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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.

You're not evil, you're ill. I don't have children so have no direct experience to share, but I do have severe depression, and when I am very ill I have horrible thoughts that do feel evil, so I can relate. Have the MH team offered much in the way of support? Keep talking to them about how you are feeling - there are options, for example if you are still very ill when the baby is born there are mother and baby units, where you would get a lot of support. I'm sorry I don't have anything helpful to say, but I didn't want to read and run, and you are NOT evil.

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 16:31:53

Oh honey, you are not evil. I am no expert but have post natal anxiety & have been horrendously stressed about my baby's sleep & feeding & not sleeping myself. I was prescribed anti depressants & have been doing Cbt, so it is more under control. You may have similar pnd/anxiety, I think you need to see your doctor straight away & get some help. Well done for being open about your feelings, now just make sure you get help for yourself.

You CAN feel better with help. Also your dp & dm need to take your feelings seriously, you could do with lots of help & support from them. Can you speak to them again?

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 16:36:43

Sorry, just re-read your op, & see that you did have pnd (i'm not sure what and is). Sounds like you need more support anyway - start at the doctors? Is that something that sounds like it might be a good idea?

Sympathy for the panicky feelings, it's horrible isn't it?

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Wed 19-Sep-12 16:41:54

Oh, you poor love. No, you're not evil.

Posting and running now, but there is help, honestly. Make an emergency appt with your GP, tell him or her how you are feeling and that the MH midwife knows.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Wed 19-Sep-12 16:42:11

PebblePots, AND = ante-natal depression

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 17:03:23

Thank you, Even.

op, your symptoms are clearly not under control & you need more help from your GP & at home. X

Yes, I have experienced bad feelings (towards my newborn) & yes they have gone away now. To tell you how bad it was & show you it can get better:

I used to think my dd had black eyes like the pits of hell at night. I thought she had a horrible beaky face. It would be better if she was dead. I should put her up for adoption, I thought I was going to end up in hospital. Wished we had never had a baby.

I hate putting these things in writing for all to see, I don't feel any if these things now, my dd is 9 months & much loved & wanted. I am mainly feeling like myself again but still on the road to recovery. I have had lots of help, medication from my GP & constant daily help from my mum until I felt able to cope. I would have felt the same as you if I got pregnant again when feeling like this.

I understand how deep the panic is.

I know at least 2 other people who have had pnd & these thoughts are not uncommon.

Is there anything else I can do to help you? I am maybe not great at reaching out to other people & striking the right note, but would like to be here for you, as I understand how you feel. Hope I'm not beeing too bossy! smile

LosingItBigTime Wed 19-Sep-12 19:29:32

Thank you for being so kind. I'm so scared of all these feelings. I can't be around babies or I start to panic.

I have crisis team coming to visit me at home. I haven't seen my GP for a while as the MH specialist midwife put in place the help from crisis team and referred me to consultant psych. I guess I should keep my GP in the loop?

Have been taking medication too but not for long.

I just feel like I am not able to cope and if I had somewhere to run and hide I would go. PP you didnt come across as bossy at all. Reading whatust have been terribly difficult for you to write above made me feel like I'm not the only one. It was incredibly difficult to start this thread but the thoughts are starting to take over and I just want to hurt myself so much. I get agitated to the point where I can't rationalise and if DH hadn't taken a glass out of my hand yesterday it would've been smashed into my face. I've been bashing my head, pulling my hair, scratching my face to try to deal with the anger and pain. It took all my energy to not plunge a knife into myself in the middle of the night.

I think I'm going mad but then if I was going mad wouldn't I think I was totally normal and deny being mad? I know mad is not a very nice word but that is honestly how I'd describe myself and my behaviour.

I'm glad the crisis team are visiting. Do you feel able to talk to them? I know it is a last resort, but if things do get worse then hospital may be an option if you don't feel able to keep yourself safe etc, and again once the baby is born if you are still having these thoughts. Keep talking to the professionals and being honest with them about what you're experiencing. Am happy to listen any time if that helps at all. It sounds like PP has lots of good advice, and has been in a very similar position.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Wed 19-Sep-12 19:57:40

I hope the crisis team get you seen by the psych as a priority. purplepenguin makes a good point; perhaps a voluntary stay in hospital might be a good idea, as it will take some of the pressure off you and your dh regarding your safety. You will be treated with the care and compassion you deserve.

You can be in a bad place (I prefer that to 'mad') and have awareness. You are doing the right thing getting help; keep talking openly; be completely honest with the crisis team and ask them to help you.

PebblePots, thank you too for your brave post.

Jollyb Wed 19-Sep-12 19:58:49

losing it. Please remember you are ill. Depression is an illness. You are not a bad mother or evil person. These feelings will pass.

It sounds like you are already in touch with the right people and hopefully the antidepressants will kick in soon. It's a good sign that you have insight and have been able to speak to your MH midwife about your feelings. They may suggest a period as an inpatient or a stay on a mother and baby unit after the birth. You shouldn't be ashamed of doing either of these.

Will be thinking of you. I had AND and PND with my daughter and a lot of my anxiety stemmed around the sleep issues too. What saved me was hiring a postnatal doula for a couple of mornings a week so I knew whatever came I could have a rest in the morning.

Jollyb Wed 19-Sep-12 20:01:19

Another thought - if you've just started antidepressants could these be heightening the anxiety? This is not an uncommon side effect. Good luck with the crisis team

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 20:27:39

Hi, another voice to say you are not going mad, just very overwhelmed & struggling with AND. When is your crisis team coming to visit you?

If that team is taking care of your treatment, I wouldn't think you need to worry yourself about informing your GP.

If you've not been on medication long, maybe it hasn't kicked in yet or you need a higher dose. I found my GP very conservative with upping my dose, which made it take longer for me to feel better & the onus was on me to ask for a higher dose.

Just hold tight, you WILL feel better, just need to get through this bit where things are still bad. I think you need to be seen very soon, op, it's worrying the way you are feeling about hurting yourself.

I had a lovely little book of quotes, this one appealed to me:

Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the tree.

Is your mum near you? Could she come & just be with you tonight/tomorrow.

AngelaMerkel Wed 19-Sep-12 20:44:55

You don't say how far along you are? You have/have had the opportunity to terminate, and the fact you've chosen not to does indicate that something within you really will protect this baby.

has anyone suggested a Mother and baby Unit once the baby is here? Again giving you/both a chance to bond in a much less stressful place.

Are you getting help with the root cause of the OCD/anxiety

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 21:33:38

Hi, (again!), no you are not the only one, when you start asking around, there are lots of us who have pnd/and. I know the feeling of wanting to run away.

