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obsessive fears about things happening to dd

(16 Posts)
changedmynamecosamashamed Thu 03-Mar-05 09:56:28

I don't know if this is the right place to post. And I've changed my name because I really am ashamed about this. Or embarrassed at least.

Dd is nearly 2 1/2 and since she was born I've been plagued, driven half mad sometimes, with thoughts of awful things happening to her. I thought it might be some form of PND for the first year and it did get easier from 1-2. But since she turned 2 it's back. I can't begin to tell you the kinds of nightmare scenarios that go through my mind but they're all based around her being hurt or tortured by someone in front of me while I am held back / tied down etc. She is calling for me and screaming and in terror and I am unable to help her. Sometimes I'm lying awake for 2-3 hours at night with these thoughts which I truly can't get out of my mind. I get into a cold sweat and end up crying and crying. Other times I'm just on the bus and realise I've been lost in one of these 'stories' and am crying to myself.

What is this? What can I do? Am I mad???

mummylonglegs Thu 03-Mar-05 10:04:18

Don't be ashamed, it's not your fault! I have also often had terrible fears about my dd, also nearly 2 1/2! I find it comes and goes and is worse if I'm generally stressed / tired etc. With me the fears are to do with dd getting lost somewhere and calling my name. Or I've also been very afraid of being home alone with her overnight in case something happens to me and she's stranded in her cot. Not quite as horrible-sounding as yours but believe me I've had a few cold sweats too. I don't know what you can do about it, I haven't found a solution. I hope someone else can help!

mummylonglegs Thu 03-Mar-05 10:06:03

By the way, for what it's worth, I spoke about this to my analyst (I know that sounds poncey but I've been seeing one on the NHS for about 5 years, way before dd was even a twinkle) and he said it's actually a sign that you are a very responsible mum who finds it hard to have the confidence to believe you will cope with such a task.

WigWamBam Thu 03-Mar-05 10:08:23

No, you're not mad, and yes, it might be some form of PND - even this far along the line. Obsessive, unwanted thoughts may also be part of an OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is clearly affecting you really badly, and I think you should have a chat with your GP or HV about it and see what they suggest.

mummytosteven Thu 03-Mar-05 10:15:05

Hi there. sorry to hear about your problems with intrusive thoughts. first off I agree it's nothing to be ashamed of. everyone gets these (and other sorts of unpleasant thoughts) from time to time. the problem becomes when the thoughts "stick" and keep repeating on you, and distress you.

having these sort of difficulties can be part of depression or some form of anxiety disorder. have you got a sympathetic HV or GP you could have a chat to about this? being tired/stress etc will exacerbate any anxiety type problems - they feed on stress.

in terms of what can be done about; 2 possibilities: SSRI anti-depressant medication can help, as can forms of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

General destressing/relaxation should also help a bit. There is an excellent book called "The Imp of the Mind" by Lee Baer on amazon about obsessive thoughts that might be of some use (written more from the perspective of OCD than depression tho.)

best step would probably be to speak to a sympathetic health professional about this tbh.

changedmynamecosamashamed Thu 03-Mar-05 10:19:53

Thanks.

Mummylonglegs I have those same sorts of fear too. They are less agonising but still very upsetting. I used to imagine going on a train trip and getting dd on the train and while I was trying to get the buggy on the train pulling off with dd on her own on it! My mind seems able to conjure up the worst things sometimes.

My HV is useless, really truly useless. They did assess me for PND, it was a rubbish assessment. I had depression and anxiety disorders for years and I did want some help. But because of my history I'm also afraid to ask for help because I'm afraid they might think I can't cope and take dd away so I've never gone back to speak to anyone. I don't think I can do it.

changedmynamecosamashamed Thu 03-Mar-05 10:23:10

Also, pre-dd I had a drinking problem which was connected to my anxiety / depression. I haven't had any alcohol since the moment I knew I was pregnant but every time I go to the GP for anything she asks me if I'm drinking and it makes me feel like such a useless mother. I think they see me as someone who can't cope. I can cope, dd is fine and doing very well and is secure and happy. It is me who is struggling but I don't know quite where to turn. I wish I could seek help anonymously.

