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I'm feeling very anxious most of the time, it's really getting me down.

(95 Posts)
DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 10:21:01

I didn't know where to post this, not sure if it is really a health topic!!

I have always been a worrier for as long as I can remember. But since I fell PG with DD my anxiousness seemed to get worse and worse. Then once I had had DD it seemed to hit an all time high.

Like today for example, DH has taken DD to see his parents. It is a short drive away, but along a short stretch of motorway and I am convinced that there will be an accident, I am sat here nearly in tears about this. I know it is stupid. Every time DD is without me I am convinced that she will come to harm sad (I think it's the not knowing)
The rational side of me knows that something can happen with or without me being with her. The rational side of me also knows that it is most likely that DD will come to no harm when with me or anyone else.

I have had mild OCD tendencies for as long as I can remember now, I had them under control, or so I thought. Since DD was born they have just spiraled out of control. No one knows about this, I have never told my parents or DH. I cannot tell them.

On top of this I am having trouble with my mum at the minute and it is getting to a point where I don't want to live round here any more to get away from her sad sad it is very sad because usually mum and I get on wonderful and have a really good relationship.

I feel like I need to talk to someone, but I cant bring myself to do it. My GP is about as much use a choc tea pot. I dare not go to my HV as I'm scared they will take DD away from me. I cant talk to DH I have tried but I just cant do it.

I have got so adept at hiding this from other people and myself that I sometimes think it is all in my head, but then something happens and it all flares up again.

I don't know what to do.

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 11:07:00

This is the first time I have 'talked' about how I feel, it was really hard for me to click the 'post conversation' button.

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 11:13:47

I could so much in response to your OP I'd be here all day.

I was like this as a teenager and so probably suffer the same fundamental 'issues' as you.

You must go to your GP and probably try some medication that reduces anxiety. Counselling could be good too but pills are a very good, fairly quick fix and help you see the wood for the trees.

My OCD and anxiety has subsided as I've got older and had DC. But some of my anxiety has been transferred to relationships with partners.

There is no way, 100 % NO WAY the children wpuld be removed from you because of this.

Gobbledigook Sun 03-Aug-08 11:15:25

DustyTV - I didn't want your post to go unanswered because it does sound like you need to talk.

I know a little of how you feel - I don't think I have anxiety quite to the extent that you do but, like you, I do feel anxious if the children go away anywhere without me, especially if going on the motorway. Recently my mum took the boys for the weekend and ds1 had to sit in the front of her car because she could only fit ds2 and ds3 in the back. The whole time she was on the motorway I could not relax, I couldn't relax until I knew they were there and safe.

I've been the same when dh has taken them down to London to see his mum without me.

I don't really know how to help or advise you though - you probably need someone independent, and perhaps professional, to talk to and I guess your GP would be your first port of call.

All I do when I'm anxious about it is try to busy myself so the time goes. I sort of compartmentalise things too - so in my head I have a conversation with myself about how it's so unlikely to happen and I'll have wasted all of this time and energy for nothing and anyway, what can I actually do about it? It's out of my hands now and sitting here and stressing about it will not change the course of events happening elsewhere. Dh's nan had a saying 'never worry worry unless worry worries you' and that pops into my head all the time.

With the driving thing it's difficult - I totally trust whoever is driving the children but I am aware that accidents still happen to people through no fault of their own. Someone drove into me when I was going at quite a speed, they pulled out of a junction without looking, and I was pregnant with ds1 at the time. I think that's why it worries me so much but, as I say, all I can do is use the tactics above.

princessglitter Sun 03-Aug-08 11:16:56

I think it sounds as if you might benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy. Please pluck up the courage to tell your hv - she will not take your dd away from you. She will want to support you. You are not alone - I had some problems with anxiety after dd1 was born and my hv was fantastic.

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 11:18:24

Thanks, I don't think I have the strength to go to my GP sad
In my family we 'don't have emotional problems' hmm It is so hard for me to make that first step.

muppetgirl Sun 03-Aug-08 11:18:44

just posting so I will find you again, be right back

muppetgirl Sun 03-Aug-08 11:20:38

Hi DustyTV x

So sorry to hear you're feeling low keep chatting to us many of us have been in the same situation and have come out the other side as it were.