I have a friend who got ocd as part of pnd & had dozens of checks to do before bed & she couldn't even sleep then. She got treatment, had a second child, struggled again & is now starting to relax
I couldn't sleep either, nights can seem long & lonely & overwhelming but the daytime will always come smile

I hope your dh can be there for you. Mine did not understand very well, can you ask him for what you need, e.g. lots of hugs, him to tell you he's got you & that everything will be ok (or whatever it is you need to hear) & keep repeating lots.

PebblePots Thu 20-Sep-12 08:47:13

Hello, how are you this morning? Was thinking of you in the night

LosingItBigTime Thu 20-Sep-12 10:24:36

Hi pebblepots

I calmed down last night eventually. Thank you for all your kind support and for being so brave about the feelings you experienced.

There are times I feel like I am fighting the urge to hurt myself so much...

jollyb I think as its early days on meds too that some of these uncontrollable feelings are side effects. I just don't know who or what I am. Is this me? Is this the illness or is it side effects? It is very confusing.

Angela M I think I wanted to terminate but my DH persuaded me that we would cope and get through. He said it was important for our child to have a sibling and if anything happened to us they'd be there for each other. I can't remember well now as I'm pretty much close to my due date now and have been pretty much all over the place throughout this pregnancy.

Thank you everyone for reassuring me. I have to work on controlling my anger and frustration.

LosingItBigTime Thu 20-Sep-12 10:47:33

purple penguin and even... I will discuss a possible stay in hospital with the people who come to see me. They are due to see me tomorrow. Thank you both. Thank you all.

I think I'm in some form of denial. It's like I'm avoiding preparing for this baby. I haven't packed a hospital bag or bought bottles or anything. I can't bring myself to do it-almost as if I've convinced myself this will all go away. But I know it won't.

PebblePots Thu 20-Sep-12 20:00:38

Just popping by to say hi, I hope tonight is ok for you, just 1 more night before you see your medical peeps & hopefully they can start to make things better for you. Can someone else do the preparations for the baby so don't have to!

Isn't it crazy that side effects to ADs can make you worse, that's all you need!

Well yesterday I started a yoga class! grin it was so lovely to do something for me & not baby related, very relaxing. It's like a little time-out back to the person I was before being a mum seemed to take over everything! I'm hoping as more time goes by, life will start to seem more back to normal!

Last night I didn't sleep too well so if you were awake, you were not alone! Mind too active & buzzing with thoughts, annoying!

Off for my dinner now...

Also slept badly last night! Just wanted to say I hope you get on ok with the crisis team tomorrow - I hope they offer some type of support. Keep talking here whenever you want, I'm more than happy to listen, and I'm sure PebblePots feels the same.

MummyShirl Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:34

Hun, you are not evil. i have been exactly where you are. it feels like your stuck in a world of darkness that youll never escape but you will!i had negative thoughts, i was abused as a child and havin a baby myself brought up alot of memories i did not want to deal with. i was so over protective of my child that my anxiety hit the roof. i didnt trust anyone. i would obsess on what a horrible world id brought a baby into and convinced myself i didnt deserve him. I got diagnosed with post natal ocd( obsessive worrying) i was actually making my self sooo ill by worrying about things i couldnt control. if your havin negative thoughts, look up cbt techniques online that can help. for instance, your saying you wanna hit your belly. this is just a thought. EVERYONE has horrible thoughts, its the emotion you tie to it that makes it repeat in your head. when it comes, think about what goes against that thought. like youve never hurt anyone elses child so where is the proof you would hurt your own?theres none. its just a thought. then breathe. strange technique but buy a beaded braclet or elastic band. wear it. everytime you have a thought, snap the band and imagine a hot beach or a image that comforts you and distances you from the thought. it helped me a lot. Not everyone is a natural parent. i wasnt. sometimes you have to grow into your role. take it one day at a time. i still have hard days. see your doc hun.take care xx

PebblePots Sun 23-Sep-12 07:55:54

Hope you are ok Losing, I keep checking in on your thread to see if you've been back - my thoughts are with you & hope things are going ok.

ophelia275 Sun 23-Sep-12 13:27:50

I have sent you a private message. Hugs x

LosingItBigTime Sun 23-Sep-12 20:15:46

Thank you all so much for all the reassurance and support everyone. I have been seen by a psychiatrist and the crisis team. They have suggested a stay in hospital but I'm very scared about that and DH doesn't want me going in either. Plus I've got to think of my little boy too.

I've been a lot calmer, perhaps the medication is starting to do its job as I've had the dose increased. I'm still not ready for this new child at all and still can't bring myself to get anything ready at all.

I was really honest with them but couldn't completely get the words out until the man from the crisis team asked me if I wished the baby was dead. I cried and cried at the point but had to admit that's what I was hoping for. I don't know what has happened to me. I have nothing left to give. I still feel terribly evil for wishing an innocent child dead but I genuinely feel that the child would be better off than coming into such a shit world and ending up with such a shit mother.

I have just started feeling close to my son and have felt warmth and affection for him after such a long time and I just don't feel I have anything or any space left in my heart or mind for another child. Sick really when there are so many people desperate for kids. I'm sorry for how negative I am and feel.

MummyShirl Sun 23-Sep-12 21:03:47

i so wish you had someone to talk to face to face who has felt similar. I think it would really open your eyes to see you really arent the only one. it sounds like you may have had pnd with ur first baby.i suffered with depression for years b4 my pregnancy and i can tell you nothing has made me feel more horrendous than pnd. This horrible time will pass hun. face your fears head on and then you can overcome anything. im thinking of you, hang in there. xx

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.

Mylittlepuds Fri 28-Sep-12 14:28:23

Yep I had that too - petrified of being with him on my own. I don't know how i survived it. It was hideous and I felt like it was the cruelest punishment a mother could endure. My heart really goes out to you.

thunksheadontable Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:35

Just want to share my experience of being right where you are. I became obsessed before the birth that the baby was going to die because I had wished it on him. I was just in total brain lock about it. I went to all these consultant appointments and just wailed and snivelled and snotted about how I couldn't go through with the birth: I didn't want a cs, I didn't want an induction, I didn't want a vb... I became ridiculously obsessed with the birth plan, switching from cs to homebirth to induction in the last three weeks of pregnancy. I cannot now convey to you the certainty with which I BELIEVED that my baby would die no matter what I chose, that I would make the decision and that would be that, it would be my fault. I was just as scared he would live but I didn't want to admit that because it meant I was evil and that he would die (see the circular thinking here? morning, noon and night). It was sheer torment.

