As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.
Extreme anxiety(25 Posts)
Please help with extreme health anxiety about my baby.
My baby is perfectly healthy, she was a healthy weight when born, feeds reasonably well and sleeps from 10pm-6am (she’s 15 weeks). She can push herself up on hands when on her tummy, has rolled a couple of times, has started to laugh a little bit, grasps and plays with toys. She’s hyper and hates to nap, gets overtired a lot but is fine apart from that. I have no reason to complain and feel guilty doing so when many people have seriously ill babies and babies who wake constantly during the night. I have, however, combined myself that there must be something wrong with her. In the past few weeks, I have irrationally suspected cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, ADHD and infantile spasms. She hasn’t even had a cold!
I feel like I am going slowly insane. I cannot relax at all, my jaw hurts from being clenched all of the time and I have lost a lot of weight. The basis of my anxiety stems from the thought that I must have done something wrong during pregnancy which is going to turn out to cause something horrifically wrong with my baby. My anxiety is not just the health of my baby but specifically the idea that I will have caused it and it will all be my fault.
Has anyone experienced this and what can I do to get help?
Anyone have any experience of this, please?
I have no experience unfortunately (although speaking to your GP/health visitor does seem to be the obvious advice) but just wanted to bump this for you in the hope that someone with a bit more experience will see it. It sounds like a horrible thing to go through
Please go to your doctor today and check you do not have postnatal depression/ anxiety.
Btdt with the birth of my kids.
There is light and the end of the tunnel
Sounds like PND and/or PNA. I had a very traumatic birth with DD and it was touch and go for a few days. Even when she was discharged and totally fine, I kept thinking that something else would go wrong and it really started to affect our day to day lives. I wouldn't take her swimming as I was worried about her getting too cold and I found myself avoiding other things to. I was referred for CBT and had a short course of ADs which did help. I also had some specialist trauma counselling. I would echo those who have urged you to see your GP. Mine really ramped up around the 4 month mark.
Thank you for all of your responses.
I guess I am struggling with how much of it is normal anxiety and what is out of hand. I’m finding the balance between being vigilant and keeping an eye on milestones vs obsessing quite difficult. Husband seems to think a week off googling things would be sufficient but I think it might be more than that. I find my usual GP quite dismissive, maybe HV would be more supportive. Can you contact them and ask for a visit at any time? She stopped visiting at 8 weeks.
Google Edinburgh test. Take it. The score will tell you where you stand.
What you describe is far above the usual new baby tiredness and overwhelmed feeling that most new mums experience. It's not rational to be anxious that something that you did in pregnancy caused Cystic Fibrosis (it's impossible).
You could contact your health visitor and ask if they can see you again. If not, perhaps try and see another GP at your practice or (and this can be better still) see the practice Nurse or Nurse Practitioner. Nurse Practitioners are very highly trained and nursing appointments are generally longer than GP appointments. They are there to help you, so take all the appointments you need.
Congratulations on having a beautiful and healthy baby, and on having the wisdom and self knowledge to seek help.
Oh, and be a little wary of milestones. If they are a developmental average that means that half of children will be behind, purely as a matter of basic maths.
Op, were you mentally healthy before birth? Not trying to be rude but the birth can throw all kinds of spanners into an already fragile brain and not necessarily in the ways that seem obvious.
You cam contact the health visitor at any time and I really think you should. They are there to support you and tour child until they are 5 years old.
Please see you HV, mine was a life saver when I developed PND & anxiety. I couldn’t leave the house alone for fear that something would happen, such as a car accident, baby snatching, a car mounting the pavement and hitting the pram etc. HV made a pre-diagnosis assessment and offered check ups/support which was much needed, and the GP took me seriously when I said the HV had sent me. Do you have a baby clinic/weigh and stay sessions attended by a HV? My youngest is now 10 so things have probably changed, but this was an easy way to access a HV.
