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Alcohol and Anxiety - Please help me :((78 Posts)
First of all I should mention that I suffer with severe anxiety and OCD - I'm currently having CBT but I'm just not coping.
I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I've got worked myself up into such a state.
I haven't touched a single drop of alcohol during my pregnancy and would never in a million years dream of doing so - I love my baby way too much..
Last night I was sat on the sofa with my boyfriend and I turned to him and kissed him on the lips. It completely slipped my mind that he was drinking a can of beer and the moment I felt that his lips were cold and moist I completely froze and had the biggest panic attack.
I wiped my lips with my sleeve straight away and then got a baby wipe and scrubbed them. I didn't taste any alcohol but feeling the cold and wetness from his lips was enough to send my OCD out of control.
I appreciate any replies but please don't try and make me feel better by saying a drop of alcohol in pregnancy is not harmful - this is irrelevant to me. There is no excuse whatsoever to drink any form of alcohol in pregnancy in my opinion and knowing that other women have sips or even the odd glass of wine/can of beer when pregnant doesn't comfort me.
I feel like I've ruined my pregnancy and can't cope knowing that I've managed to avoid it for 35 weeks and now I've gone and done this.
Please help me.
Louise I am sorry you feel so anxious and horrible.
It's pretty hard to know what to say because you've pre-empted all the (sensible and correct) advice that people will give - that there is no evidence that a very small amount of alcohol in pg is harmful, many women drink small amounts throughout and are fine, and the amount of alcohol transferred from your BF's lips would be so infintesimally small that we can say with confidence that it will not have harmed your baby.
But you've said that you won't be comforted by this so, and I think you know this, you will need to focus on your MH issues, which are causing your irrational worry.
What have you learned in CBT that can help you? Please try not to panic. Take ten deep breaths in and out and then tell us what techniques or theories you've learned that might be useful in this situation.
You need to go back to your gp or midwife as you're obviously not coping. This is not normal behaviour.
I'll try and ignore the fact you've called others bad mothers for drinking, if it's not your thing then fine but please don't accuse others of not loving thier baby because they have a drink during pregnancy. That's really not fair.
CabbagePatchCheryl thank you for your reply. I know that the alcohol wouldn't have harmed the baby because none went past my lips (literally) but it's my OCD and the black and white way of thinking that means I can't forgive myself for even going near alcohol. The thought terrifies me.
In CBT I've learned exposure techniques and I'm trying to write my worst fears down so basically why I think I've ruined my pregnancy but I just can't make sense out of any of it I had a session with my therapist a couple of hours ago but it doesn't really help me that much.
You can't make sense of it because it DOESN'T make any sense.
I mean this in the best possible way but you are being utterly ridiculous. You KNOW that you are. It is your illness talking. There is NO WAY that any alcohol could have got anywhere near your baby. NONE AT ALL.
I am not sure how much help any of us can be because it appears your illness will not allow you to believe any of us when we tell you the absolute truth about this.
What have you been told to do by professionals when you begin to think something ridiculous that really doesn't make sense?
GingerRodgers I never once called others bad mothers for drinking, how did you take that from what I said?
If other women choose to drink during pregnancy then that is their choice but the consequences of doing so for me would trigger my anxiety and would make me feel like I'd ruined my pregnancy and somehow let my baby down.
I'm sorry I offended you but there were certainly no accusations in what I wrote - they were all personal to my situation.
You sound extremely anxious and I'm not sure what advice mumsnet can give you to be honest because your thoughts are completely irrational. Since 37 weeks I've allowed myself a glass of wine a week (I'm now 40+4) which I think is perfectly fine. But that's not what you want to hear. What do you want to hear?
Your anxiety is clearly quite extreme so it's not really a surprise that a session with the therapist hasn't "fixed" this issue. What's the plan for further treatment?
You poor thing
I'd go straight back to your gp & get ante natal help for depression & anxiety
I hope you've got a massive support system once you're baby arrives
You are going to need to make all the health care professionals you see aware that you as a massive risk for pnd
Don't let the system let you down
Louise - that sounds good - try to keep writing down the chain of thoughts that is getting you to this state of panic. Hopefully you will see it is in your mind, not in reality.
You are clearly aware that you're engaging in unhelpful black and white thinking, which is great - well done for recognising it. You say you now won't be able to forgive yourself - as if you have no choice - but is that really true?. Maybe it may not feel like it, but I think you could just choose to let it go. In fact, you could recognise that you don't even need to forgive yourself as there's nothing to forgive. What do you think? Would you agree that might be possible?
OCD is a complex MH issue and I am afraid to say probably no one on here has a full solution for you. I agree with Ginger - you may need to go back to your GP/midwife/therapist because this level of anxiety definitely requires professional help.
Like the others have said, your anxiety and fears are completeley over the top but at least you are aware of it. I'm not sure if this will help you, but my ex suffered with almost a break down a few years ago. He had horrendous anxiety/panic attacks and has mild OCD. He has had CBT councelling, which did help. But the one big thing which has made the most impact to his anxiety attacks is meditation. It's completely taken his anxiety, negative thoughts away. I know at your stage of pregnancy it may not be easy to start meditating, but if you could get to a meditation centre ASAP you may see some improvement. Long-term it will probably help you enormously.