Here's how all that fear played out in reality: a beautiful waterbirth (!!!!) in a room that looked like a day spa with twinkly stars in the roof and colour changing lights and a perfect, beautiful baby boy that has (at 14 weeks) settled into a great routine and is smiley and happy and content. Every single fear I had? Did any of them come true? No.

Of course, in some ways this is no comfort to you. I know you will think: yes, but that's you.. there's no guarantee. I was the same. I know you will think: but it's going to be worse for me. I know you want someone to tell you the future but know they can't and are paralysed by that. It's all okay.

Just remember these things:
1) Sertraline can make you more anxious in the first 4 weeks as it sets in. This happened to me but it has worked well. I am on 100g now and may be set to go higher, only time will tell.
2) About 34% of people will at some point in their lives have enough anxiety to be clinically diagnosed with one of the anxiety disorders. Next time you go out, count people: one, two, three; one, two, three. Imagine every third person has probably felt as you do now. One in TWO will have given serious thought to self-harm or suicide: one, two; one, two. This is not as fucked up as you imagine. It's part of being human. We all have pain and suffering. You are not alone.
3) Can you think of your worst fear in one word or phrase? e.g. failure/murderer/evil/fuck up or something like that? If so, you can do things to defuse from it. One suggestion would be to write it on an index card and look at it several hundred times a day, even if it is as awful as: "you are going to crack up and kill yourself and your children". If that's too hard or you fear seeing it written down, imagine Daffy Duck or a toad or Bart Simpson or someone totally and utterly ridiculous saying this to you. Or write it on here and look at it on your phone (so it's anonymous). Say it in lots of different voices to yourself e.g. Darth Vader, Arnie Schwarzenegger.. anyone with a ridiculous, highly stylised voice. Make it deep, high, camp, squeaky... do it over and over really rapidly until the sound of the words separate out from their meaning like many children do with words like cuff to trick their friends into swearing! Expose yourself to it again and again. It will make your anxiety ROCKET but it honestly can do wonders for you. These are only words and right now you don't believe it. Our whole culture sets you up to believe that what you think is true that it means something. It doesn't. It really is just words. T

The other thing I would have said a lot of is "it's not me, it's OCD" because that was my official diagnosis... but you could say AND if you wanted.

I hope you get some relief soon. When are you due? You will get through this. I am here with my two boys and though I have several rushes of anxiety a day, I can cope with it now and am getting on with life. There is an end to this tunnel. You will be okay.. its just going to take time x

thunksheadontable Fri 28-Sep-12 14:34:01

Also can I just say - how amazing is this - I am crocheting at the moment and can actually go to sleep beside a large sharp scissors without being paralysed of the fear of doing something with it. That's how far you can come in the next 2-3 months (even more as I refused to start sertraline before birth as I was being silly about it, so I could be even further along probably if I had done it when you are doing it).

Mylittlepuds Fri 28-Sep-12 14:39:50

Thunks - your post has helped me too. Thank you.

thunksheadontable Fri 28-Sep-12 15:32:47

Glad to be of help. I remember so, so well. I never in a million years would have believed I could at 14 weeks into my small boy's life be out walking with them both, picking blackberries, making flapjacks (which we have done today). I was just prostrate with fear. I hadn't cooked in months, barely showered, was just overcome with terror most of the time. I couldn't imagine even leaving the house with two of them (and it was hard for the first few weeks but this was a big part of my therapy). Everything was a threat. I'm very grateful to the NHS, their support has been brilliant and they really helped me through the birth and the aftermath.

LosingItBigTime Fri 28-Sep-12 17:01:24

Thunk...thank you. You've been so helpful and given me some hope which I've simply not had any of throughout this pregnancy. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for all your advice and for posting personal stuff that must have been quite difficult for you. I've had to tell my husband to hide paracetamol in case I try to overdose and have asked him to hide the big knives and scissors so that I don't obsess over using them on myself.

I understand why you wouldn't have wanted to use the sertraline in pregnancy-I insisted I didn't want to take them until the birth but I was under a lot of pressure to take them so I gave in to it in the end. I'm still not quite sure but it's done now.

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 16:44:19

I still wish I had the guts to end it all. But I'm too scared. I am alone today. DH has taken DS out this afternoon. I feel very empty for some reason. I like being alone sometimes just for the peace and quiet and to just be. But sometimes I feel scared and the anxiety starts to take hold and I feel vulnerable to the intrusive thoughts. I have to say the posting on here has been somewhat therapeutic and has helped a lot. Thank you to all of you for supportive and kind words. It's all helped.

Viviennemary Sat 29-Sep-12 16:51:05

You are not evil. And the fact you are admitting to those thoughts is a good thing rather than keeping them secret. Nobody can really say how you will feel when the baby is born. So the only thing you can do is get a counsellor to help you through this difficult time. Or perhaps join a PND group. I agree that this awful time will pass.

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 17:33:07

I feel like such a failure

Mylittlepuds Sat 29-Sep-12 17:52:47

You're not a failure - you're a bloody hero for getting through each day with all of this to cope with. And you will keep getting through the days, I promise.

achillea Sat 29-Sep-12 17:53:03

I'm a bit out of my league here, I can't imagine what you are going through, but I am wondering if you would benefit for a few days in a respite centre of some kind - this may help so they can observe you better and it might make you feel safer and therefore you may be able to get some sleep. It sounds as though a decent nights sleep is your priority, along with the medical intervention.

thunksheadontable Sat 29-Sep-12 20:20:52

I am glad my words are of help, keep posting.. you need the support.

As my CBT therapist says LosingIt, if two soldiers at the front were about to go under enemy fire and one was terrified of dying and the other believed they would be fine, who would you judge to be the bravest in making that journey? There is no failure here. That is ALSO a thought. If you are a failure, 30-50% of humanity is too - does that make statistical sense?

How far along are you again? I felt much like you do now, that empty/hollow feeling, especially in the final weeks...

Is there anyone who can be around to support you? My sister came to stay for three weeks around the birth (she actually took unpaid leave!) and it really did save me. If you haven't got anything like this, do consider the MBU. I would have been offered it if my sister hadn't been around so I know how you will feel about leaving your toddler etc but the absolute priority here is your wellness... your toddler and your new baby need you, your husband needs you but most of all YOU NEED to be and feel like yourself again. Nothing else really matters!

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 21:24:13

I'm nearly 39 weeks now. I've been offered a stay at MBU. My name has been put on the waiting list. Thanks for the statistics and the soldier thing. I wish I could reach out and hug you. All of it helps. I keep posting because it helps to get things out.