Here is an article I wrote for the Faringdon NCT about my PND which centred around axiety Hope it helps x


I’m sat here typing this in the study whilst my husband changes our second son and gets him ready for bed. Our first son is sat by him, talking to his brother and laughing at him making his baby noises. This ordinary scene isn’t one I thought I’d see as I suffered with Post Natal Depression (PND) just after having our first son and felt my life had changed far beyond recognition that I had somehow lost myself the day I gave birth.
I soon realised something was wrong after the birth of my first son when I became anxious about going out, that soon transpired into not wanting to answer the phone, opening letters and generally cutting myself off from the outside world which had suddenly become, or so I perceived, an overwhelmingly frightening place to be. I hadn’t bonded with my baby at all and desperately wanted my life with my husband how it was before he was born. This was leading to some rather alarming thoughts about wanting him to go away obsessions about cot death and ending with me being convinced he would die and I would be sent to prison. Writing this now I can see how ludicrous this all was and that my not coping with being a mother was as a result of many things but really not of my failings as a mother but, moreover, my huge anxieties over things with which I had absolutely no control. I told my health visitor but she, although worried enough to carry on home visits, didn’t refer me onto any other agencies that could help. My relationship with my husband was deteriorating as I was a mass of burning fury with something, though I didn’t know what it was at the time. I would explode into sudden rages for the slightest problem and my husband as since told me that when he pulled into the driveway he had no idea what he would find behind the door waiting for him once he had got home especially after the day he opened the door to me standing there with our son in my outstretched arms shouting at him to ‘take it away from me’ which he promptly did as I ran up the stairs. I went back to work thinking this would help which it didn’t as I began feeling that I was neither a good mum or a good teacher and the anxieties then translated to the classroom as I was becoming more and more unconfident in my own abilities as a teacher. I had this constant sinking feeling that ‘they would soon find me out to be the fraudster I was’ I eventually asked my husband to ring my Head teacher and tell him I could not go back. My Head teacher was incredibly supportive but really at a loss as to how to help so he let me go.
I knew the situation could not continue so I went to see my Dr with the idea of talking to her and asking for help. What actually happened was I started talking and then started crying and didn’t stop for quite some time. My Dr saw the situation was quite serious and immediately prescribed Anti Depressants and also made an appointment for me to see the surgery’s counsellor. I was dubious about the AD’s but she did explain that they aren’t ‘happy pills’ as the media would have us believe but stabilisers that make our mood calmer so we are then able to tackle the reasons of our depression. I eventually saw the counsellor but this didn’t help as the appointments were too infrequent and I was left with too many painful thoughts going round my head on my own. I was then referred to the local psychiatric service for an assessment which was daunting but the thought of feeling how I was any longer gave me the courage to attend the appointment. I was then recommended a psychologist with whom I had weekly session with for over a year. She used a mixture of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT – how what we think alters our feelings and if we change our thinking we can change our feelings) and just talking and listening which helped tremendously. She worked with me through my second pregnancy and for 6 months after in case the depression returned.
So as my sons’ laugh and giggle at each other I realise what a journey I have been on since having my children and because of them I am now looking forward to the future. Having children has been a roller coaster of an experience where I felt I had wanted to walk out the door and never come back many times but since I have thrown away the baby books, listened to all the advice I’ve been given but slowly learned to trust my own instincts I have found I’m actually quite good at this motherhood thing!

