where I could really use someone and he just seems kind of unavailable. My feelings and thoguhts are triggered by so many things. I’ll see like kids clothes and think about kids, I’ll notice kids when I’m out, I’ll notice ANYTHING. I look up EVERYTHING. I KNOW this is OCD, I have no interest in children..I just am SO upset that these things are coming into my life. I hate to even write about these things. It’s so exhausting. I hope to be able to discuss this with someone.
I’m so sorry. Have you reached out to a therapist to talk about this? Finding a therapist who specializes in OCD would be a good place to start. These illnesses need professional help. You are not alone and help is available. Hoping you find some peace very soon.
I completely understand. I know how terrible this is, how shameful and disgusted you feel with yourself when you have this form of OCD, and what a constant mind game it is. The fear and anxiety latch onto things & everything becomes a trigger in some way–been there. I just keep trying my best to let the thoughts flow through without analyzing them them, because by doing so we give them power when they are really nothing but thoughts that come as a result of our OCD brains misfiring. I understand about the avoidance & struggle as well, but as a therapist I went to when my daughter was born told me–embrace your daughter she needs you. And you can think of it as ERP therapy. I’m on a Facebook OCD Group and the leader recently posted this article that I found very helpful. Hope you do too. I am here for you & praying for us all. https://livingart77.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/ocd-but-you-dont-understand-i-cant-help-it/
I havent been on here for months. As i was doing ok.
But i wanted to come off my meds and try for another bub. Well its been a disaster.
I am now back analysing my past which i bring those emotions to the present.
What you have written is exactly what im going through.
I hope your feeling better.
Im accepting of medication now. Bc i have def gone down hill weaning off of it.
Thank you. I thought it was just me. Tears of joy are running down my face right now. Thank you.
It is not just you Anastasia. You are not alone. Sending you so much love. You will get better.
I’m sitting here reading this and crying. This has just begun for me. I would never ever want to hurt my kids. We lost our first daughter, so when I got pregnant with my son I became so protective. His first three years were amazing. When he was about 18 months, we got pregnant with my now 15 month old daughter. I know after giving birth to her, I wasn’t bouncing back like I did previously. I cried over everything and had a shorter fuse. We don’t have family here and my husband can’t take a lot of time off so it has been me at home with our two kids. I am so protective that we don’t even use babysitters and I get no time alone really.
So this past Wednesday, my son had Mother’s Day tea and I had never been so proud of him. I felt so blessed to be his mama. The evening came and the kids were in bed and for some reason a story I had recently read about a guy I went to high school with that was charged with having child pornography popped into my head. I said to myself how scary it is not knowing people and how people could hurt their children and others. Out of the blue I pictured myself hurting my son. First, I was in shocked, but then I couldn’t shake the thought. I went on to have a nightmare about it and haven’t been the same since. I was so anxious the next day that I told my husband. He was very sweet and we talked about how my hormones have seem to been out of whack for the last year. I was also on my period. I tried to chalk it up to that, but my anxiety and that one thought would not leave me. It has been the worse week of my life. I can’t eat or drink. At first I couldn’t even deal with my son. My husband put him in the shower and let him sleep with him (I still sleep with the kids in the nursery). People keep telling me it’s just a thought, but it is so disgusting to me, that it has made me question myself as a person and a mother. I am even afraid to be intimate with my husband because I feel like these thoughts are just gonna pop in my head. Every irrational fear that can come to you has hit me. Now, I am afraid that I am some ho gonna have thoughts about other people’s children. I have deleted Facebook and Instagram. I dread taking my son to school, because of all of the what ifs that keep popping in my head. As I am typing this I am even afraid to post it because someone will read it, think I am crazy, and then I get my kids taken.
I love my children so much. I love all children so much and would never hurt anyone, so why are these fears and thoughts in my head.
I have told my son a millions times not to let anyone touch him. That has been my biggest fear since he was born, so how could I let this thought get it my mind. I feel like I am going crazy, but I know I want to be the best mom these little ones have.
I don’t want to be apart this club, but I am so glad I am not alone. I have an appointment with my doctor this Friday and I have trying to have so much faith as possible. I want to get better and I need to get better.
I was exactly where you are in Oct 2013. I literally thought my life was over. To this day sometimes I worry about being intimate about my husband….worrying I will have a thought and boom, mood is ruined. But what i have learned is in order to cope (for me, personally, I had to be put on medication…change my diet BIG time (aka: eat whole, clean foods), and let the anxiety linger even when I felt like it was going to ruin me as a person. OCD has the power to grip whatever is most precious to you and bring it to the most disgusting, disturbing levels. The battle starts to become easier once you accept that you are going to be living with this struggle and memory for the rest of your life. The more you resist, the worse it becomes. I am sorry to say that, but it is true. And who wants to accept those thoughts? Not me, not any sane person. But literally it is the only thing that will work. Even medication can’t make that change (but it can certainly help with the anxiety you have with coming to the realization!). I still have my flare ups. I find myself ruminating on “why would I think this way if I wasn’t a deep down pedo”, when I hear about someone coming out of the closet as a homosexual, it gives me anxiety because what if this is a “coming out of the closet experience” for me? I find myself unable to live in the moment when I am having flare ups because I am constantly analyzing how I am feeling. BUT! I have to tell you, it has gotten better. Flare ups are more manageable. Recently I have felt better than I had in 18 months!!! Exercise and eating right played a HUGE part in that, I cannot tell you how much. When I first had my crisis, I didn’t eat for likely 2 weeks. Sometimes I think, everyone is dealt something shitty in their life, whether it is cancer, death of a spouse or child (heaven forbid), mental or physical disabilities. I was dealt with THIS. I would never wish this on my worst enemy but our kids are the reason we are battling this so hard and why this literally has the power to ruin you as a person – it is BECAUSE you care so much and would never want to ruin your lives. Please, my biggest advice – don’t fight the thoughts. Even when you feel like you want to jump, even when you feel like you literally cannot cope…don’t fight the thoughts. Let the anxiety linger. It will ease up. In the meantime, medication may be your best friend so please be honest with your doctor. xo
ENMITY you have said all of that just perfectly.