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 21:26:23

achillea, mylittlepuds and viviennemary...thanks all for posting. You all are really helping me to feel like I'm not evil and I'm not alone. There is some light in the darkness.

LosingItBigTime Mon 01-Oct-12 17:23:38

Just trying to get through each day. Feels like in slowly dying from inside.

Mylittlepuds Mon 01-Oct-12 17:46:28

How's today been? What have you been feeling?

LosingItBigTime Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:20

Just been feeling very empty and mournful. No tears. Sadness or some sort of grief for the change in relationship between me and DS once new baby gets here. Wishing I could go back to change things but I can't. I'm so tired. I know I'm about to get more tired still...scares the hell out of me. I think the ADs are helping in that my tearfulness has definitely been in check and I think I'm sleeping a little better. Would love a solid 7 hour night!

Mylittlepuds Mon 01-Oct-12 19:41:57

Can you have a lovely early night? Maybe a nice bubble bath when your DS is tucked up, read a book and go to bed? X

LosingItBigTime Mon 01-Oct-12 20:06:32

DS is tucked up bless him. I might just do that...the early night that is. Can't do baths.,, I have a problem with relaxing! Thank you xx

Mylittlepuds Tue 02-Oct-12 08:15:15

Hi Losingit. How are you this morning?

LosingItBigTime Tue 02-Oct-12 08:55:25

Hi littlepuds. I'm ok thank you. I did get a good night's sleep so that really helps. How are you today? Thanks for checking in on me.

Mylittlepuds Tue 02-Oct-12 08:57:08

Great smile I'm actually feeling good today too. It's so weird as I've not done anything different! Maybe the key is to stop fighting and accept things more smile

thunksheadontable Thu 04-Oct-12 00:40:49

How are things today? You fell off my "threads I am on" list for some reason. It is very hard to be so pregnant at the best of times... hang in. I had those same feelings of grief/regret about ds1 at that stage.

LosingItBigTime Thu 04-Oct-12 15:53:34

Thanks thunks. I'm actually feeling a lot less emotional. Less tearful in any case. I still feel very irritated and angry towards the baby which I know isn't normally me so I keep reminding myself that it's my illness and not me. This thread has been a bit of a lifesaver for me as getting g things out there has been therapeutic for me too.

The ADs must be working to an extent because I feel less in danger of harming myself.

Thank you for all your support and posts. Honestly. It had helped so much.

Mylittlepuds Thu 04-Oct-12 16:46:08

Glad you're feeling a bit better losing. Was thinking about you in bed last night - in a non sleazy was of course! It's so hard when your mind feels like it's got a mind of its own and 'you' are lost and losing the battle. That's how I feel a lot anyway. Please keep posting here, particularly if you find it's helping. Today I have called feeling strange (one of my anxiety symptoms) having a wibbly woo moment and for some reason that's helped today. Perhaps you could try a similar thing everytime you have an unwanted thought?

LosingItBigTime Thu 04-Oct-12 18:39:46

I will try that. Thanks littlepuds. I do feel like I've lost myself and it feels like I'll never get back to being me. But I hope and pray I will get back to being the happy, confident, 'normal' me eventually. How are you now after your 'wibblywoo' moment?

Mylittlepuds Thu 04-Oct-12 19:15:40

Oh God I have had a day full of wibbly woo moments! You absolutely will get back to you I promise you that. You will look back on this time and it will make you a better, more understanding, more empathetic person. Not that you weren't but you will look on this as a life lesson.

thunksheadontable Thu 04-Oct-12 20:31:22

YY to feeling like you but with more empathy etc. I couldn't believe this could happen to me, but it has and I've survived and I have so much more feeling for others I know are suffering like this. My cousin is quite severely mentally ill and now I understand so much more (while not being at his level) and feel so much compassion.

It is absolutely your illness and not you. We're not really an "I" at the best of times, like good old Walt Whitman said "I am large, I contain multitudes". There is enough space in you to be angry and irritated and who you are. It's easy to fall into black and white thinking but you can be irritated/angry and a great parent and person all at one time, there is a lot going on at once for every one of us ALL the time. Wibbly woo moments seems a great way to describe it mylittlepuds, helps keep it in perspective as "just one of those things" without putting too much meaning into it.

LosingItBigTime Thu 04-Oct-12 22:14:47

Thanks ladies. I can't wait to get back to being 'me' again although the Walt Whitman quote is indeed very apt. I guess one never really is a single I/me type entity. We are constantly trying to fulfil roles and responsibilities. As parents, as children, as siblings, as partners, as work colleagues, friends etc etc.

I already feel so much empathy/sympathy and compassion for anyone even remotely suffering from MH issues. I just want to reach out and hug all of them to say everything is gonna be ok...I really hope that is what happens for us all

LosingItBigTime Thu 04-Oct-12 22:15:34

That is, that everything does turn out ok in the end

achillea Thu 04-Oct-12 23:18:05

Hi, bigtime, I am so glad and relieved that you are feeling a little bit better now. Thanks for updating us, it is good to know that I have helped, even though I know very little about all this. You were clearly in a very dark place and have come back into the light.

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 15:52:06

It's pretty shitty when 'D'H can't even try to be sensitive to or try to understand your pain.

I just can't stop crying now. Like the floodgates have been opened.

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 15:52:55

p.s. thanks achillea...I'm working on it as best I can.

Neednewjeans Sat 06-Oct-12 16:40:27

Oh no what's happened Losing?

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 19:52:59

Hi newjeans. I don't know really. I think I am overreacting as usual. I'm very pregnant now and struggling to cope with a boisterous 18 month old all day. Whenever I ask DH for help he takes DS out in the garden for half hour or so and then leaves him back with me while he completes odd jobs in house and garden which aren't urgent or is constantly in and out of the house saying he needs to sort his other property which he has new tenants. The property is empty and he has an agent so I don't understand. I guess I expect too much. It's really hard for me to make meals for and entertain my LO all day as I'm so tired and so pregnant. I don't think DH quite understands the severity of my illness either because I just try so hard to plod on as best as I can.

Self pity is the lowest form of shit and reading what I've just written I think I'm bloody wallowing in it.

So sorry.

Thanks for asking. I can't believe how much help and support I've had through MN. Thank you.

thunksheadontable Sat 06-Oct-12 19:53:46

Oh Losing, sorry to hear that you are not having support. I have had a lot of ups and downs with my husband on this journey. I had to really work hard to get him to understand and he really didn't take it seriously for a long time. I still have to remind him quite a bit that I am getting well and there are some things that are hard. One thing that helped here was bringing him to an appointment with the psychiatrist, that helped him see how seriously they were treating it and made a big difference. What's going on with you?

