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Post Natal Anxiety/Name remorse

(61 Posts)
prolificnamechanger Wed 10-Jul-13 09:39:29

Hi everyone

First time I've posted in this topic although I've posted a lot on the baby names section...

It feels so trivial but at the same time this is taking over my life. I really regret DD's name and my worries over it invade almost my every thought. I wake up fretting about it, sometimes in tears. It's my last thought at night. I will be playing with my DD or cuddling her and there are the thoughts, eating away at me. It's ruining everything.

I've always been a worrier and the sort of person who goes over things after the event to see if I could have done things 'better'.

There are several reasons why I regret DD's quite unusual name - but mainly it's because I'm worried she'll get bullied for it (posts on the baby name threads on this site have fed this fear, by the way).

I have also got very jittery about other things - worrying that some awful accident will happen to her or that DH and I will be killed and leave her orphaned. the other night, I was watching Countryfile of all things - a nice, non controversial programme - when suddenly I was having awful thoughts of us all dying. And thinking, 'Why is no one else worrying about their own deaths and that we're all going to die?' I feel so afraid all the time.

I've been referred for counselling but I just find that I spend the whole sessions going over and over things and crying - and I don't really feel I'm moving forward.

I spoke to my HV about it yesterday and of course ended up in tears - she was very nice but asked me to to make an appointment with the GP. The receptionist was quite sniffy with me when I made the appointment and told me I couldn't see the doctor until next week. This receptionist is rude to everyone - before all this, I would just have rolled my eyes at her rudeness and not let it bother me. But I felt crushed and walked away feeling like a total horrible, weak failure and rubbish mum and human being.

One thing that I am not worrying about is DD's wellbeing. She is such a happy baby and I don't let her see that I am worrying or upset. She has only see me cry a couple of times and didn't really understand as she's only 15 months.

Sorry for the long ramble but I just wanted to see if anyone else had experienced anything similar. I feel so silly and can't really express it to my family and friends - they think I'm being totally melodramatic to 'not like' DD's name. I feel guilty because, you know, there are wars and famines going on and I'm worrying about this.

I have got quite good at painting on a happy face and pretending to be ok when I'm with other people.

But my worries over her name and that she'll be bullied for it are crippling me. I can't see how I'll ever get back to normal life with all this worry and fear hanging over me.

Thank you in advance for any advice. I actually feel better having got all this out.

picnicbasketcase Sat 20-Jul-13 12:47:07

I think her name is very nice smile That's probably not helpful but just thought I'd say anyway.

freelancegirl Sat 20-Jul-13 13:00:42

I know the anxiety is a separate issue but I just want to say the name is absolutely gorgeous and was on my list before I had DS (wouldn't have suited him!). I will definitely consider it if I ever have a dd. I love the nickname too and know a gorgeous, successful woman in her 30s with that name but if you really weren't happy with it her full name is lovely and also has several lovely other nicknames possible from it. Maria, Mari, Mary, merry, may, Anne, Annie...My DS has a long name too and tbh I just love the full version and am not yet using the nicknames I thought I would.

I can relate to the anxiety too. i visualise bad things happening to DS, myself and everyone I love all the time. I sometimes think if I don't visualise it then it will happen too and I wi have wished I had visualised it. The rational side if me is so far managing to keep the anxiety in check but the thoughts are still there bubbling under the surface. I look at other parents and wonder if they're feeling it too.

prolificnamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 13:05:39

Thank you.

Also sorry if there were too many details about my birth on there. Got a bit carried away. Hope it didn't upset anyone.

Would love to hear from you, Buildingmycorestrength.

Minnie is the name nearly everyone calls her, as it is what we started off with. It is a bit of a long, tedious story!

But we are soon moving to a new area (actually the whole idea of moving has been quite stressful and hasn't helped matters!) and I will make sure she is introduced as Marianne to everyone new. Am hoping we can keep Minnie as just her family nickname.

Thank you. It is reassuring to know you aren't the only one.

Smartiepants79 Sat 20-Jul-13 13:19:53

It is a beautiful and classic name. I love it.
You have a good solution to some of your worries. A nickname is just that. She could be Annie or even Marnie instead.
Get some help and hopefully you will be able to start enjoying her properly again.
I don't suffer with PND or anxiety and I still worry about losing my DD or leaving them alone. I also worry about the world ending! (Think Revolution/day of the triffids/the stand) I actually find myself planning in my head what we would do and where we would go! I find it hard to go out without a huge bag of stuff to cover all eventualities in case in it happened while we were out! Madness!

GherkinsAreAce Sat 20-Jul-13 13:28:32

If I met a little Marianne new to the area I would think, what a lovely name smile and be v jealous envy

BlueSprite Sat 20-Jul-13 13:30:10

Oh gosh, I have been where you are now, in terms of having an OCD-related condition postnatally. It's horrendous, absolutely horrendous, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to you.