For instance I had a stomach bug a year and a half ago and it went on a long time so I went to the GP. He examined me and I noticed he wrote on the screen 'alcoholic gastritis?' which cut me to the core as I've done so well with not drinking.

mummytosteven Thu 03-Mar-05 10:24:34

sorry to hear that your HV is so useless. I can understand feeling scared of "the professionals". all I can say is that PND/depression/anxiety is surprisingly common - look how many of our grandmothers' generation were prescribed valium....it makes life more difficult but doesn't stop you being a good mum.

the test for getting social services involved (from the child's point of view) is whether they believe a child is at risk/in need of protection, and would be far more stringent than a mum having unpleasant thoughts.

mummytosteven Thu 03-Mar-05 10:25:33

could you change to another doctor's practice?

well done for stopping the drinking.

snafu Thu 03-Mar-05 10:28:43

Please let me assure you that your dd would not be taken away from you, changedmyname. You must not let this unwarranted fear stop you from asking for help. It's true that everyone has these thoughts from time to time - I have certainly lain awake at night with horrific images of something happening to ds, and have had bad dreams too. It is normal in that sense and imo a sign that you are a loving parent who wants naturally to protect her child.

But it is clearly very distressing to you perhaps has gone too far for you to feel able to cope with. You should not feel the least bit ashamed of asking for help and imo your history is even more reason to ask - don't let it get unmanageable. My mum was plagued with thoughts of harming my brother and was treated very successfully ten years ago, but it hell for her at the time - I'd hate to see anyone go through the same. Please see your GP.

changedmynamecosamashamed Thu 03-Mar-05 10:30:03

MtS, thanks for your time. I have thought about doing that but am so paranoid that I imagine they'll think I'm doing it because I've got something to hide! So I always go there and put on the bravest face and never tell them a thing. I've also wanted to take dd to a different practice because sometimes when I take her they treat me as someone 'neurotic' and ask questions about me rather than her. Often I get dh to take her when she's ill. And then I worry that they'll think I'm not responsible enough to take her.

I sound a right case, don't I?

changedmynamecosamashamed Thu 03-Mar-05 10:32:02

snafu, I've never ever had fears of me harming dd. It's more to do with someone harming her and me not being able to 'save' her. It's because she's so important to me. and because I've fucked up so many many things in my life I feel sure that I'll mess up this most important thing.

snafu Thu 03-Mar-05 10:37:49

I wasn't trying to imply that you were having those thoughts. I was just trying to point out that any kind of intrusive and upsetting worries about your child coming to harm in any way can be treated successfully.

From what you've said so far, your past history is informing some of what you're feeling now, and you should seek some help before it gets too much to deal with, because the longer these feelings go on the more difficult they are to break away from.

mummylonglegs Thu 03-Mar-05 10:47:53

snafu's right, changedmyname. Part of what you're feeling might be also making you exagerrate in your mind the 'threat' that your doctors pose. Can you talk to your dh about all this? Does he know how you feel? Or is there a good friend or relative who might be able to help you find a different perspective?

mummytosteven Thu 03-Mar-05 10:49:00

am about to go out, changedmyname. will be back on in a few hours.

briefly - agree with snafu best to try and deal with it sooner rather than later - IME having this level of stress in your life does make you more vulnerable to having depression - I know with OCD it is very common to put up with the anxiety (sometimes for several years) and only seek help when people become depressed coz of it.

out of interest, are you on any ADs atm?
take care

jabberwocky Thu 03-Mar-05 10:53:42

Dh has said almost from the time ds was born that one of the hardest things about having a child is not all the things you have to think of but all the things you have to not think of. However, I agree that if it is keeping you up at night on a regular basis it would be really helpful to talk to a therapist and/or check into some AD's. I don't blame you for being irritated with your GP about the drinking questions. You have done so, so well with it. Perhaps changing to a new one would be a good idea.

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