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 19:53:59

The new tenants are about to move in, sorry, didn't make that clear above.

thunksheadontable Sat 06-Oct-12 19:56:18

Cross posted with you! I totally understand. I had a major argument with dh when he wanted to leave me to go to a wedding when ds2 was two weeks old when I was just adjusting to meds etc.. he thought that as the birth was over I would be fine! Men! They do need it spelled out in CAPITALS at time.

As for the self pity comment? Nah. Compassion is the highest of all human values and you need it for yourself if you can extend it to others. It's hard being so pregnant at the best of times, you are doing it in difficult circumstances. Have you made a decision about the MBU, do you know where you are on the waiting list? Hugs.

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 20:00:00

Hi Thunks. It's so hard getting OH to understand really. I have to keep reminding him that the depression isn't just about the situation I'm in. It's organic in that my brain chemistry isn't quite right. I can say this with confidence because I know from years of experience with this crappy illness, I've always responded well to medication and recover even quicker when the medical treatment is teamed with talking therapy. I've given him stuff to read and he's been to a couple of psych appointments with me but he just doesn't get it. But I do know he loves me. Bless him.

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 20:03:11

Yes indeed, men! That's the exact kind of thing my DH would think is completely ok. No news about MBU yet. I've pushed for further info and a look around but nothing yet. I know they've put everything in my notes but I just don't know how it's all going to work out.

Thanks for the hugs. Right back atcha.

Scheherezade Sat 06-Oct-12 20:55:51

You need to take your DH to your appointments with the perinatal MH team.

LosingItBigTime Sat 06-Oct-12 21:16:47

I did. He's been with me to a few appointments. He can't seem to process it.

Scheherezade Sat 06-Oct-12 22:02:37

Can you ask.your CPN to talk to him?

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Sat 06-Oct-12 23:12:22

Just read the thread - I just wanted to tell you that I think you are bloody amazing! You sound like an excellent mum to me, the fact that you've been so open and honest over your feelings is the thing that will get you through.
I had (mild to moderate) PND with last DC and 18 months later am pregnant again and terrified I will have some of those feelings again, but I also know that it is possible to come out on the other side.
I wanted to mention the feelings you are having about the dynamic changing between you and DS. For me this was an incredible hurdle to get past, I hated my 2nd bump towards the end and my heart ached for how I'd 'destroyed' my relationship with the boy-even down to the fact that he would suffer when I was in having my section. Obviously this all turned out to be a load of bollocks grin DS was spoilt rotten by everyone, didn't miss me nearly as much as I'd worried and was so so thrilled with his new baby that nothing else mattered. Yes it is hard with 2 (and another bumpconfused) but you will manage. This will pass.
Sorry for rambling- just don't want you thinking that all the 'normal' fears are jumbled up with how you're feeling and that most people get them.
God I don't half go on.......

MrsNPattz Sun 07-Oct-12 07:44:12

I just wanted to say how very, very brave you are and in time I hope you will be so proud of yourself!

achillea Sun 07-Oct-12 15:34:01

I'm feeling a bit angry on your behalf about your not so dear H. I wonder if it might help to put it to him that it is a privilege to look after children, not a chore. It is something that his child will cherish him for and appreciate. Taking him out in the garden for half an hour is great, but it doesn't sound like he's got his heart in it.

When I went through a bad time with my first, and heavily pregnant with my second, my dp was up first thing in the morning with her cooking her porridge, playing and watching TV with her - before work. And he's really not the best dp in the world by a long chalk. The thing he does realise is that the time he spends looking after his children is something unique and special. And although he's not the best Dad or partner in the world in a lot of other ways, he understands that as a fundamental principle.

LosingItBigTime Sun 07-Oct-12 15:52:08

AndFanjo, thanks for the words of reassurance. It helps when you hear from people who have experienced the same feelings and come out the other side. I have no doubt it's gonna be a hard slog-I think that's why I've been so damn terrified of the entire situation.

MrsNPattz, bless you, thank you. I just hope and pray I'll be able to look back and think of it as a really bad dream that's all over.

Achillea-thanks for the lil pep talk. I think you're right. He hasn't always been too helpful with DS but last night he kinda made up for it. DS has a nasty cold and he took the night shift happily. I ended up having a rough night myself and didn't sleep well anyway. He sent me back to bed and sorted DS out for his lunch and nap. He is now outside with him again. I feel a little guilty and sheepish now for all the moaning.

LosingItBigTime Sun 07-Oct-12 15:53:20

Scheherezade. I'll talk to the CPN tomorrow and see if that could help. Thank you

LosingItBigTime Tue 09-Oct-12 09:24:27

2 days till due date. I'm utterly terrified. Can't bear to pack my hospital bag. The newborn clothes disturb me too much. I saw a newish born at drs yesterday and had a terrible panic attack. I just don't know how I am going to cope with this.

Mylittlepuds Tue 09-Oct-12 09:39:48

Losing - just think of them as 'normal' feelings as they are. Because of how you've felt you've just put more importance on them. Honestly my DS is 18 months, I'm pregnant again and because of what I went through last time the thought of newborns strikes fear into my heart! You have coped through this awful time and you'll cope through this. The worst possible outcome is that you will just 'get by' hour by hour but the best is that it won't be nearly as bad.

LosingItBigTime Tue 09-Oct-12 09:50:43

It's like a developed a phobia of small babies.

LosingItBigTime Tue 09-Oct-12 09:51:48

Thanks littlepuds. Ill try my best to rationalise this.

Mylittlepuds Tue 09-Oct-12 10:05:53

It's okay. I used to look at DS when he was little and think he was like an alien! Ha! I think you'll find a lot of people have similar feelings - I know I do. Try and think of a few positives. Have you got a name sorted? And they are cute when they're so little smile

LosingItBigTime Tue 09-Oct-12 10:22:40

How are you doing anyway? I hope things getting better for you?

Mylittlepuds Tue 09-Oct-12 11:11:16

Aw thanks for asking. I'm okay but spend my whole days with DS with a constant anxiety which is wearing sad I really hope it doesn't get worse still when the baby arrives as I will definitely not cope!

thunksheadontable Tue 09-Oct-12 11:48:23

An ACT exercise is to try and visualise your fear... you take some breaths and get in touch with yourself and then try and work out what your fear feels like inside you. Where are its edges? If it were an object, what would it look like? Can you see it outside your body? If it were a creature, what would it appear like? For me, the fear is always in my centre and I can feel its edges right down into my middle and it's icy and cold and black, often shaped like a hand. When you draw it outside of yourself in your mind, you ask it what it needs from you. Then you imagine yourself doing it some small kindness like feeding it or stroking it, before inviting it back inside you. Sounds mad, right? Took me a while to get into it but I have found it very useful to realise that fear is always going to be there but it doesn't have to take over, also that it's not all of me and that I can be accepting of it.