I am feeling better now that my meds have evened out. I’m still on the lowest possible dose and I feel ok. But you are right with the flare ups. It feels like there is no other possible way to get away from this all than to just run away. But when the OCD subsides you can think more logically.
I too didn’t eat for a good two to three weeks when it first hit me.
I was trying to find all these answers from my past. Analysing all me past experiences even when I was a child to determine if I really was some kind of sicko. But I was just making stuff up.
I still struggle with my emotions towards my daughter but I just let them be there. Bc if I fight and try to work it out or start ruminating I feel even worse.
ST you will be ok. It’s a tough road at the start but you will get through it. Once you get onto a treatment plan. And listen to the docs. One thing I was so stubborn about was going on meds and opening up about my thoughts. But the more you ,let go the better. Good luck Hun. Let us know how you went.
We’re all here to help you.
I’ve made some really great friends from this site. And don’t be afraid to post. We all understand. Xxx
Sorry that was meant to be ENM
Does anyone still post on this?
I did…here for you:)
I’m just seeing if you are still on here?
I just read your post from way back in January and OMG you pretty much wrote everything the way I feel. I can so relate to everything you wrote.
I’d love to know how you are going now.
I’m exactly the same when I would kiss my baby girl.
Love to hear from you.
Hi Cass, I don’t visit the site but still get the posts. How are you doing? I am so so much better. Like…I occasionally have a rough few days…rough being I’ll worry for like 30 % of my day rather than 99%. I don’t know what kicked in to make it better. I think a few things played the part….NOT trying to ruminate and letting the thoughts sit when I have them. Letting the anxiety linger until it goes away on its own… I have also focussed energies elsewhere. I became an online fitness coach and that is something I am passionate about so a lot of time is spent doing that. Eating well, exercising, and staying regular with my meds. Being gentle on myself. It will be 2 years this October since this started and the memories still haunt me. I still do get the fears/thoughts occasionally but can dismiss them and understand that is all they are. Things don’t last forever, so why would this? I feel happier than I have in a long time. My babies are the best thing ever. I hate that I’ve spent a good chunk of my daughters young life obsessing but this is the hand I was dealt. We are strong. Let me know how you are.
I thank you so much for replying. Very grateful.
I am feeling better today. I have been doing mindfulness ever since I read your post. Trying not to ruminate and trying not to work this mess out. Bc there is nothing to work out, I have an anxiety disorder that I just need to control.
I think your amazing to be able to dismiss these thoughts considering where you have come from.
I thank you again.xxxx
Cass I am here for you. You will have good days and good weeks and think…I’ve got this…and then you may have a bad day or bad week…but eventually the time periods will be less and less where its bad and more where it is good. Keep busy, do NOT ruminate and if you decide that you NEED to ruminate, give it a time limit. Seriously. Time yourself for 2 minutes…if you didn’t get it “figured out” in that time, then you have to live with it. You can do this! xo
Beth, your story gives me hope. please tell us how are you doing these days?
I to suffer from this kind of OCD, and it’s the toughest thing I had to go through in my entire life!!! It started when I was pregnant with my baby girl, and with a good therapist I got it under control, only to be hit by this twice as hard a month after she was born.
Now she is one year and 4 month old, and I am definitely better then I was in the beginning, but I am still struggling, i got a new job and its stressful, cause I feel that I am not fully recovered yet and the trauma of this experience is still so vivid, I cant believe it happened to me and it is in such dissonance with the fact that I was dreaming of being a mommy for all my life.
I love my daughter so much, and it’s really hard to think those thought in relation to her.
I am from Israel and there isn’t so much awareness here to this things, and I feel kind of alone in this.
i am fighting tough, and wont ever give up!!! I do cbt and recently started medication, after a long time of trying to cope without.
Katherine Stone and all the brave amazing women here give me hope and strength, and I hope that with time I could really put this thing behind me and move on with my life, and even have another baby 🙂
I send my love to all women out there who struggle with this beast, and like my therapist says you all will get better because you are getting help, you are working to get over this, you are doing all what necessary and it will work, we will recover from this!
I also want to thank everyone for coming forward for this. I’ve been struggling now for two months and I have been terrified of what is happening to me. I thought I was all alone. I struggle every single day! I’m hopeful my future will look better and I will be able to love my baby boy and be a good mom. This is very hard to get through. I still have 4 months left in my pregnancy and looking forward to meeting my baby boy. But I’m also scared to death because these thoughts still persist. I had my husband read this post along with many others comments so he can better understand it. Thank you again for giving us hope!