Things you can do to help yourself
1. Talk, talk and then talk some more, to anyone who will listen. If you can’t face your loved ones the Samaritans are there 24hrs a day. You don’t have to be suicidal to ring them.
2. Go and see your Dr. There are a range of treatment options such as AD’s to CBT, counselling, psychology, psychiatry. If what has been recommended to you isn’t working go back and ask to try something else.
3. If you can’t talk then write. I had an exercise book where I wrote all my thoughts/feelings down this especially helped when I couldn’t sleep. Get the thoughts out rather than letting them go round and round your head. Give what you have written to your partner/Dr if you can’t face them. AT least they can begin to understand what is upsetting you.
4. Accept the road ahead may be a long and winding one. There is no quick fix but with the right treatment you should soon start to be able to face the world again. Talk to your friends, family and work colleagues and try to let them know what is happening. You will be amazed how supportive people can be in times of difficulty. This can also help to explain changes in behaviour before, during and after treatment.
5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I was convinced I was going mad at some points, that I would never love my baby that I was abnormal and all other mothers were fab and I was awful but I now have a second son who has completed my family. I do have bad days still where I can’t explain why I feel down but I have learned strategies to cope with these days and also how to differentiate between a down day and just a bad day with the kids that everyone has occasionally.
6. Throw away the baby books. They can help but they should not be regarded as the only way of doing things as if you have ever read more than one you will soon realise they often contradict themselves anyway. They is no perfect way to bring up your baby, many of the charts for milk, food and sleep are based on the mythical ‘average’ baby that actually doesn’t exist. Women were having babies long before we could write, trust your own instincts; you know far more than you think you do.

charliecat Sun 03-Aug-08 11:22:48

There are online cbt courses? Mumsnet links to them somewhere, if anyone could point in that direction? MoodGym I think is one of them.
I suffer with the same anxiety when my dds arent with me. I only feel 100% ok when they are with me, and its not a nice feeling, always thinking the worst. Counting the hours will they get back.
Anyway, hopefully someone will link the cbt courses

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 11:29:05

I think maybe something I am picking up on is a sense of failure in the eyes of your family???

It doesn't matter what they do or how they view things. You are you and now a new family, as well as a bona fide adult and mother so you can now set the rules for you.

You don't have to be what they approve of.You don't have to 'fail' in ways they deem failures, you can need help, you can suffer anxiety and OCD without being any less of a person.

All of us have weirdy bits, their weirdy bits are evident in your other post. You don't love them any less for it and they won't you although they make you feel that is the case.

Ultimately if they don't accept you warts and all it isn't a big problem. Sad, maybe but it doesn't stop you enjoying your own family - your DH and DD who accept and love you exactly as you are...unconditionally in the case of your DD

Don't let this sense of failure - solely in the eyes of your family it would seem - stop you taking the help and support you need.

Please be brave and strong enough to be able to say "I have these needs, I'm still a bloody lovely and ordinary person,a great mum,a fantastic wife and a loyal and loving daughter, but fuck me if I need help I'mgoing to get it and I won't let others' judgements of me get in my way when getting it"

princessglitter Sun 03-Aug-08 11:31:33

Is your hv more approachable than your GP? They are very used to dealing with these kinds of issues. They can help you to make the first step.

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 11:35:21

muppetgirl, thank you so much, I am crying so hard after reading your post. I do have some similar thoughts and feelings as your post describes. Could I have PND? (god what a stupid question blush) I honestly don't know.... I convinced myself that it wouldn't happen to me.

We don't have depression or emotional problems in my family, We just have to get on with things, according to my mum.

How would I even broach this with my gp?

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 11:44:16

Thank you all of you, I feel better for just getting it all down in words IYSWIM.

I think I will have to 'bite the bullet' as they say and make an appointment with my GP. But what do I say to her. All she ever tells me to do is loose weight (I'm not even that overweight)

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 11:56:07

Eh? She just randomly come sout with "lose weight"??? Or,does weight come up because you mention it and she wrongly assumes that this is at the root of your problems? Rubbish response either way.

Ok, what you need to do is this:

1.Find a GP who is nice (and hopefully competent)- either ask friends for a recommendation or maybe even try pot luck with a different GP within your surgery. I went on the practice website and looked at the group photo of all the GPs and picked the one who looked nicest!
2. Book an appointment - maybe even a double appointment so you can relax and not worry if talking goes on for longer than your allotted 10 mins.
3. Say to GP that you have put off coming in to address this problem because you are worried that you might not get the help you need and be fobbed off as you have been in the past. This sets the scene so GP is smpathetic as to how difficult this is for you.Then say; 'I am suffering from anxiety which is oputside of what I consider normal for me and it is increasing. I also feel very low because of this and I feel very much that I'm in a negative spiral. I'd like whatever help is available, whether that be medication of therapeutic intervention. What is on offer?"