Another useful thing I do a lot is this two breath mindfulness exercise:
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Breathing in, I dwell in this moment.
Breathing out, this is the only moment.

Sometimes, smiling is HARD and my face feels like a frozen mask but remembering there is only now and that if right now you are not experiencing the real event you fear can be very helpful.

thunksheadontable Tue 09-Oct-12 11:49:10

Half my message went missing - grrr! No time to repost now, hope I will be back later

LosingItBigTime Wed 10-Oct-12 13:43:33

No worries. What's there is pretty helpful but I'm so demotivated I have zero energy to focus on anything. The fear and panic are taking over now. It has become a phobia. I can't stand the sound of babies crying now either, even my 18 month olds crying has become almost impossible for me to tolerate. He is crying again at nap and bedtimes and I can't cope any more. My sister bought her 6 week old over yesterday and his crying sent me over the edge. Been very emotional again and unable to relax or sleep and the suicidal thoughts are back at the front of my mi d again. Feel trapped, can't run, can't hide. I wish I could just die.

thunksheadontable Wed 10-Oct-12 14:39:50

Talk to your crisis team about the suicidal thoughts, go to A and E if you have to. It is a horrible way to feel and it needs treatment ASAP. I really hope you can go to the MBU soon, it sounds like you really need it. I remember that feeling so, so well. All you have to do right now is get through. Nothing more than that, even though that's a big ask. You can do it, even if not one shred of you feels you can. Just hang on in there... that's all you have to do, one moment at a time. There will be moments other than this but right now, you just need to get through the hard ones, one at a time. Please just keep breathing... if you can keep breathing, there will always be hope even if you can't find it right now x

Mylittlepuds Thu 11-Oct-12 10:04:29

Thinking of you losing. I really do know how you feel. I honestly believe it's your hormones massively exasperating the problem. Excellent advice from thunks. Please keep us updated.

LosingItBigTime Thu 11-Oct-12 11:49:41

Had a baby boy this morning. Im ok at moment. Held him for about 30 secs. Not sure how I feel.

Mylittlepuds Thu 11-Oct-12 12:11:59

Congratulations Losing! So happy that you and he are both healthy :-) try not to analyse too much how you feel (I know easier said than done). Please keep posting here to let us all know how it's going. Does your DH know how you've been feeling most recently?

LosingItBigTime Thu 11-Oct-12 12:20:08

Yes he knows. They're letting him stay with me as I'm so afraid of being alone with the baby. Will let u know how it's going. Thank u xx

Mylittlepuds Thu 11-Oct-12 15:06:00

I'm glad they're letting him stay with you. I was like that with DS. Not nice. Thinking of you. Xx

LosingItBigTime Thu 11-Oct-12 15:16:39

Thanks mylittlepuds. xxx

Scheherezade Thu 11-Oct-12 21:59:04

Congratulations little puds! Are the perinatal mental health team involved?

Scheherezade Thu 11-Oct-12 21:59:57

Argh sorry my brain froze there. I meant congratulations losing !

Jollyb Thu 11-Oct-12 22:38:27

Losing it - glad to hear about the arrival . Remember you're one day closer to feeling back to 'normal' and maybe now he's here some of the fear of the unknown will pass. As someone has said don't over analyse your thoughts and don't compare. Just take one day at a time xx

thunksheadontable Fri 12-Oct-12 11:00:42

Hey there, glad to hear your baby arrived safely. Hope you are getting lots of support, love and help. One minute at a time, one breath if that's what it takes x

LosingItBigTime Fri 12-Oct-12 15:14:53

Thanks all. Looks like I'm being transferred to an MBU as soon as a bed is available.

Scheherezade Fri 12-Oct-12 15:44:58

That's good news losing I went into an MBU last year when DS was 2 weeks, and again for 4months when he was 6mo. They are great places for helping mums.

Mylittlepuds Fri 12-Oct-12 20:46:14

How are you losing? Thinking of you :-)

LosingItBigTime Sat 13-Oct-12 08:08:43

They made DH go home yesterday. I've been very upset by that. They've taken the baby away as his presence was causing me such distress. Hosp staff seem fed up of me. I want to go home but I'm not allowed. I just wanna go home to my ds1. I miss him and my family.

LosingItBigTime Sat 13-Oct-12 08:54:35

I've been told that if I discharge myself the decision to go into a psych hosp will be taken out of my hands. No beds at MBU. I'm stuck in a maternity ward and am hearing babies crying everywhere. God help me

LosingItBigTime Sat 13-Oct-12 08:56:58

I think it means I may be sectioned if I don't comply. I'm really not at that stage. If they allowed me to go home for the weekend I'd see my son and happily go wherever they want me to on Monday.

Jollyb Sat 13-Oct-12 12:58:28

Oh Losing it -sorry you're having such a shit time. I find it quite shocking that they've sent your DH home. I hope the MBU bed comes up soon xx

Mylittlepuds Sat 13-Oct-12 13:05:05

Oh Losing. My heart goes out to you and I'm thinking of you. Can DH bring in DS1?

wheresmyheartat Sat 13-Oct-12 14:11:20

Hi Losingit - I have read what you have been through and your feelings, but you say you want to see your son yet feel distress when you do see him. The two don't go together. What's happening? If you are afraid of him and what you might do to him it is fear that you need to overcome, and you can only overcome that fear by exposing yourself to it, gradually, but carefully. Perhaps more, but very gradual supervised exposure to him would help you with these feelings?

Separating the two of you will make it easier and safer for the services, but will not help you get through this together with your son and DH. I'm terrified of other peoples babies in case I drop them or hurt them by mistake - I think that's a fairly normal emotion. Perhaps yours have been taken to the extreme and you need help to reign it all in.

My heart really goes out to you, I can't imagine what it must be like for you. As Littlepuds suggests, can DH bring DS1 in? This is the time to bond, not separate.

LosingItBigTime Sat 13-Oct-12 17:57:33

Hi wheresmyheartat. I meant I wanted to see my 18 month old son. I was distressed by the presence of my new son but I have been down to see him (with supervision) today. I held him as well for a good half hour while he slept. He was calm so I was calm. I get very upset/panicked when he cries. But I know I will get better...

