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Pregnant with horrific negative thoughts-am I evil or is it the illness?

(167 Posts)
LosingItBigTime Wed 19-Sep-12 13:15:34

I've not been overly ecstatic throughout this pregnancy. It was a shock-my second-I'd vowed I'd never do it again but it didn't work out that way. I have had PND and have now been diagnosed with AND

I am an overly anxious if not OCD type mother and get ridiculously stressed and worked up over my child's routine and sleep. I simply cannot function when sleep deprived. As I get so anxious about my child's sleeping patterns (or lack thereof) my own sleep is completely out of whack. I think I hear crying when there is none. I've resorted to sleeping in spare room with ear plugs in while DH keeps monitor with him in our bedroom (next to our child's room) because I get far too agitated at every sound. But even with these measures I'm not sleeping well at all. 2-4 hours per night.

I have been panicked beyond belief about how I'm going to cope with this and the further sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn. My irrational and negative thoughts often seem to be linked to the days when I feel particularly sleep deprived,

Anyway, I finally admitted some horrific negative thoughts to the midwife on the MH team today. I am scared to death of the thoughts I'm having and I had to be honest with her in case I end up like one of those mothers on the news.

I hate the child growing in me. Every movement makes me mad. I want to punch my belly and wish it would just go away. I am scared of it and feel like I don't want it anywhere near me when it is born. I don't want it and I just cry and cry when I have to go through all the motions of having to prepare for its arrival.

I am sickened by myself. I know these feelings are utterly disgusting but they are there. I am evil because I know there are so many people desperate for children and I've been 'blessed' but I really don't feel 'blessed'. I just want to run away from it all but I can't. My DH and mum know how I feel-I've told them I have fears I could harm this child. I have told them I should give it up to someone who wants it. I told this to the MH midwife too. But they all seem to think that once the baby is here, I will magically feel different.

Please someone, anyone, have you experienced these kind of thoughts and then they went away? Or am I just pure evil? I think I could be. I hate everything about my life. I don't enjoy being a mum-and I don't feel like I can do it a second time round. Oh God, I sound so bloody awful and pathetic. If someone offered to cut me open with a rusty knife with no pain relief to take this baby away I'd happily agree. I am truly evil. God help me.

thunksheadontable Mon 24-Sep-12 03:28:48

Don't have much time to post:
Books to read:
Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts (this is all about intrusive thoughts like you are having)
The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook.
Both available on Amazon and on Kindle. 2-4% of women at least have been where you are now. You are not evil - hugs x

thunksheadontable Mon 24-Sep-12 03:35:30

PS the feelings tend to peak from week 32 onwards, were worst for me from 36-40 weeks.. was fine during labour and straight afterwards, then had a dip and worried I wouldn't cope as I went on meds. Got CBT from 2 weeks after birth (had been on waiting list since middle of pregnancy) and am on 100g sertraline. All is well pretty much all of the time now, am getting to know my little man (number 2) and the obsessions and intrusive thoughts are lessening. It is just an illness. The problem is not that you think the thoughts, the problem is that you worry you think x or y and what it means about you. My psychiatrist says to me that in a year this will all seem like a bad dream (I had OCD/PND after number 1 too but never got treatment).

This will pass. Everything passes.

MrsMuddyPuddles Mon 24-Sep-12 11:26:03

Hugs

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your first child again smile

In case it helps: in my current depression, I have been in the terrifying position of considering becoming one of “those” people who kills their family and then themself- I may know a bit about what you are feeling. (it passed briefly, but after I felt soooo guilty and bad about it! Even now... I wish I didn't have this newfound empaty (or sympathy, the one that's "I know what it's like" rather than just "I feel for you") for the people who do go through with that sort of thing.

A couple practicalities: How up are you on sleep-hygene? It's great that you're in another room as far from your son as possible, hope that helps. On the "getting ready for the baby" front: can you ask your mother and/or DH to do everything needed, and say that you JUST CAN'T manage it? Saying that sort of thing to my DH, and having him follow through and pick up what I can't manage, has been helpful when I don't then attack myself with guilt

LosingItBigTime Tue 25-Sep-12 10:15:19

thunks thanks for book suggestions. I have had a look but bit strapped for cash at mo so maybe will purchase them when I've been paid at end of month. Ive just had to spend a f***ing fortune on new baby stuff and it's made me feel very angry and frustrated.