I cannot tell you how helpful it was to read this. I have been having these types of intrusive thoughts on and off since my son was born. The first time it happened I was still in the hospital, and it disturbed me so much that I had the first panic attack I have had in years and threw up. I told my husband what I was thinking/fearing, and he said he knew it was my anxiety and that I would never hurt our son. Logically, I knew this, too, but those thoughts grab ahold of you and make your question your very sanity. The first few weeks of my son’s life were rough as I tried to navigate taking care of him after going through the emotional roller coaster of fertility treatment followed by a complicated pregnancy and a long and complicated labor and delivery, but having suffered from anxiety for years, I have had these thoughts before parenthood and learned how to deal with them and cope (after a long time of being medicated and going through therapy). That being said, it is much more disturbing when you are thinking these things about your own child. I was beginning to wonder if I were truly a horrible person. Then as things began to calm down and I began to adjust to motherhood and my hormones began to even out, the thoughts became fewer and farther between. Now my son is seven months old, and they have started again. I have thought about going to see a therapist again, but I was scared to even tell anyone the thoughts I have been having for the same fears you mention: being thrown in jail, my son being taken away, etc. I want to thank you so much for being brave enough to tell your story. I found it on a random Google search of “postpartum anxiety thoughts.” I have had a particularly bad few days and felt like I was being plagued by these thoughts, and because no one ever talks about thoughts of this particular nature, I wasn’t sure if it was a “normal” symptom of postpartum anxiety. I can’t tell you how relieved I feel to know that I am not alone. Finding this post was literally an answer to a prayer. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am crying tears of joy right now to know that I am not the only one who has had this symptom, and that it does not make me a bad mother or a bad person.
So grateful to have found this site.
I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and going through nearly the same exact thing. These thoughts started about week 13 and scared me to death. My thoughts started as an image or dream in the middle of the night. I too felt ashamed as how is it that I had a thought like that. I’ve been going to a therapist and my Doctor put me on Wellbutrin which I feel is the wrong drug for this issue. I feel like I really need to take a different med but don’t want to hurt my baby. I’m having panic attacks and having a hard time sleeping. My thoughts aren’t necessarily about my own unborn baby but of every baby I see. It makes me so sick to my stomach and I stay in a chronic state of anxiety. I feel like I might be harming my baby and the benefit of the meds might outweigh the risk. I’m not sure if I can make it about 4 1/2 months like this. Anyone else have this during their pregnancy rather that after?
I am better ladies, and I believe that all of you will be well eventually. Unfortunately, it can be a long process. What it took for me was a proper diagnosis from a psychiatrist who told me that I had (and had always had ) OCD that was exasperated during the postpartum period. He made me understand that my mind was different. That it got “stuck.” He understood it and reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me. This was huge for me. This level of validation. He then recommended I go back on the antidepressant that had worked for me on the past, but a higher dose because he said OCD requires a higher dose to manage the symptoms. He said I should probably never go off ( that was hard to hear ) and I haven’t. Would you go off your blood pressure meds if you had high blood pressure? No!
Being treated properly gave me the perspective I needed to sort the thoughts. They are just fearful thoughts. That’s all. They are even laughable because they are so not me. It’s been four years now since I’ve recovered. I was not well for over 2.5 years. It is possible to recover. There is hope.
It is so good to hear from you again.
I haven’t been on here for a while now as I have been feeling pretty good and getting through my days, except for the last week.
Can I ask you a question please?
When you got the thoughts, did you ever get urges or horrible sensations that made you question your true identity.
I have been getting these quite badly to the point I’m now questioning if I like the thoughts or not which make me utterly depressed and feel sick.
If you did, how did you go about tackling these? I am seeing a psychiatrist who specialises in OCD. And we have talked about ERP therapy, but I’m terrified of doing that.
I too have been ill now for nearly 2.5 years and I just feel like I’m never going to get better. I just want to cuddle and kiss my baby girl without feeling like I’m going to do something to her. It’s just torture.
Hi Cass – I wanted to respond to this because I think it is something anyone who suffers from this deals with – even though when dealing with it you feel totally alone. I have worried about these things but when I have a clear head I understand that it is anxiety making you question your identity. If you liked the thoughts you would KNOW. Just like someone who comes out of the closet knows they’re gay. They knew they were gay before they knew what gay was. Its not something that they develops overnight. Same thing with POCD. Think back to when the POCD started – it started with an initial thought which was so displeasurable to you that you could not get it out of your mind. That is not something which would indicate that is who you are. That is not enjoyable. When I had/have my POCD thoughts, the feeling I get is sickening. It is sick to think that I tried to have thoughts like this when being intimate with my husband to see if I enjoyed them but in a way that was both trying to do exposure AND checking..when I had those thoughts the exact opposite of enjoyment happened and boom, I had zero libido anymore. This is not pleasurable in any way which means I know I don’t like them. So ERP, while terrifying, is actually a good thing. Think about the bad thoughts – challenge them. It will take time but your mind WILL recognize that this is not something you enjoy. I am likely not going to come on this site for awhile again but I know you can beat this.
Your just great ENM. You really know how to explain things. I have been going good this last week after I talked to you the other day.