Mylittlepuds Sat 13-Oct-12 18:21:18

You will get better :-) I'm so glad you've seen him today, you calm and him calm. What's been helping me today is saying 'I'm not going to let this panic ruin another moment of my life' every time I feel it rising (which is a lot). I suppose it's like a mini mantra. It helps distract me and I find it becomes a bit boring saying it and then my mind wanders to more 'normal' stuff. Give it a little try. Xxx

wheresmyheartat Sat 13-Oct-12 18:28:25

Try to remember that when a baby cries it's not because they are unhappy, just because they are hungry or cold, or need a cuddle. It's the only way they can tell you.

wheresmyheartat Sat 13-Oct-12 18:29:17

Sorry if that sounds really obvious, but it's easy to forget that it doesn't matter an awful lot when they cry, it's just normal behaviour, and we can make it better.

thunksheadontable Sun 14-Oct-12 00:09:31

It's a pretty debilitating illness and you need to have specialist support asap. Tbh I don't think mat ward is much good for you.. It sounds that your illness is v severe right now. Can dh push for mbu placement out of area or just generally shout and fight on your behalf? You need an advocate to get intensive appropriate support now. Are you having daily visits from perinatal team?

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 00:13:52

Agree with thunk - you are entitled to get the appropriate help.

Mylittlepuds Sun 14-Oct-12 09:33:29

I agree with Thunk too

LosingItBigTime Sun 14-Oct-12 20:29:36

Perinatal MH team seeing me every day. Thanks for the support. Wheresyourheart, I understand what you're saying but I'm not feeling normal. My feelings are irrational and I understand that but I have to work on overcoming my fear with the right support. Thank you all for your support. I hope and pray that a bed is available tomorrow at mother and baby unit. The hosp has made a safeguarding referral to SS so they are wanting to meet me and DH. It's all very worrying.

bansku Sun 14-Oct-12 20:54:36

I just read the postings.

I was depressed throughout my pregnancy and had same thoughts as you. I got help from mental health team as well. My depression disappeared after labour.

Did you want to have another child? We wanted second child but when I got pregnant everything changed. I wished for miscarriage and wanted to push a knive through my belly and also kill myself. I did not tell these thoughts to anyone as I was afraid of hospitals and SS. But I knew I wanted another child before I got pregnant so I blamed hormons. I guess the situation would have been different if I would have been pregnant but not wanting it in the first hand.

Hopefully you will get better. I guess now after birth you can take stronger meds.

thunksheadontable Mon 15-Oct-12 09:06:32

Don't worry about the SS stuff Losing (though you will, you know I know that!). It is very much just to assess it/you and what support you might need. Remember SS are involved with all sorts of people e.g. children with special needs, parents with special needs (including mh needs) etc. It's not all about taking kids away and to be honest, back in the real world I work with kids and there are kids who are being treated shockingly and neglected/abused etc who are not removed.

The perinatal mh team will assure them that the physical risk with your type of difficulty is actually probably less than with the average person. You are engaging with services and that is what they will want to know, also what support your husband might need too I think? The meds for OCD/anxiety type thing are much higher than with depression on its own, my psych always told me this. I am on 100mg sertraline but will be increased shortly to 150 (max is 200 and I am betting I will get there even though I am actually doing okay these days).

Wheresmyheartat, wanting to see your child but feeling distress at being with them is a hallmark of the type of illness that Losing has, basically there is tremendous fear that you will cause harm to your baby and so it is almost unbearable to be around them because you are so afraid you will be responsible for causing harm even though as a person that is the last thing you would ever want to do to your baby. That's the very essence of the illness in some ways. Very few people outside of specialist services understand this. You are right about exposure but it does need to be very carefully managed with highly specialist support and a combination of medication and CBT/Exposure and Response Prevention.

Losing, what's your official diagnosis at this point? Have they said OCD or are they still saying mainly depression or something else? Hoping and praying you get MBU placement asap x

LosingItBigTime Mon 15-Oct-12 10:59:15

I have depression along with anxiety and a bonding disorder. Still no news about the MBU yet. Thanks for the explanation too. I really do appreciate it. I'm on 100 at mo, will go up to 150 and then prob 200 as well. X

bansku Mon 15-Oct-12 11:15:37

An interesting explanation thunksheadontable, but I have other ideas.

If person in the first hand do not want a baby and relizes she/he is putting both of his/her hands in the bucket of shit, which means a realisation that there is going to be sleepless nights/loads of work/and this lasts for years and years.
The distress the baby being near comes from the fact that there it is and is not going anywhere anytime soon. Also the thoughts of hurting etc derives from this. I don't think any meds therapy will help on this. The only way is to accept it and get on with it.

I am just writing my thoughts with some experience. I might be wrong but heihou.

LosingItBigTime Mon 15-Oct-12 11:56:51

Actually, I desperately want to get better. I WANT to bond with my new son. I'd give him up otherwise. It's the reason I've accepted going into an MBU so I can work on getting on with it and coping. I was just being honest with services so I could get right support. The last thing I want to do is hurt any child, my own or anyone else's. yes, I am in shit right now, but I want to fix it and part if 'the getting on with it' is going to MBU so I can learn to cope without constantly having anxiety attacks. I wanted my first baby and I was terribly ill after his birth too. I know my son didnt ask to be born. That's why I'm gonna work my heart out to fix this situation.

bansku Mon 15-Oct-12 12:31:24

well then i was wrong.

But I want to congratulate you! If you can say that thoughts of future sleepless nights/loads of work/and this lasts for years and years do not have anything to do with your condition you are very lucky! As those are usually things which makes people think they are depressed as in real life they are just exhausted and fed up.

LosingItBigTime Mon 15-Oct-12 12:39:59

It is daunting I'm not going to lie but believe me there is more to it. I know it's going to be very hard. It's hard for everyone. But it's hard enough when you've bonded. I haven't and I want to. I was depressed years ago before I had children. I got better about 7 months in after having my first son and I just don't want it to take as long for me to get well again this time. Motherhood is hard. It's harder with MH difficulties but I am determined to fix this.

bansku Mon 15-Oct-12 12:44:13

Well, I have so called healthy friends who say they did not bond with the baby until she/he was almost one...

But do not believe or take seriously what I say. I am just ranting for the sake of it (ugh did I really admit it!?). Just feeding my ilness as I have done many times in past.

Sorry and get well.

LosingItBigTime Mon 15-Oct-12 12:51:07

Thank you. Appreciate it. I hope you get well soon.