Book it ASAP cos I know when things look brighter for a bit we avoid doing anthing and then all the horrid feelings come back again eventually.

muppetgirl Sun 03-Aug-08 12:00:53

My MIL was very much that I just 'neede to pull yourself together' and I needed to 'chill out' her total lack of understanding of the matter has meant that she couldn't support us even wen I was very ill. She still won't discuss it or even use the word depression but the CBT has helped me with understanding her a little more even if I don't agree with her at all. I think there comes a time when you have to say 'I need to do this for myself' as I am unhappy and hopefully the people that love you will help you all they can.

I was very scared of my ds being taken away from me even though I didn't bond with him I still wanted him with me (doesn't make sense to me either smile) so I was very hesitiant to talk to anyone but when I did my Gp was fantastic. My first gave me 12 monthly prescriptions of Ad's to take away all at once with no follow up or other supporting therapies. THIS IS NOT GOOD!!! My second GP saw me every 2-3 weeks to monitor my progress and was wonderful.

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 12:10:41

Dusty,what is your DH's input in all of this lovey?

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 12:15:19

objectivity, I think my GP thinks weight is the cause of everything. She is lovely in every other way and is so good with DD. My Gp's are a husband and wife team and their daughter has started working there as a GP (I saw her about DD's bad nappy rash) and I really liked her.

I think I will ask for an appointment with the daughter.

I will have to copy what you said You know how to bring it up) and take it with me I think. I know I will cry, I get very emotional trying to covey my feelings, so much so that I no longer talk about my feelings.

Muppetgirl, it is so good for me to hear from someone who has come out the other side. AD's scare me, I don't want to become dependent on them. I don't want to feel numb. I want to go on to have more children, you are where I want to be.

Thank you, you don't know how much this means to me.

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 12:18:56

Where are you? Perhaps a mumsnetter could come and hold your hand?

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 12:20:25

Objectivity, DH doesn't know about any of this. He is a wonderful husband and dad, but he is very matter of fact and very practical. I don't think he would be able to help (He would want to) as he would deem this something that he is not able to fix IYSWIM.

He would want to get me the help I need but I sometimes get the feeling he thinks I am too emotional, not that he would ever say so.

Or maybe this is the image I am projecting on to him....I don't know anymore.

I feel so ashamed.

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 12:21:42

I'm in Lincolnshire on the East coast, I don't think there are any mumsnetters in my area.

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 12:25:18

I understand that. Maybe you are projecting, maybe cocooning yourself and not allowing him to help. That's your protection and it's completely understandable. Valid too, as sometimes going back to your relationship after dealing with big personal issues can be tough if you have bared your soul. It can create guilt. There again, it can be odd to go through all of this on your own- there is a little danger of not doing this as a couple creating a bit of a distance between you.

But you will be the one to make that judgment and if you decide to open up to him it doesn't have to be now. Maybe you do need to take these first steps on your own and ask others for help when your self esteem is renewed and you can do so confidently?

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 12:31:18

That is exactly how I feel, you have hit the nail on the head there.
I know DH will support me, but I need to do this on my own in the beggining. I think I need to get myself validated by a proffesional before I can talk to anyone about it, i.e; DH, my parents, friends etc.

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 12:37:06

Well good for you for understanding yourself so well. That makes a big difference in getting support from professionals.

I hope you get a little further along next week and that you wake up with the same determination tomorrow. Do update this thread won't you?

I haven't had PND as muppetgirl has but I have long standing self esteem problems and difficulties with my parents so I understand on that level.

Have you read Susan Forward's Toxic Parents?

Do you want one of us to post for Lincs mnetters?

DustyTV Sun 03-Aug-08 12:47:28

I've heard about that Toxic Parent's book, I would love to read it but I'm scared that it will describe my parents and I will have to confront it IYSWIM.

I will update the thread, thank you so much for taking the time out to read and answer the thread. I am going to ring my GP's tomorrow to get an appointment.

Thanks for the offer of finding MNers in my area but I'm sure I will be ok. I am going to make a big effort to go and visit my best friend. She lives about an hour away from me and I don't drive but I am sure DH will take me next weekend to see her. I will chat with her.

smallwhitecat Sun 03-Aug-08 12:53:34

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