I am doing exposure as I speak. Well I suppose I kind of have to with a little one. I am a shocker for checking. This is where I get myself into trouble. It’s like I conjure up thoughts and feelings to see if I like them, which creates doubt, which creates fear and misery.
So I have been stopping myself from doing that part.
Thanks heaps again. You have helped me a lot. Xx
I too hopefully won’t come on here as often in the future.
Hopefully to help more mummas out there.
This is really interesting because I was having similar flashes. I watched a movie years ago when I was just a teen about a young girl getting raped by a relative and didn’t think about it after but when I had my baby flashes from that movie and other movies started to come to me and it was really disturbing.There was this one where a woman described sexual abuse by her father and she described that she found him raping her baby sister. I also, have flashes of everything I have ever seen or heard of babies and children being neglected or harmed and it brings me to tears. I can’t control the thoughts. I have a fear of letting my baby girl be with other people alone because how would I know if someone was going to do something to her. The experience is haunting. I have a system that has been helpful to me. I think the term intrusive thoughts is perfect for this stuff. Basically if I have the thought, I just let it happen feel the feelings of dread and shame then let it pass. I don’t try to fight it because that has not been successful for me and seems to make it worse. I know myself and I would never act on any bad thoughts even if I have them. I take solace in the fact that my thoughts do not dictate the type of person I am but instead my actions do. I also agree to stay away from media. Its only makes things worse. I didn’t realize so many other people were having these struggles and I makes me feel so much better to know that I am not alone.
I haven’t been on here in awhile, thank god….but now things have gotten worse for me. I have no idea why or where it came from. I was fine until this weekend and it just seems like it came out of nowhere and is almost as worse as it was in the beginning. I was pretty much better for 6+ months. I find myself ruminating. Coming up with scenarios to test myself and then trying to “expose” myself and do my ERT. I worry that I like the thoughts because in my scenarios, I picture myself liking them. My anxiety then gets to the point where I near have a panic attack. When I come back to reality I am comforted but all the same, I feel so much dread. What if I am that person? It started because I tried to be intimate with my husband the other night and I couldn’t get aroused. So I linked that to the fact that I am not attracted to him and that linked to the “what if I am not attracted to him because I am attracted to kids”? Then I couldn’t shake it.
I honestly am so upset at the fact that I am here again. I thought this had passed. I have two beautiful babies. This has been 2 years going. I am so upset that I’ve spent more than half my daughters LIFE worrying about this and I thought the birth of my son had really changed things for me, for the better. I hate myself right now. The thought that I could ever enjoy anything sexual with a child is TERRIFYING to me. Why won’t this go away? I also feel like my medication isn’t working as well anymore. I do have a doctor’s appointment for the 19th. I am so scared that this will never go away. I realize everyone has their stuff they go through, I get that some people are diagnosed with cancer, some people have cheating spouses and heaven forbid others have sick babies. But I would never ever wish this on my worst enemy. Ever.
ENM-I can totally empathize with you. This article really helped me this week: https://iocdf.org/expert-opinions/but-i-love-my-kids/
I have been to visit this site ALOT. I recently had a huge POCD spike…the biggest in 2 years. I thought I was better and then I am not sure what triggered it but it hit me. When I was “better” I wasn’t practicing how to handle my OCD triggers and when I was triggered big time, its like I forgot all my skills re: not ruminating, letting the anxiety sit there, etc. I also think my medication stopped being effective so I am on something new.
That isn’t why I am posting – 2 books which I feel have played an absolutely CRUCIAL part in getting me over the hump are John Herschfeld Mindfulness Workbook for OCD (this is an amazing book. Truly life changing). As well as Jonathan Grayson’s Freedom from Obessive Compulsive Disorder.
What was a huge turning point in my OCD learning was from the Freedom from OCD book by Grayson. Let me write what helped me think about things differently – this is directly from his book
“Can you live with the possibility of your greatest fears coming true? Yes – you already successfully live with a multitude of non-OCD uncertainties everyday………it is quite likely that you agree with the premise that you can never be certain. Indeed, the persistence of our OCD symptoms and its constant attendant doubt have shown you that certainty is unattainable. Yet you persist in trying to achieve the impossible. Why? Why won’t you accept what you know? Answering “yes” means choosing acceptance of what you already know instead of denial. But what do these two words, acceptance and denial, really mean? Denial is rejecting reality and acceptance is living with reality. Often these are applied to someone who has lost a loved one to death. Again, what do these concepts mean? Suppose I ask someone who has just suffered a loss, “Do you accept Ann’s death or are you in denial?….”What do you mean denial? I know she’s dead” this person would likely reply. How can you be in denial of death? The answer is fantasy and wishing. In the case of death, denial is not a delusional fantasy of believing the dead were alive; it is comparing the present with how much better life would be if the deceased were still alive. Life might be better with your loved one still alive, Or Perhaps something more terrible might have happened in the future. Of course, something more terrible in the future isn’t part of the fantasy comparison. You don’t problems in fantasies, so in comparisons between real life and fantasy, fantasy always wins. However when we compare reality with fantasy, we also destroy and demean the moment”
So what does this all mean? For me – EVERYTIME I got stuck on my OCD, I would constantly think about how much HAPPIER I was when this wasn’t a problem for me. I would constantly compare myself to how I USED to be with my daughter before my POCD struck. I was in denial of that fact that I have OCD. This is my life. I couldn’t be in the moment because NOTHING compared to the fantasy of my life that USED to be. It is NO longer that way anymore. Suppose I didn’t have an intrusive thought and never developed OCD surround sexual thoughts about my own child? Ok – so maybe that never happened but guess what could have? Heaven forbid, my child or myself could have been diagnosed with cancer. I could have had some other debilitating condition. THIS IS THE LIFE I WAS GIVEN. I am so upset that I have wasted YEARS ruminating over this bullshit and comparing myself to how I used to be when that is NO LONGER who I am now. Its time to accept that whatever is my destiny – is my destiny. I am who I am. Even if that is the worst person I can think of – I have to live with that. No point in comparing to what I wish I was.
