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Major health anxiety about DD(18 Posts)
I'm a FTM with a DD who's a couple of months old. I had a very difficult birth but things have since been relatively stress free, in the sense that DD has been an okay sleeper and generally speaking, quite a relaxed and happy baby.
However, for some reason I have major anxiety about her health, to the point where it's started to affect my relationship with DH. Since she was born, I've had two incidents where I've found something "wrong" with her, googled the symptom (which to be fair to me, has looked quite worrying at the time) and scared myself silly.
Our local doctor's still not doing face-to-face appointments (and I don't understand why they refuse to see my daughter, given that shops, restaurants and lots of other less "vital" places have reopened). This has hugely added to my anxiety, as I feel that no one is looking at her properly and it's basically down to me to diagnose her and tell the doctor what's wrong, when it should be the other way round.
As a result I've become extremely tearful and upset on both occasions and have ended up booking a private doctor to look at her. Both times they've examined her and said she's fine, there's nothing to worry about.
Obviously you can get an appointment with a private doctor fairly quickly, but in the run-up to both these appointments I've been a nervous wreck, tearful, unable to enjoy anything and barely able to function.
DH has been supportive but has said that he's getting to the point where he can't take much more, and he's worried as he doesn't know how to cope with my anxiety. We really can't afford to book any more private doctors either.
Does anyone else feel this way? How can I stop worrying about my DD, feel better and just relax and enjoy being a mum?
Hi there. Your anxiety does sound quite high. Have you tried to unpick why you are so. worried about her health. Has something happened to you as a child to make you worry, or someone you know? Little ones are much more resilient and robust than you might think. Rather than paying for her to see a Dr privately it may be better to spend that money on some counselling for your anxiety. I hope this comes over as kindly as I mean it to be x
Rather than trying to get appointment for your daughter please make an appointment with your gp to discuss your anxiety.
I have the same anxiety as you, and I am anxious about the safety of my daughter. I know how you feel it's absolutely exhausting and mentally draining.
Reach out to your gp and heath visitor. I'm on medication to treat mine alongside CBT.
It's normal to worry, but not to the level we do. Feel for you, I know how awful it feels and it feels like no one really gets it.
Yes another one here. Exactly this.
Dd was born after many years of infertility and losses and anxiety has crippled me.
She's 20 months and I'm having weekly counselling. The counsellor has explained that post natal anxiety is part of PND and whilst I did not feel depressed as such the fear and emotion with the anxiety is something else.
Speak to your GP and get help as soon as you can. It's an awful, awful feeling and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Dd so much as sneezes and I have the thermometer out and am pacing. I know I'm ridiculous but I cannot help it.
Happy to listen and have a support thread for those of us who suffer from this as its so lonely sometimes and tough.
Please see someone about your anxiety. If this continues in the way you describe you could end up passing that anxiety onto your DD. If your DD is genuinely not their self and has symptoms don’t google it because you could increase your anxiety by looking at worse case scenarios. If you do google then use NHS choices, it will give you advice about when you might need a GP, pharmacist or A&E. was your child unwell on the occasions that they were seen I.e did they need treatment only a GP could give?
Hey - I’ve been there, big style, and am still on medication and also doing CBT just like PP. I have had this at a few points in my kids’ lives but it wasn’t diagnosed as “health anxiety by proxy” which is when you’re worrying obsessively over someone else’s health til my most recent episode which happened during lockdown. I was lucky enough to get CBT on the nhs with an OCD specialist - it’s a form of OCD apparently - and along with sertraline have got my life back. The therapist has told me that referrals have gone through the roof and he thinks it’s because with doctors harder to access and nurseries closed etc parents of small children with a tendency to go this way are pushed to because it feels like we’ve got even greater sole responsibility than normal. I really recognise this in myself and to a degree in what you’re saying. The good news is you’re recognising it and you’re posting about it not doing what I’ve done before which is post about different real seeming but daft fears I had about my kids. The even better news is you can get better. Definitely see your GP and in the meantime do all you can to stay off google and avoiding reassurance seeking because for some reason I don’t fully understand it really perpetuates the cycle and fear of something being wrong. Well done for being so self aware and good luck, I know it can be truly miserable.
I have health anxiety (about myself). I've recently started taking inositol and I can't tell you how much it has helped. I'm much calmer and much less anxious. It was recommended to me by a very reputable naturopath.