Hoophopes Mon 15-Oct-12 13:57:44

hi - I am sorry you are struggling, hope you get the MBU bed and the PMHT can continue supporting you. It is hard to be honest, but it is the only way to get the support. I had horrible anxiety before my son was born this year, something I couldn't explain, but didn't get the Peri Natal Mental Health team support for many reasons, partly due to already having a CPN and I know it would have been easier with specialist support. Also I struggled being so honest as I feared SS so much, in hindsight I realise a CAF and SS involvement would have accessed the support I needed. They can do things like get funding for chidlcare for 2yr olds, actually mean you get therapy (rather than a cpn once a fortnight!), help with bonding etc.

Wishing you all the best.

Jollyb Mon 15-Oct-12 14:38:15

Losing it - you've recognised that this is an illness which is positive in itself. I so hope that you get the help you need ASAP.

thunksheadontable Wed 17-Oct-12 11:45:35

How are you doing LosingIt? I am hoping they have got you an MBU placement by now!

Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and that I hope you're on the MBU now.

LosingItBigTime Wed 17-Oct-12 14:15:16

Hi there. Thanks. I'm here at MBU. Hopefully it'll be a short stay.

achillea Wed 17-Oct-12 17:12:31

Thank god for that! Such a relief, thanks for letting us know. smile

Mylittlepuds Wed 17-Oct-12 18:08:17

Still thinking of you Losing. x

Jollyb Wed 17-Oct-12 18:52:40

Great news. Hope you get the support you and your baby need

Ilovecake1 Wed 17-Oct-12 20:40:30

Congratulations. Just been reading the thread for start to finish and think you are so amazing. Being open, asking for help and just being so honest. I do hope you will be able to bond soon and take your little baby home...does he have a name yet?

thunksheadontable Thu 18-Oct-12 07:15:01

Saw this last night and was delighted but it wouldn't post for me. I am so glad to hear this, you've no idea. I was worried for you in that mat ward. Here's to a speedy and thorough recovery - hoping this will very, very soon feel like a bad dream in your past x

Mylittlepuds Sat 20-Oct-12 09:51:45

How are you a Losing?

Mylittlepuds Sat 20-Oct-12 09:52:11

Ignore typo please!

LosingItBigTime Sat 20-Oct-12 12:56:18

I'm feeling like I want to go home. I miss my family. I've been spending lots of time with my new little one and he is definitely growing on me. I just feel too closed in here and watched. I'm no longer suicidal which is good. Still suffering anxiety though but I'm starting to think that's quite normal with a new baby. I just can't get any sleep here or relax because of the whole big brother feeling.

Mylittlepuds Sat 20-Oct-12 18:33:11

You sound like you're feeling a lot better :-) so glad the little guy is growing on you, that's fantastic. Just take it as it comes. I can totally understand you miss home :-( Have you seen any other mums?

achillea Sat 20-Oct-12 21:49:12

I can't imagine what it must feel like being watched all the time. Try to focus on little one, try to gain confidence in yourself.

But you are absolutely right that having a new baby makes you feel anxious. They are so bloody delicate, you don't dare breathe in case you do something wrong. The only way to get past that is to just hang in there - you will just get used to it in time and get to know what feels right for you and that will also be what is right for him.

Look into his eyes and try to feel what it must be like being him - a cosy, warm, comfy life with no worries or stresses.

Jollyb Sat 20-Oct-12 22:16:34

Losing it - for what it's worth I think wanting to go home is really positive. It doesn't necessarily mean you are ready to go home but at least it means that you care about your environment rather than being completely apathetic and disconnected.

Glad to hear you're finding it easier to be with your son- It's still very early days. I'm not sure I connected with my daughter until she was around 6 months.

I'm glad you're able to spend time with your son, and that he is growing on you, and really pleased you're not feeling suicidal any more. Are they letting you go home on leave or anything yet? It might be worth asking if you can start spending some time at home, or do they not think you are ready? It's good to hear from you, and really great that things seem to be improving for you.

thunksheadontable Tue 23-Oct-12 01:01:13

Hope you are doing okay Losing and that the MBU is working out for you. Thinking of you. Hope each day is just a little bit better than the one before.

feeno Tue 11-Dec-12 16:22:46

I just came back on here to let everyone know that the recovery process has been going amazingly well. MBU in my city wasn't that great for me tbh but since coming home to DS1 and DH, with lots of love and support from my amazing mum and one of her friends, I've been saved from being completely overwhelmed by PND and PNA and have been able to bond with DS2! He is absolutely beautiful, although DS1 is very unsure about him. DS2 has reflux which is pretty nasty but with the right meds, he seems to have settled down loads. I'm getting lots of help and support so I am now able to spend some quality time with each of my boys. Sadly I don't get much time to spend with DH but he has been fantastic and has really come through for me and our family.

I'd like to thank you all for your care and support. Wouldn't have got through it without you-in my darkest moments I was saved from suicide by posting here. I realise now how my mind along with hormones was playing horrid tricks on me-I'm actually feeling like I may end up being quite a loving and happy mum after all!

Thank you xxx

Wow you are amazing, so glad things are looking up x

Celestia Fri 14-Dec-12 07:23:51

That's wonderful, congratulations smile. Enjoy a lovely Christmas with your family x

Emmjo Fri 08-Feb-13 21:24:28

Hi,

I am so glad I have found this, I suffered with post partum ocd after my first little girl was born in 2006 but I had no idea what it was - my doctor diagnosed the baby blues and I visited her weekly for a few months for 'talking therapy'. The thoughts were horrendous and I thought I'd always feel that way, but after a few months I felt much better and within a year the thoughts were totally gone - just through talking. I was able to watch most things on tv again, as I'd only been able to watch 'nice' programmes. I was terrified that I'd have the same thing when my second little girl was born but amazingly I was fine.

I can still get stressed and anxious at times but a lot of the advice on here has been great, I'm going to try yoga and mindfulness to focus my mind on the here and now and enjoy my family time. Sleep helps enormously, when I don't get 8 hours I can feel worse.

I know how horrible intrusive thoughts can be. In the book Postpartum Depression for Dummies, the author, Shoshana Bennett says,
"The irony of PP OCD is that a mom who had it is the most careful, protective mother of all. Her protective instincts are constantly working overtime."

"The theory regarding why a mom with postpartum OCD has thoughts about harming her baby is this: She obsesses on the most horrible thoughts possible and the absolute worst thought is that she herself may be the cause of that harm. Her obsessive, anxious mind lands on these self-incriminating thoughts, often in a barrage of nonstop horror."

"Moms who are suffering from OCD aren't a danger to their babies. they're simply overprotective. There isn't one report to date (book published in 2007) of any mother with postpartum OCD, ever following through on any of her scary thoughts. She's just afraid she will, which is a huge difference from actually going through with the thoughts."

This helped me a lot.

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