So this was a huge turning point for me in being able to understand my ocd. I am sure I will still have spikes. In fact I had a small spike tonight…but its all a work in progress and practicing self forgiveness, compassion and self love is so important to making the OCD less powerful. Do not argue with your thoughts. You will not win. Its scary but you can make it through this. If I can, you can <3
Hey Beth could you please message me what antidepressants and what dosage you tried?
I just found this site and am really glad I did considering I have been battling these intrusive thoughts. I am struggling severely considering I have so much anxiety now when I hold my son and it’s even worse when I am changing his diaper. I was never like this. I never had thoughts of his nature. It literally came out of nowhere and now it’s like I am scared to hold him because I fear I may hold him inappropriately or when I am changing his diaper the anxiety is even worse. I just want to get passed this. I have prayed and asked God to deliver me from this and it’s helping to think about different bible verses in my head. I just feel like a terrible mom for ever having thoughts like that. I look at my son and I want to cry because I am so ashamed. I love him more than anything in this world and would never hurt him. But it’s like my mind wants to convince me that because I had those thoughts I am a terrible mom and am capable of doing these things even thought I know deep down in my heart I would never ever act on them. It just sucks. I want to be happy. I can’t eat. I’ve lost 10 pounds and I am a breastfeeding mom so I am fearing my milk supply will end. I am just so thankfully to read that other moms have dealt with this and come out on top! This is just so hard for me. I just want to take care of my baby and snuggle him like I used to without the guilt, anxiety, and shame of the terrible thoughts that take over my mind.
I just found this site and am really glad I did. I have been battling severe depression and anxiety. I had a random thought come out of nowhere and it disturbed me to the point I couldn’t eat. I obsessed over it and it just made things so much worse. Now I have severe anxiety when I am holding my son and it’s even worse when I change his diaper. I love my son so much and I hate that I ever had thoughts like that. They are just completely things I would never ever do. I just want to be a normal mom again and love and take care of him without the guilt and shame. Every time I am hugging him, snuggling him, or kissing him, it’s like my mind will remind of that horrible thought and I am instantly disgusted with myself. This is the worst thing I have ever gone through. It doesn’t help that I also have a lot going on. I am a single mom going through a divorce and am in school and working. I feel sometimes like I can’t even get out of bed. It all happened out of no where. I hate myself for this. I love my son and I don’t want to have the anxiety and fear every time I’m holding him and changing his diaper. I have talked to my mom about it and she keeps telling me they are just thoughts. Thoughts are not who you are. You would never do those things. deep down I know that, but my mind just convinces me I’m a awful mom.
You are not a horrible person or a horrible mother. No way. This is common, dealing with this. The thoughts are the anxiety and OCD, an illness. They are not desires, they really are just thoughts. There is a big difference. I hope you can reach out for some help so you can get on a path to getting better. This is 100% treatable with help and time, mama. I’m sending you peace!
Thanks for your reply! I really have been torn up over this! I just recently contacted my OB Doctor and she is prescribing anxiety medicine which is hard for me because I won’t be able to breastfeed anymore but I know this is what’s best for my recovery. I am also going to start counseling. My biggest fear was that I would lose my son if I reached out for help. I just don’t want to live in fear and have the anxiety when changing his diaper and when holding and kissing him. This really is tough but this site has given me hope that I can and will get back to the old me! It’s hard because the mind likes to play tricks and make you think you are having these thoughts because you are a terrible monster who desires those things but I highly doubt I would be this sick over the thoughts if I truly was capable of acting out the thoughts. I have hope finally!
Hey I know how hard it is I dealt with I am sure exactly what you are going through. It is a living nightmare. My son is now 29 months and I still struggle. It is hard. My therapist tells me that it is good to extrenalize the thoughts to not give them power. So tell someone the exact thought. It is hard bc they are so disgusting to even say. But it will help. If you ever need someone to talk to I can give u my personal email or even phone number. I am now currently pregnant again. So u will get better day by day. Just keep good positive people around you. I breast fed while on anxiety meds so I don’t know if u really need to quit I just had to feed babe and then take it. So by the next feeding it was good to go.
Wondering if any moms who have dealt with this have any advice on how they dealt with the fear and anxiety when holding and snuggling their babies? I have this fear when I hold my son like what if i have that thought when rubbing his back or patting his butt? I have severe anxiety over this and I am in a dark place right now.