I felt exactly like this in the first few months
My family thought I was just an anxious new mum at first and we would joke about it but things got progressively worse and we started to realise I wasn't behaving normally
I was 'Catastrophising' - I would think things were seriously wrong with my baby and that he was going to die
It's a horrible feeling and I wouldn't wish it on anyone
I went to my GP and was very lucky as he was amazing about it, never good experiences with HV's unfortunately.
I was prescribed anxiety medication and referred for counselling
Feel so much better now and baby is 5 months
I still worry about things but I now consider it a reasonable amount
One thing I would say is as helpful as Google can be, it can also make someone in this situation feel 100x worse - Use wisely!
Sorry I forgot to add-
Even though it probably doesn't feel like it right now things do get better!
OP, very many for you.
If it's any consolation, which it might not be - you can at least express your feelings.
My DC2 is nearly 18, and I suffered what from what would now be diagnosed as anxiety at the very least (and probably a mild form of PND).
I remember the HV asking me questions, and me saying "I'm fine". She then went away and left me (because she had no choice - I had not given her cause to think there was anything wrong). I struggled along, and sort of gradually became ok.
But thank God we can now talk about this. I was ashamed of all the scared feelings I had. I didn't dare articulate them. This made them so much worse.
If you ignored it all, it probably would go away (as mine did). But it's better to express it to a HV/GP. I put my feelings away in a box, and put a lid on them. It's only on here, years later, that I can start to open the lid. Then I start re-living it and become terrified again, and slam the lid shut.
This is not a good thing. Don't do this!
DC1, not DC2. Others were less worrying. Even now, all my anxiety centres around DC1.
I had postnatal OCD so I guess similar. I went to see a CBT therapist and got some medication and honestly my whole world is different. Please get help OP before it gets worse. It can really creep up on you with anxiety and make you feel out of control.
Good news is it took such a short space of time to make me feel better, i wish i had done it sooner. I waited a whole year.
Good luck OP
Thank you for all of your lovely messages.
I feel terrible for feeling like this when there seems to be nothing wrong with my baby and some people are not so lucky. I think I am only just realising that I did find my difficult birth quite traumatic which may be contributing.
I know my feelings are irrational but I can’t stop them from coming! I will text the HV today and see if she will come round. Like Totopoly I often find myself saying that I’m ‘fine’ to medical professionals/anyone when they ask though....
Definitely messages the health visitor and contact the GP practice as I'm sure they'll accommodate you.mine always said to push the point that you are only 4 months pp. Its concerning that your DH was so dismissive? Is he being generally supportive?
OP I also suffered from terrible anxiety following the birth of my first perfectly healthy child. I tried to manage things but eventually spoke to a therapist specializing in CBT and it has helped enormously. I felt that I was being self indulgent in asking for help as I wasn't depressed, it was tough at times but by no means severely debilitating - but I realised that I deserved to be doing better and it was impacting family life.
If you can help help I would hugely recommend it!
I didn’t want to leave this in case anyone finds it in the future in a similar situation. Thank you all again for your support.
I spoke to HV and was referred to GP. I am now taking sertraline which am hoping will help. Am also being tested for anaemia as I feel physically quite terrible. I am on the waiting list for CBT but may consider paying myself, depending on how the drugs go....
My husband is supportive but I don’t think he realised quite how bad things had got and how they had escalated. I wouldn’t say my mental health pre baby was excellent but I probably felt the best I have ever felt in the last few weeks of pregnancy strangely! I am apprehensive about the side effects of the drugs but am hoping they will do the trick to take the edge off the extremes. For me, having the HV visits regularly will be worth it - I can ask her about any baby related concerns instead of googling the worst case scenarios.....
Sounds like some positive steps have been made. Are you taking a vitamin d supplement? It's worth getting the strongest you can and taking it, as vit d deficiency can make anxiety much much worse.
I am so proud of you!
Sertraline was a life saver for me. Started working in a couple of days and while anxiety was still there, it was more in the background and I could manage it much better.
I still had to avoid my triggers. Even if a trigger sneaked in, no big deal.
I weaned myself off at 9 months. A weird week of adjustment but did ok afterwards.
Just seen your update op, really glad you took the step to.get help. How are things going so far?
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