MrsMP thanks for sharing. I know how difficult it must be to admit that kind of thing. I find it terribly difficult and breakdown every time I have to tell a MH professional how I've been feeling. I haven't quite admitted the truth about the extent of the negativity I feel to my loved ones. I'm too ashamed. I've only managed to admit I'd like to give the baby up as I don't have the strength of mind or body to cope with it but they don't really understand. I feel like my feelings of revulsion (I know, it's terrible) aren't being taken seriously by those closest to me. If they are listening, I feel that they are brushing it all under the carpet thinking I'll be fine once the baby gets here. As for help to prepare for baby arrival from DH or mum, I've tried and got nowhere do I've ended up ordering things off the Internet because I am struggling to leave the house. Still not packed a bag yet!

Last night and this morning, the baby was kicking me so hard I was in pain. It just makes me angrier and angrier and I can't control it.

The ADs are keeping my emotions (tearfulness etc) in check but the anger is increasing I'm sure.

LosingItBigTime Tue 25-Sep-12 10:48:13

p.s. sleep hygiene is pretty good. I try and get to bed by 10pm at the latest. I fall asleep pretty quickly but wake up 2-4hours later and then that's it-I can't sleep. It's the anxiety. I don't have tv in the room and I eat at least 2-3 hours before bed. I use earplugs and eye mask.

Maybe I'll sleep better when I feel better.

MrsMuddyPuddles Tue 25-Sep-12 16:31:17

I felt a lot better after getting the worst out there. I wrote a letter detailing EVERYTHING horrible that I felt, and stated baldly but not in details the worst, and printed it and took it to the GPs. The one I saw (not my normal one) skimmed it, then called the local MH hospital! shock The assessment team at the hospital were very kind, and made me talk a lot, then decided that I was not a danger to myself or others, and refered me back to the care of my normal GP. I am now a bit more fussy about what doctor I tell things to...

I'd really suggest getting it out there, in writing if the words catch in your throat. I cried buckets when I said the worst, both at the GP and at the assessment team, but it was SUCH a relief to have it in the open, and meant that I could talk to a councellor about it.

With all due respect- I think you should be more blunt with DH, and tell him that if he does not step it up, you will HAVE to go into hospital. Mine has been much more supportive since realizing that if he is not, I would not stay around (either with leaving him or just leaving life. things are better now, but that last one is something I think about every few weeks still.).

What do you do when you wake up? do you manage the "get up, do something that's boring but not trying to sleep until you're sleepy" thing?

Celestia Tue 25-Sep-12 17:37:48

I can't offer much advice but wanted you to know that that I have had similar feelings during this pregnancy.

I suffered pnd after my dd (undiagnosed until she was 3). I then got pregnant and discovered it was twins. I was MORTIFIED and cried and cried for months sad. How on earth would I cope? I could barely imagine having to do it all again for one baby, never mind two. I too wished them dead sad and kept sleeping on my stomach etc in the hope of doing some harm. I even considered a termination.

I was at rock bottom when I finally admitted how I felt to my family. I then opened up to my midwife who put me in touch with the specialist mh midwife at the hospital. In just doing this, most of the sadness has lifted in the past 6 weeks now I know I have some support in place. Also, getting all the baby bits ready (which I had previously even unable to do) has really helped too.

While I know I'm not ou of the woods yet, I'm feeling so much brighter and actually looking forward to my planned section next week smile.

Good luck xx

LosingItBigTime Wed 26-Sep-12 11:23:00

Celestia I totally understand. I can't imagine how it must have felt finding out you were having twins but I'm so pleased that you're able to look forward to their arrival now. I agree that having support in place helps to lift some of the sadness. I know what I've been feeling isn't 'normal' per se, but knowing that others have experienced similar and come out the other side ok gives me some hope (although I wouldn't wish this on anyone).

MrsMP thank you again. You must have been terrified when you found out about the call to the hospital. I've tried to be as honest as possible with all the professionals I've come in to contact with. I'm so scared of ending up being one of those mothers on the news that had harmed her own child. I don't want to end up like that hence the importance of being honest about all the anger and resentment.

I'll try again talking to DH. He's very absorbed with work at the moment and often communication between us breaks down as I don't think he quite understands what I'm going through. I realise it must be quite hard for him seeing the woman he loves turn into someone else.