I think you would find some really helpful feedback in our private forum. There are so many other mamas there that can let you know you are not alone and what they’ve done to get better, to deal with this, and to recover. Here is the link for that – https://www.smartpatients.com/partners/postpartumprogress
Peace to you, mama.
I am a sexual abuse survival. I was sexually abuse by many people, but the abuse that impacted me the most was the abuse from my own mother. I have three kids. When I first got pregnant I prayed to God not to give me a baby girl because I was afraid to do to her what my mom did to me. And thank God he heard my prayers and gave me a beutiful baby boy. My second one the same a boy. 5 years latter I become pregnant again and this time I wanted a girl but at the same time I didn’t because I was still a little afraid that I would be capable to hurt her. Especially because people say that you are more prone to abused someone if you have been abused. Now my baby girl is 8 month and the last past two weeks I had really scary and disgusting thoughts. This happened to me most of the time at nigth. I looked at my baby and I promised her that I would first cut off my hands before I could even hurt her in anyway. That I would always protect her even from me. I being praying asking God to take those thoughts. I also told my self that I am more stronger than those evil thoughts. Having those thoughts made me feel as I was a bad mother, I was watching me not trusting my self with her. I finally told my husband, but he didn’t make a big deal, he just told you will be fine. I kind off got upset I wanted him to get worry I asked if he didn’t care? He say ” no because I know you”. Anyway I could say that those thoughts are gone for now. But yes I am not watching the news, or anything that have child abused in anyway. And I thank you all who had shared. This forum have lifted me up. It makes me feel good to know that I am not alone.THANK YOU!!
Thank you all for sharing. Especially because is a shameful and embarrassing topic. I went through many sexual abuse experiences but the worst and that one that have impacted me the most was that abused from my own mother. I got pregnant when I was 23 . I was so scared that my baby was going to be a girl. I remembering praying telling God to have grace upon me and not to give me a girl. He heard me he gave me a beautiful boy. The second one the same another handsome boy. 10 years latter from my first baby. I got pregnant again this time I was unsure if I wanted a boy or a girl. I felt more confident and incapable of hurting my children. Well I got my baby girl. Now she is 8 months old and two weeks a go I started to have nasty images in my head and thoughts. I started to pray constantly and telling my self that I was stronger than those evil thoughts. I also promised my baby that I would always protect her even from me. I didn’t told anyone of what I was going through because I was ashamed. Even though I wanted to speak to someone who could understand me what it was like to go through what I was going through. I told my husband once I felt better. Now all those thoughts have dissapear. But I don’t watch the news or anything about child abused. I know my love for my kids will always be more powerful than any intrusive thoughts and my bad experiences. So again thank you.
Hi. I just wanted to share my experience in December me and my partner had a huge argument to the point that he pushed me and started taking off my clothes I stopped it before anything else could happen but I was terrified I have been abused in the past. 2 days later my baby was just laying on my lap having a nap and then a horrific thought/image of molesting my child came into my head I was horrified panicked rang my mum straight away. 5 months on after being on medication and having cbt and being diagnosed with OCD because the thoughts would reoccur what felt like 24/7. I’m starting to feel better and being able to control the thoughts. The only thing that still gets to me is the guilt and the heartache of the whole experience it’s like my head still thinks I should be punished for something I had no control over.and the horrible part is I’ve got it in my head that mine and my daughters bond is broken. I often question my love for her which is crazy because I no I love her to bits. I just wanted to know whether anyone has felt the same and to tell me it’s also a intrusive thought. Because I think the more I think I must not love her or our bond is broken I start believeing it but then I snap out of it all I have ever wanted was children and before any of this happend I was infatuated by my little girl and I no I still am just I suppose my head taking over again and guilt
You are not alone in this. It does sound like an IT, which isn’t your fault at all. You do love your daughter, and you do have a bond, or you would not be worrying about it so much, you know? Feel free to join us in our private forum to talk to moms who have had the same Intrusive Thoughts – https://www.smartpatients.com/partners/postpartumprogress
How do you tell your husband about this what if they don’t understand help please I’m at that point where I’m desperate
Hi Katey, It may help to show him the symptom list on this site. And it may go better than you can imagine. These are thoughts, not desires. They are not from you, they are from an illness. If you want to start with seeing a specialist who knows about postpartum mental health, you could do that. Or you could tell your husband that you are struggling without giving him every detail of these thoughts. I know it’s scary, but you do need to reach out for help so you can get better. Here is a link to our forum if you’d like to talk with other moms who have been exactly where you are – https://www.smartpatients.com/partners/postpartumprogress You could get more advice there, and hear stories of what other moms did when they were scared to talk about it. Peace to you, mama.
Im just wondering if anyone has these thoughts and feelings and feel as if they are real and can’t tell the difference between OCD or their own intuition.
I’ve been struggling for a very very long time now, some days are good while others I am so in my head I just can’t see straight.
I really struggle with my mind telling me that I must really want to do these horrible things and have an urge like feeling to do them. It makes me feel so much guilt and shame and then I ruminate about the whole situation which makes me think even more horrible things. I am seeing a specialist but I just wanted to see if others suffering with this experiences a similar thing.
It’s like I’m trying to convince myself that I definitely do not want to do anything to my daughter but it’s just so darn strong I can’t see that it’s ocd.
