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Pregnant and really bad OCD

(8 Posts)
anxietyridden10 Thu 12-Dec-13 15:31:26

Hi there, I am looking for some support or someone to talk to as I'm really struggling with my OCD at the moment.

I've had OCD for the last few years, it has gotten better and worse from time to time, but it didn't affect my life much because it was only quite mild. My main compulsions were to check plugs etc, and to sometimes clean things excessively. When I was pregnant with my first child I used self-help books to work through exposure tasks and I completely got rid of my OCD symptoms. (So I know I should be able to beat it again). My OCD gradually came back after my son was born but it was OK.

I'm now 7 weeks pregnant with my second child. I was very happy to discover I was pregnant, but then suddenly my anxiety went through the roof. I became convinced that I had HIV (because several months ago I cleaned up a spot of blood. I knew that it was pretty much impossible to get HIV this way but I became obsessed that I had passed it to my son through breastfeeding and also to my unborn child). I went to the doctor's and got a test which came up negative and I was extremely relieved. I thought I would then be free to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy.

But before long I became worried about getting parasites from animal faeces and I started worrying about little brown marks on things and started cleaning obsessively and throwing 'contaminated' things away.
My latest fear is toxoplasmosis. I am terrified that I might catch toxoplasmosis from objects in my house because we used to have a cat (who did have worms) and I'm afraid that there might still be worm eggs or bits of cat faeces on things. Even though we gave the cat away about a year and a half ago and have moved home since. I realise this might sound quite crazy to a 'normal' person but I am really anxious.

I'm really worried that our vacuum cleaner is contaminated because it was used to clean up some cat litter around the litter tray. The cat was quite messy when she went to the toilet so there would be litter and mess around the tray. I cleaned the nozzle and wiped the hoover afterwards but there are some bits of the hoover which I can't properly clean and I'm scared that there are worm eggs on it which could infect me. Yesterday I cleaned some brown dirt from inside the hoover and I'm in a real panic about it. It was probably just dirt but I'm afraid it was cat poo and might carry toxoplasmosis. I put the used kitchen roll and dirt into a plastic shopping bag and then into the kitchen bin. But when I later emptied the kitchen bin, I was carrying the bin bag through the kitchen and I nearly touched a chair with it. I'm pretty sure it didn't touch it though. Then I was scared that I've contaminated the chair with worm eggs or toxoplasmosis.

So I decided to finally expose myself and before I went to bed I touched all over the chair and then didn't wash my hands afterwards. This morning I really regretted it because I've now contaminated everything I touched afterwards! All of the light switches, my alarm clock, phone, plugs, my bed, and then this morning my make-up, dressing table, the list goes on! Do you think it's possible that I transferred worm eggs to everything in my home? I realise probably not but I'm so anxious and have visions of worm eggs and my unborn child being born with malformations due to toxoplasmosis!

I want to throw the vacuum cleaner out but my partner would kill me if I threw anything else in the bin due to 'contamination'. I am resisting cleaning all of the light switches etc because 1. I have to do this to beat my OCD and 2. I don't have time to do it all because I have a toddler to look after. I'm really anxious though. I feel that everything had worm eggs on it and I really want to clean everything! and I'm worried that when I put my make-up on tomorrow morning I will contaminate my eyes and go blind or something! I know I sound like I'm crazy, I'm not, but my anxiety is so bad that I don't know what to believe

I would really appreciate any advice x

anxietyridden10 Fri 13-Dec-13 08:28:11

Could anybody even reassure me that I shouldn't worry about these things? I'm feeling really bad sad

working9while5 Fri 13-Dec-13 20:56:20

No reassurance, it just makes it worse... but lots of empathy and compassion. Are you on any meds right now? I am 26 weeks and not but I find first and third trimester hard with ocd. I am on my third pregnancy and feel it creeping in a bit closer I get....

Can you do some theory a/theory b... theory a is that you have been contaminated, theory b is that you worry you've been contaminated?

Quenna Fri 13-Dec-13 21:01:20

Nothing to say expect lots of sympathy. Fellow OCD sufferer. Pregnancy is a really hard time with OCD....

Sending you peaceful thoughts.

Mrsbear1 Sat 14-Dec-13 20:59:06

You know what you're saying is illogical which is why you're writing it.

I completely sympathise though. I am convinced I have cancer at the moment as I have a pain in my groin and leg. Wild horses won't stop me believing it until I have that test (whatever it is) to prove otherwise. And then when I do it'll move onto something else. I recently has a brain scan for example.

I'm not sure what the answer is. You're not alone though. X

Maybe try and think about all of the times your worries came to naught?

I can't really dish out advice though.

anxietyridden10 Fri 20-Dec-13 14:16:50

Thanks for the replies. Well I have been writing down my triggers and obsessions and rating my anxiety out of 100. I then re-rated them as time went on (while resisting the compulsions) and my anxiety ALWAYS went down to zero. So I have proved to myself that if I resist a compulsion for long enough then the worry and urge will always go away.

I'm finding it hard to put into practise though. At the moment I really want to clean the table/chest thing in my living room that my son leans up against when he watches the tv. I feel that it's contaminated with dog faeces. I can't even remember exactly how it got 'contaminated', because there has been so much 'contamination' going on and I know that I cleaned it a few days ago anyway, but I really want to clean it and the anxiety is almost unbearable. I just feel that my son is going to contaminate his clothes against it and in turn that's going to contaminate other things around the house and we might go blind from the contamination. I know this is all irrational but when I'm in the middle of an obsession it all feels real.

I'm not on any medication at the moment, or receiving any therapy or anything. I have several CBT self-help books and I used them last time I was pregnant to expose myself to triggers and resist all compulsions, and I became completely free of all OCD symptoms. This is what I want to do again. It's so hard though sad

I have OCD and it got worse through both pregnancies. For me, medication (sertraline) helped enormously.

You sound like a very strong person with great insight into this horrible illness. You know your thoughts and actions are irrational. You have controlled it before in previous pregnancies and there is no reason why you can't do it again. It is tough though, be kind to yourself.

Sending you peaceful thoughts.

Julietee Thu 26-Dec-13 11:40:24

First of all, congratulations at challenging your OCD through your pregnancies! That's a wonderfully courageous thing to do.

Sorry your OCD is so intrusive at the moment. Have you seen the forums at the OCD UK charity website?

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