As for sleep, I try and read a boring book or something but I don't ever feel sleepy again so I just give up and lie quietly and think to myself that at least I am resting if not sleeping.

Pebblepots I can't thank you enough for your earlier posts and your offers of support. In fact, all of you ladies on here, you have no idea how much you've all helped because I'm so much calmer than I was. I know I'm still very unwell but everyone here has helped me to feel less alone.

thanks for all of you

xxx

LosingItBigTime Wed 26-Sep-12 14:52:06

I'm a bitter and twisted fuck. I wish I could just fucking die

thunksheadontable Wed 26-Sep-12 17:56:36

Hi there again

I remember where you are so clearly, my heart goes out to you. I was beside myself in the weeks coming up to the birth, I felt like an empty husk of a thing, I felt nothing for the baby inside me and I was distraught about it and what it meant about me, was terrified I was going to go nuts and would have horrific flashes of plunging scissors etc into the bump etc. It was rough for a while but he is 14 weeks now and such a little smiler, it's amazing the difference from last time with increased meds and proper MH support. I have psych, specialist perinatal CPN, OT and CBT all in the mother and baby unit, as well as access to a specialist nursery nurse for advice if I need it and starting a group next week. I won't pretend everything's perfect, it's not, but I am beginning to feel again and I have moments of happiness or at least not-distress. Write it down and get it all out.

I think generally speaking scary thoughts of harm to your baby, as long as they are "ego dystonic" e.g. against your values or how you would like to be, really don't mean that you will harm your children or yourself.

In CBT they put it like this:
Theory A: I am going to go crazy and kill myself and my children because I feel so overwhelmed and distraught. I can't go through this again.
Theory B: I am WORRIED that I am going to go crazy and kill myself and my children because I feel so overwhelmed and distraught. I am WORRIED I won't be able to go through this again.

Theory B means you are a loving parent who is worried about causing harm to your children, not that you are an evil person because you have these thoughts. If anything, those of us who have clinical levels of instrusive thought are merely reacting ridiculously hugely to these thoughts of harm which many other parents have and never even think about... (98% of parents have some of these thoughts after the birth of their child/ren) - we react this way because the thought is so against who we are as people that we think it must Mean Something Terrible that we have had this thought. We believe that a thought is as bad as an action, we "fuse" with it. In reality, it's just thought... thoughts don't harm people, only actions.

This is your illness, not you. It is a very pernicious illness and it will do its level best to convince you that you are really on the verge of murder or something terrible but in all likelihood, the fact thinking this way distresses you and you are in contact with mental health services means that you will not hurt your children.

The problem is really much more often one of worry/distress rather than an actual threat to your children. It's just when you're in it, you feel as though it is completely true and inevitable and that you are horrible for even thinking it...

Try this:
Sing your worst fear (in your head, or out loud) to the tune of Camptown Races. Again and again until it sounds ridiculous to you.
Mine was:
I'm going to stab my baby in the heart doo dah doo dah
I'm going to stab my baby in the heart all the live long day
He will be dead, I will be covered in red,
I'm going to stab my baby in the heart so he never lives another day.

It sounds ridiculous, but it's just something to show you that these are just words. They don't mean anything about you. They are just thoughts.

Good luck.

thunksheadontable Wed 26-Sep-12 17:57:16

PS and I am only an outpatient!

LosingItBigTime Wed 26-Sep-12 18:15:32

Thank you thank you thank you thunks. That REALLY REALLY helped. thanks

LosingItBigTime Wed 26-Sep-12 18:17:54

I keep seeing myself plunge the kitchen knife or screwdriver into the bump-over and over. It's horrible. Especially at night. I can't believe the rage I feel and then the complete nothingness.

Hoophopes Wed 26-Sep-12 19:31:24

Hi - I was told that it is totally normal for the brain to go to its "death is the answer" route when facing a difficult scenario. When I was in last trimester of my pregnancy I really struggled and the psychologist I saw a few times wasn't at all worried about me and helped normalise what I was going through by saying that all brains go to suicide/death when they run out of options. As thunks says, they are words and don't mean action is likely. Sorry if that no help at all. Really feel for you - hope you get the support you need in coming weeks.

Celestia Wed 26-Sep-12 20:11:36

Yes, yes, yes to stabbing oneself in the stomach. Thankfully I haven't felt like that in the last couple of months.

I'm glad thunks words helped smile.