Oh yes, mama, this is so common. It is the awful reality of ITs, to wonder if YOU are thinking these things for real, or if it really is just ITs. But I can assure you that these are not DESIRES, things you truly want…these are just thoughts. If you’d like to talk with more mamas who understand and can help you work through this, please join us in our private forum. Here is the link for that – https://www.smartpatients.com/partners/postpartumprogress
I wanted to post because I am truly grateful for Beth being so brave and telling her story. I have never been molested or been anywhere around anyone who was. My IT’s started a few months before my baby was born. I had a client tells me a story of how 2 of her friends lost their babies to SID’s. The story created so much fear that I started to spiral. By the time she got here I was already in a deep state of fear over losing her. I would obsessively check her breathing, over and over. Not long into her first month I had my first IT’s about harming her. They ranged from dropping her to molesting her. Somehow the thoughts turned to anyone that was around her would molest her. The thoughts turned to my husband. I would question everything he did around her and would freak out if I ever had to leave her with him. I would have an anxiety attack and turn around and go back home to see what was going on. He was always playing with her or feeding her or watching tv. There was never a time where he was doing anything that would bring reason to my thoughts. This has been on going for 2 years. It settled down and then something will trigger it and it will flare up. This week I was triggered and here I am. I was wondering if anyone else struggles with this and I found this story and all of the feedback. I started to cry knowing I’m not alone. That this is a very real thing happening in my brain that is trying to protect my child but it’s not going about it in the right way. It’s so convincING. It really makes you believe that it’s true, even when you know deep doen your child is safe. I have not yet sought out council but this has give me so much clarity. Thank you each and everyone for sharing your story. You are help others to know that this is something that can be healed. I’m ready to be out of this hell. For anyone that reads this, I am sendin you love, I know your a good mommy and the reason I know, your brain switched into protect mode against any and all harm towards your children. You are here finding answers, that Is someone who knows they need help and that makes you a good mommy. I love you.
Thank you so much for having the courage to put this down in writing. I feel alot less alone and isolated listening to your story and all the others. I am still dealing with intrusive thoughts,extremely bad anxiety and have been sence my baby boy was born e He is 3 months old now and it has been an emotional roller coaster for me.My biggest fear is that my son feels my anxiety and depression.I would never hurt him and when I hear stories on YouTube about people abusing or sexually abusing there own child I literally feel sickend ,anger and pain flow through me and it always brings me to tears .I have always protected my younger siblings and children in my life and am a loving sweet caring mothering person so when my son was born and sick thoughts started when he was about a week old I was terrified of myself sick to my stomach and had axiety so bad I could barley function. I thought I was a absolute monster and was missing the most precious days of my son’s life that I could never get back.heartbreaking ,absolutely devastating time in my life.My heart goes out to the mama’s suffering with intrusive thoughts you are all great mothers and this shall pass .the mind is so complex that it won’t let you figure out why the more you try to understand the worse it gets
Get help get meds to straighten your hormones out and know that you are not alone.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cried the whole way through. I have had these same thoughts and I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone.
My wife is goog through this exact same thing .I have a hard time with it. I know it’s not her fault but it’s hard to be understanding when it’s something like this. She’s talking about touching my son. Sometimes I feel like I should protect my son and leave but I also kno she wouldn’t actually do anything .Do you guys have advice on this? I’d very much appreciat it .
First of all, do your best to remember, over and over, that these thoughts she has are NOT desires, they are just thoughts. Thoughts she does not want. What you can do is keep reading about this, so you understand. Go to doctor’s appointments with her. You can be supportive by being as kind as possible, because the woman you love is still there, and she has an illness that she did not ask for and hates. She probably has so much shame. I hope that helps. Let her know about our private forum. She can get a lot of support and understanding there. There are thousands of mothers there that are going through this, or have gone through it. The link is at the top of this page under “join our community” – Peace to you and yours.
Thank you so much for sharing. I would LOVE to have a chance to speak with you personally. It’s still too hard and horrifying for me to express my intrusive thoughts out loud 🙁
I just read this & i keep having sexual thoughts i had bever had before. Im now so scared that i am repeatedly asking my daughter if my husband who is her stepdad has touched her we have been together 4 yrs now i have never ever thought about any of this or seen any red fkags he loves kids but i was raped at age 14 & now for some reason i am getting these thoughts my daughter cries to me & tells me im crazy & that i am letting evil thoughts get the best of me by the way she is 6. She cries to me & tells me she doesnt love me because i keep asking her these questions & my mind just doesnt get it. Im so afraid to hear the word yes that i want her to just say yes so i can runaway & just it over with. I need help. Idk what to do….ive also had friends of mine & family members ask her & she says that i need help
Oh mama, I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this. Please reach out to a doctor, if that’s possible for you with insurance, etc. There is treatment. You can see any doctor to get started. Or look at our list on the this site under “find help” at the top of the page. There are specialists listed there. Your daughter could also use some therapy. This isn’t your fault, it’s an illness, but she is struggling as well. You can get professional help and heal and get better. I’m sending you peace.
I feel like I could have wrote this myself ????