"I havnt touched a single drop of alcohol during my pregnancy and would never in a million years dream of doing so - I love my baby too much"
"There is no excuse whatsoever to drink any form of alcohol in pregnancy in my opinion"
I got it from your OP
What will reassure you OP? Clearly numbers won't as you already stated plenty of women consume a small amount with no harm done...so what reassurance are you hoping for? I'm not trying to be harsh, just realistic.
You DO need to seek help...and a pp is correct in saying you can't make sense of it because it doesn't make sense. But that's not the issue. Really it does not matter what went 'wrong' in your pregnancy (btw...nothing), it's your response that is more concerning. I get that you need control but...it's likely as your pregnancy continues you will have less control over things. Your birth plan might not go as you wish...it could be a boy when you've been told a girl...countless things. And that needs to be OK with you.
Please speak to your gp today. Book an appointment. NOW.
I also suffer from anxiety so am not going to sugar coat it.
You are displaying an illogical, irrational and symptomatic reaction.
You've set up an anxiety/OLD coping ritual of "don't have alcohol, keep away from alcohol" - knowing that 1 drop is not medically harmful but not caring (and actively telling others not to tell you the truth) because the behaviour itself, not the alcohol or lack thereof, is what comforts you.
You broke your usual ritualised behaviour and now feel you've "ruined" things.
Contact your MW and prenatal psych support if it is ongoing: I don't think (having been there many times over the last few months) this is actually do do with booze at all.
If your therapist doesn't help you, you need to tell your mw, dr etc that because you can be switched to a new one or reviewed - you need to have a good team in place as this OCD and anxiety could likely not disappear after birth.
Do also post under the mental health section as there are many lovely people on there with OCD and anxiety - I posted once when I was feeling very anxious and got lots of support. Good luck - you know your fears are unreasonable and you do need better help than you are getting.
Oh. And in terms of love/care for your baby the BEST thing you can do is take care of your MH.
Or it will impact on theirs: possibly life long.
A parent with obsessive tendencies in denial contributed to my generalised anxiety and propensity to panic attacks. If only they had got help.
Looking back, I'd have been better off with a (non neglectful) slacker at times.
I also have suffered greatly with anxiety during this pregnancy (also had PND & anxiety after dc1) the difference is I have health anxiety so not the same I convinced myself I had cancer during this pregnancy and paid for private test at Harley street constantly at the doctors, a & e, on google, very intrusive thoughts so I understand how bad it can be. I agree like others said you need help, although mine is not gone completely I feel alot better I was referred to a mental health team who would visit my home daily, prenatal Psychiatrist, specialist midwife, had CBT and I'm on medication, I feel much much better than I did. There is help out there xx
GingerRodgers - this isn't the thread for tearing the op to pieces
You can't ruin your pregnancy. It's a part of life with ups and downs, not an exam with right and wrong answers. With the best will in the world you can't do everything right or be perfect - not least because every baby is different.
Thank you all for replying.
I honestly don't know what I was looking to gain from typing my situation on here but my boyfriend doesn't know what to say to me and gets angry and frustrated when I'm sat here sobbing uncontrollably - he tries his best and I really do appreciate it but I just feel desperate for help.
I'm so sorry if my post offended those who drink during pregnancy. When I say that I can't justify drinking and can't see any excuse for it, I mean for myself only and the way I am due to my OCD. I would never ever judge anyone.
I'm seeking reassurance to an impossible situation, I know this. I also know that this is my anxiety and not real but I'm right in the middle of it so I can't rationalise it enough to forget about it and put it in its place.
My baby is perfectly healthy and completely unaffected by all of this which I now should be enough reassurance to snap out of this irrational way of thinking just because I kissed my boyfriend after he'd been drinking a can of beer but unfortunately I can't.
I've been told that I'm selfish for putting my own worries before the wellbeing of my unborn baby and it sickens me to know that this is true but OCD has a very cruel nature.
I'm going to make an appointment with my GP. I'm so frightened to tell them that I sometimes feel like there's no way out because I love my baby so much and would die if they took her away from me. I would never act on any of my darker feelings, I just want to get better.
you're not selfish for putting your worries above your baby, who told you that? That's cruel. Anxiety is an illness like any other and you haven't chosen to have it.
Having said all that, you know that you are being irrational, you know because you are aware that you are suffering from anxiety.
Please ask your midwife or gp for more help because this won't go away.
I mean this in the kindest way, I really do. You need to seek as much support as possible. I remember the anxiety I felt when my first dc was born, it was awful-and I didn't have issues before- after birth there was such a rush of emotions for me.
You can do this, but it think you need to make the health professionals aware so that you get all the available support.
Louise, so sorry to hear you are struggling. From your post, I am very worried about you.
Please do whatever you can in the next month before the baby arrives to get as much help and coping mechanisms in place.
Life with a new baby is so unpredictable and opens up so many more things to worry about, i want you to feel that you are as prepared as possible for this.
amyhamster - I'm not tearing the op to pieces. I'm pointing out I found it offensive.
Nishky me too! About ten days after dc1 was born I went from being 'normal' to being an absolute wreck from anxiety, totally incapable of functioning.
Anxiety was never ever mentioned in relation to post natal depression. Because I wasn't 'depressed', no one picked up on it, least of all me. It took me almost 4 years of living on my nerves before I blurted it out to my GP (was a new Dr) and his response was amazing, he explained what it was, and that it was probably PND.
OP, help is out there, but you have to push for it. Please grasp it.
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