LosingItBigTime Wed 26-Sep-12 20:44:43

I still do hurt myself-just not as violently as I imagine. When I get upset, anxious or angry about the slightest thing that may not go to plan, such as DS waking far too early from his one nap of the day (which happened today)...I become frenzied and lose control. Punched myself in the head and then grabbed the nearest hard object, which happened to be the sky remote, and whacked it into my head until it hurt and I cried from the physical pain as well as the mental pain.

Crazy behaviour I know but I really can't control myself when I get like that.

LosingItBigTime Wed 26-Sep-12 20:53:28

DS was in his room the whole time so he didn't see his mummy lose it.

Just came on to see how you are doing? It sounds like you are really struggling a lot. Please remember that if things really are too overwhelming for you that hospital is there as an option, regardless of what your DH thinks. I know it is a scary thought, but sometimes it is less scary than being at home and trying to deal with all of this on your own. What do you have in the way of support at the moment? Are the crisis team still coming out and seeing you? Keep posting here.

thunksheadontable Thu 27-Sep-12 17:30:15

Hope you are doing okay. I have done that too, whacked myself, things around me, thrown things... like I white out.. but I am fairly confident at this stage that I'm not going to take that out on my kids. Don't get me wrong there are times with my toddler son in particular that I still have flashes of just losing it and beating him severely but I have never laid a hand on him and take great care for him not to see my anger... I would tend to avoid him rather than let him see it, so boil over in another room etc. It's still an issue though.. avoiding can be harmful in its own way.

What anti-d's are you on, and what dose? They can make you feel a lot more anxious when you are starting/increasing a dose for a week or so, then you calm down into them.

Can you bring your DH to a mental health appointment? That really helped mine see what was really going on... I found it easier to explain things to the psychiatrist and answer questions etc vs telling DH directly when I tended to minimise.

You will get through this. My psychiatrist's words always hang around in my worst times: "in a year from now, this will all seem like a bad dream".

thunksheadontable Thu 27-Sep-12 17:31:19

Also please don't sweat it about the knife into bump thing.. it really is just a thought. I say this lightly because I know if it was as easy as just choosing not to have these images you'd have done that by now, but at least know that you are not alone and that particular image is a really, really common one.

Mylittlepuds Thu 27-Sep-12 21:41:50

Another one to say hang in there. I have a similar story to you - extreme PN anxiety after DS and now an unplanned pregnancy featuring the anxiety (that I wasn't over). You're not 'mad' as you can coherently talk about your thought and feelings. You're not alone. Big hug. You'd be surprised at how many go through similar but just never admit it.

Mylittlepuds Fri 28-Sep-12 12:23:49

Also I completely know what you mean re. wondering how the hell you'll cope with two. I'm quite petrified about it.

LosingItBigTime Fri 28-Sep-12 13:59:06

Terrified mylittlepuds. Literally. It's like my mind and body are paralysed by fear which is why I can barely get myself showered. I feel terrible as I lie on the sofa not really playing or interacting with my little boy much as I just can't manage it. I keep thinking how the hell will I get through this all a second time when I'm already feeling broken by bringing DS1 into this world.

Purple and thunks, thanks both for checking on me. In being visited by crisis team nearly every day. I'm on sertraline 50 mg-been two weeks now. They've suggested 100mg but I'm near due now so ill prob wait till baby is born. Don't want to end up with baby suffering withdrawal-a whole other nightmare. I know it's rare but I feel that the way things have been going for me lately, I'll end up being that one person that ends up with a baby suffering some effects from the meds. This is probably the illness talking but I can't add another thing to my already long list if reasons to punish myself.

Mylittlepuds Fri 28-Sep-12 14:08:58

I felt the same at points after DS1 was born Losingit. In fact I can specifically remember being in the shower and being absolutely PETRIFIED I was going to die. Shaking on the inside. It's gotten so much better and it will for you too, even though it doesn't feel like it right now.

LosingItBigTime Fri 28-Sep-12 14:14:37

Thanks mylittlepuds. I was scared of my little boy too. I would be ok when he was asleep but as soon as he started to stir I'd begin to panic and pray he wouldn't wake up. I was soooo scared of handling him. I had crushing feelings of guilt with it all. I couldn't care for him properly by myself and had to move in with my parents for help. I was with them for 6 months in the end and even after I moved back home, I didn't really feel quite normal even though I wasn't a complete zombie any more.

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