You can buy it online
DH and I were both healthy children and adults (as far as we know) so there's no reason for me to feel this way. Having said that, I think the birth itself really put the fear into me, as I had an EMCS and felt like I was going to lose her at one point.
I find myself wishing she'd get to certain milestones so that I can be sure she's developing as she should - but then I feel so sad that I'm wishing her life away solely because of my anxiety.
Sorry to hear that others are feeling this way - I know how awful it is. Thanks for taking the time to respond to me
@Oversizedhoodie yes, having responsibility for a precious little human is so frightening at the best of times - but Covid has made it a whole lot harder. I try to calm myself down by thinking how many millions of people have gone through this (parenting) before me, but I still feel so anxious.
I was diagnosed with post natal anxiety for which I had CBT for. Its worked really well. For me the anxiety manifested around sleep rather than illness.
I think you should seek help for that in the first instance.
Yes seek help.
It may be that you require medication for a limited period, it may equally be the case that you can manage your anxiety yourself through CBT techniques.
My dd has generalised anxiety and PTSD: she gets through by techniques that basically allow her to park intrusive thoughts when they're not needed. I quite often help her by talking an attack through with her and helping her to organise her thoughts so I know a little about how she does it. We usually follow a 7-step procedure:
a) recognise that the anxiety is what is making her panic (even when there is a real problem too)
b) deciding what needs to be done immediately (unless your dc is actively choking or running a high fever, in your case probably nothing at all most of the time)
c) making a note of what needs to be done later (e.g. check if the perceived problem is still there)
d) deciding a time when to revisit the problem and making a note of exactly what is to be done at that time (so in your case, ring a doctor if needed)
e) giving herself permission not to think about it until then (saying aloud to herself: I am dealing with this problem, at 3 o'clock on Thursday/next October, there is nothing I can do until then so I won't think about it)
f) every time the thought pops up, saying aloud again "no, I'm not dealing with this now, I'm dealing with it on Thursday and I've already decided what to do, I can't do any good by thinking about it now"
g) a routine of relaxing exercises, e.g. before bedtime
Thank you so much for the kind and helpful replies. I searched and saw Fluoxetine (sp?) recommended for anxiety on an old thread, but I googled it and discovered that it's actually just another name for Prozac, which sounds quite scary.
I don't feel able to talk to my GP at all as she's very brusque and dismissive - but if I got an appointment, said I'd done my research and asked for a certain pill she'd probably just give it to me to get me off the phone as quickly as possible.
In addition to the health anxiety, I've also found myself worrying just when taking DD out of the house - scaring myself that she will get hurt somehow whilst we're out and about. She's just such a tiny and helpless little thing (as all babies are, I know) and it terrifies me.
I got really anxious after the birth of my DS and again after a traumatic pregnancy loss. It’s really helped me to have some counselling.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your GP a then ask for an appointment with with another GP. Ask the receptionist for an appointment with a more sympathetic doctor.
Hello fellow mummies,
I have always suffered with major health anxiety and when I had my little girl who is now 3 I seem to be the same with her. I google every symptom I have and then learn about an illness and if it’s more prone In children because absolutely terrified. I wish every year we could all have these full body tests just to get the reassurance everything is okay! Lol! I think when you have a little one they become your absolute world and no one will care for them or love them like you do so of course you become extra aware of every little thing. I used to be on citalopram for my post natal but I’m pregnant again and have come of it. In the meantime I’ve had counselling on etherapy which has actually really help. It disects and finds the triggers of your anxiety and it’s interesting understanding the things that sets them off and once you acknowledge them it tends to calm the overall panic down. I don’t think you should suffer in silence, mental health is as important as physical help so definitely mention it to GP and in the meantime if there was anything seriously wrong with your little one you would know right away xx
Post natal anxiety is a real mental battle for some new mums. I would suggest you see a counsellor for some support with this as it may be frustrating for you husband but I imagine it’s absolute hell for you and a very, very real thing.
I hope you get the support you need - it’s not fair for you to feel this way during a special time like this.
OP, a couple of things re medication:
a) Prozac/Fluoxetine is not necessarily as scary as all that- my dd took it for years and was fine. Also, it's not the only alternative out there.
b) even if you did get medication it probably wouldn't just make the problem go away: you would almost certainly have to work on controlling your thoughts. What medication can do is taking the edge of the fears so they don't become overwhelming.
c) it is probably a bad idea in any case to go in and tell the doctor what treatment you want: tell them what the problem is and how badly it's affecting your life (and potentially your dd;s life) and let them take it from there.
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