Several points:

1. It's fantastic news you are going to get CBT. This has changed my life. I had body dysmorphic disorder, which is an OCD related condition, but to be honest, it doesn't matter what your 'obsession' is - whatever it is, it will take over your life and in some cases make you feel suicidal, no matter if everybody else in the entire world is telling you it's not a big deal and even though deep down part of you understands it's not normal to be this gut-wrenchingly desperate over something.

CBT helped me in two ways. Initially, my mind was absolutely unable to be changed about the severity of my percieved problem. It my mind, no one could ever persuade me otherwise. However, CBT was able to make me see that I shouldn't be feeling suicidal over my problem - I didn't deserve for it to be causing me so much distress, to the point I told my family that when my DS was 6 months old, I would be killing myself because I couldn't cope with feeling like this. I chose 6 months because I decided that DS would be able to manage without breastmilk by then, but he would still be young enough not to miss me. It's very hard writing this now. The only word I could use to describe myself then is 'desperate' - it's not quite the right word, but the closest I could get to describing the agonising distress.

After a long while - I was also on a high dose of Lustral - CBT slowly came to make me question the validity of my hitherto strongly-held belief. In time, that belief began to wobble and I began to question it. Now, 3 years later, I can honestly say I am happy and confident that it is NOT a problem, even though nothing has 'changed' physically.

This will seem impossible for you now, so don't worry about it. The thing for you is to focus on how you are feeling about this - you shouldn't be feeling so guilty and distressed over this. For the next few weeks and months, I think you should focus on "If this 'problem' can't be fixed, I want to at least not feel so horribly bad about it".

2. The name itself. I know reassurance will only help you for a few minutes or so. Then the doubts will come back in. If you are anything like me, you will both be begging for reassurance and equally be unable to take it, no matter how much somebody tries to tell you your DD's name is lovely. However, I will say, I genuinely DO think it is a beautiful name, both the full name and the nickname.

The 'funniest' thing is that I have known a very attractive women for about 10 years whose nickname is Minnie. Although I am aware of it as a possible nickname for girls' bits (among zillions of others!), I can honestly say I have never made the connection between the two with this woman. She has always just been Minnie - and always will be. Even now I have made the connection via reading this thread, it doesn't make any difference to how I feel about her name. It has just washed past my brain (as it will do for the vast majority of people). Just a lovely, and quite funky, name for a very cool lady.

I truly don't think you should seek to change her name. For my perceived problem, I was dead set on cosmetic surgery. I was trying to work out all sorts of ways I might pay for it. Now I am back to being 'me' again, I thank god I never went down that route. It would have opened a whole can of worms. I feel convinced that if I had had the cosmetic surgery, my obsession would merely have shifted to something else. That is the nature of the illness. Again, I know you will have trouble believing this (I always thought, "Ah, but MY case is different!" when people reassured me that the thoughts came from OCD/depression), but try to open your mind to the possibility, especially when the thoughts are at their most invasive.

3. I was on Sertraline (Lustral/Zoloft) for the last 3 weeks of pregnancy and all through breastfeeding (until DS was 8 months). The highest dose actually, 200mg. If it provides any reassurance, my psychiatrist at the time was able to reassure me that minimal amounts come through in your milk. DS is now 3 and is developing brilliantly - no issues at all.

Good luck, lovely. This isn't going to be forever. For now, you must do your best not to entertain those 'what if' thoughts about bullying and how you might go about changing her name. For now, focus on day to day tasks and whenever the anxiety starts to mount up, choose something to do that distracts your mind, even if it's just doing a crossword (crosswords got me through when I was too anxious to even watch TV or read a book). I really am thinking of you - it's the hardest thing to go through, but you won't feel like this forever.

Sorry for the mammouth post blush

BlueSprite Sat 20-Jul-13 13:33:19

What's a mammouth?! Mammoth grin

prolificnamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 13:46:25

Thank you, thank you for 'mammouth' post! It all makes so much sense to me.

It sounds like you had a hellish time. But you have really illustrated so much of how I'm feeling.

Thank you. And glad you are feeling so much better.

JimmysMum1988 Sat 20-Jul-13 13:49:11

Lovely name!! Was on my list before I found out I was having a boy!! Xx

Mommabear1234 Fri 15-Aug-14 07:17:17

Hi prolificnamechanger,

I realise it's been a long time since this was all written but my baby girl is turning one soon and I have suffered severe anxiety over her name since she was born and was just giggling this topic and found this thread. I feel so relieved I'm not the only person to suffer from this (and it really is suffering), but I also really hope you're much better now.

How are you going? May I ask what helped you? If anything?

I really hope you're doing better and I hope one day to be able to say the same for myself!

Mommabear1234 Fri 15-Aug-14 07:18:11

Sorry that meant to say googling, not giggling

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