I can’t express how healing this is I’ve thought of committing suicide because I’m so disgusted with my thoughts. Not being able to talk about because of the shame. Thank you so much I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with me. This has eaten me alive I thought I was suffering alone. I know what I need to do now go see a psychiatrist
Thank you xx
You are not suffering alone. You aren’t the only person that has suffered this way. I have too. There are many more that have and are. Don’t give up. Another blog that helped me to realize this was: http://delicatechange.blogspot.com/2017/02/what-i-wish-others-knew-about-postpatum.html?m=1
Don’t be afraid. Find a counselor that you can talk to. And don’t become discouraged if it is a healing process. Don’t give up! Jesus goes before you and he is for you.
Hi! I just wanted to thank all of you who have shared your story, you have saved a life and motivated me to get help!
I could relate with all of your stories & struggles, which helped me understand it’s truely the illness & not something else (though every now & then I will still doubt that). I thought I was going crazy at first as it all started so sudden, one day I was in motherhood bliss & the next I felt I was in hell. I cried & stopped eating for a week till I made the courage to google something about my crazy thoughts and find a glimpse of hope in an article about OCD. I had no idea that I had it until that point. Everything I have read eversince is like a picture of how my brain works.
I realised I had intrusive thoughts since childhood. But this form of OCD is the worst thing I can imagine. One thing that has helped me in my desperate times when I think that things seem too real & perhaps I am a monster, is to think I have any other form of OCD and realize that if it didn’t feel real no one would suffer from OCD.
While I have found some peace for now that I would never hurt my daughter in any way, I still think & fear that one day I could snap and become someone else. And at the same time, I feel so much guilt for not being the best mom for my daughter. I always wanted for her to live in the most happy environment possible as my childhood has been very rough & I know what scars it leaves on. But I do my best everyday for her no to see the struggles & hope that one day I will forget about this nightmare.
Thank you again for all of your stories. I wish I could hug each and everyone of you for sharing what I find the hardest thing to share!
I’ve been struggling since the birth of my third son. I didn’t know what was happening to me and I was filled with disgust and shame at myself. Reading your story has given me hope – something I had not felt in a very long time. He’s going to be almost three and I pray to God everyday to help me one day feel normal again.
I share your same fears! I sit and cry alone hoping that one day I don’t snap and hurt my baby. It’s such a horrible feeling to have and it makes you start to question your sanity.
I haven’t been here for almost 3 years. I was better. I loved life again. My thoughts started when my daughter was 20 months old. She is now 6.5 years old. I was changing her diaper, made the observation of how easy it would be to take advantage of her as she is so vulnerable (not “me” actually doing it, but anyone in general)…and boom. One day I went from LOVING life. Loving motherhood….to hating myself and my life. I levelled out…medicated…had another kid. Struggled a bit after he was born with intrusive thoughts about my newborn son and still my daughter…but it got better. I had one major flare up when my son was about 7 months old, and most of the thoughts still surround my daughter…but I got better. Like I would have said I was healed.
Until this weekend past. I was under a lot of stress with the health of my mom. She hasn’t been feeling well. But this weekend a close friend of mine was sent to the hospital with depression and anxiety. She had been molested as a child by her brother….and recently her daughter had been touched inappropriately but another neighborhood child. It was more than exploratory child play. This child was saying very inappropriate things for her age, and to be honest, she is likely being sexually abused or something inappropriate is happening. My friend has to now deal with children’s aid services and reporting this family. But my OCD came back full force. FULL force. I started ruminating about my own childhood to make sure that when I was playing with my little friends as a child I never did anything to make them uncomfortable. That ended up spiralling into me going back into my old OCD thoughts about my daughter (not my son, for some reason my OCD never latched on to him). I started wondering again, do I even have OCD? Maybe I am just a pedophile only towards my daughter and no other child? I would never lay a hand on her inappropriately. But my thoughts have even questioned, if I did, would I be turned on? Would I like it? Basically my life is turning upside down again and I hate myself. I am medicated. I have recently in the last few days increased my medication.
I know in my heart things will be ok….but I want certainty for god sake. I want certainty that I in no way would ever like anything intimate with her and I also want to know for certainty that I am not sexually attracted by her. I want to be totally disturbed and gutted at the idea of someone molesting a child. I want to feel like they should die and I for certain would never be that person. But what if I am that person? I actually would want to die. Like legit, die. I always try and find myself thinking, would I be a pedophile if it were socially acceptable? Like, I dont fear (anymore) being a lesbian because its accepted by society. How do I know I am not a pedophile?
I want another baby. How do I get past this and get happy again? I am really struggling.
Your thoughts are lying to you. They are your deepest fears come to life in the most horrific way possible.
You likely see your daughter more at risk for sexual abuse. The trigger with your friend made these fears seem more possible.
Your brain has a malfunction and I believe you will be better again.
Don’t beat yourself up. There is nothing wrong with you.
You may need to find a psychologist in your area and possibly a psychiatrist to possibly tweak your meds. Treat this as a medical situation because that’s what this is—your brain gets stuck. It happens to a lot of people.
I’m praying for you.
I know this is an old post but I am struggling again after years of being ok. I am starting to go through menopause so not sure if that is why?! But I had these awful thoughts after my first son was born almost 7 years ago. It was not until he was 18 months old that I began to struggle with these thoughts. I have had another son & been on meds so it has been fine. But all of a sudden the thoughts have started bothering me again & I begin to wonder why. Am I really this monster? Its awful. I had the thoughts from time to time but they did not bother me. So why now? I am scared.