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Intrusive thoughts?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I'm new around here, and don't recognize this phrase. What does it mean? I had baby blues with #1 and full PPD with #2. We are ttc #3, and I'm trying to be proactive in case I have issues with this again.

Thanks!
Stacy
post #2 of 33
Hi. Having had intrusive thoughts myself (inclued in the diagnosis(e) of depression and possible bipolar), my definition is "Thoughts that 'just play' in your mind." That is, you aren't sitting there "day dreaming". You are going about your business, and all of the sudden, some horrible scene will playout in front of you. These can be scary! In my case, I knew they were not "real", but they still insisted on "playing out". That's the difference between psychosis and these- what they call "Horror Movie Hallucinations". (The book I found the phrase in at home. Its "The Bipolar Handbook". Your bookstore might have it, or even your local psychiatrist's office.)

Basically an intrusive thought is just that- a thought that is intruding on your functioning. In my case, I was taking my kids to school, or washing their hair or whatever it might be and saw vividly myself maiming them severely. Then it spread to other children at their school. This wasn't out of rage. Just these odd scenes - like a movie playing before my eyes "in 3D".
post #3 of 33
intrusive thoughts can be pretty scary, i had them a lot when my dd was a newborn and until the medication started kicking in. they were a lot like what the pp wrote. intrusive thoughts are pretty common but not talked about a lot. it's unfortunate because it only causes women to feel more isolated and not to talk about their experiences.
post #4 of 33
I don't normally read in this forum, but are intrusive thoughts a symptom of PPD? I had this so badly when DS was born, and still occasionally get them. I thought I was losing my mind for a few months. It is good to read about other mama's having similar thoughts.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
I don't normally read in this forum, but are intrusive thoughts a symptom of PPD? I had this so badly when DS was born, and still occasionally get them. I thought I was losing my mind for a few months. It is good to read about other mama's having similar thoughts.
yes, it's a classic symptom of PPD. probably the most alarming for new moms.
post #6 of 33
Sometimes intrusive thoughts are referred to as unbidden images, in that sometimes they aren't even a formed "thought" but just a disturbing image that you can't seem to control.

In PPD, many moms will report seeing images of their child terribly injured or dead, sometimes at their own hand, even though they have absolutely no desire to carry out what they've seen. The thoughts are repulsive and disturbing, but cannot be shaken.

Sadly, it is very rarely spoken of. New moms are terrified to verbalize what they are seeing and thinking, for fear that people will think that they are imbalanced, or even worse, that they are a genuine threat to their child.
post #7 of 33
So for me I have always gone on zoloft a few weeks before my births. I am on 200mg right now and intrusive thought free! I have had anxiety problems since my late teens.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
Sometimes intrusive thoughts are referred to as unbidden images, in that sometimes they aren't even a formed "thought" but just a disturbing image that you can't seem to control.

In PPD, many moms will report seeing images of their child terribly injured or dead, sometimes at their own hand, even though they have absolutely no desire to carry out what they've seen. The thoughts are repulsive and disturbing, but cannot be shaken.

Sadly, it is very rarely spoken of. New moms are terrified to verbalize what they are seeing and thinking, for fear that people will think that they are imbalanced, or even worse, that they are a genuine threat to their child.
I cannot tell you what a relief it is to read that other mamas have had the same thoughts. After I had DS, he was in the hospital for a week, and I was with him. I would frequently have thoughts (like a dozen times a day or more) of just how fragile he was. I would picture him twisted or with broken limbs, or just completely maimed somehow. It was horrible. I seriously worried that I would somehow make some of those things happen to him. I never would hurt him in a million years, but didn't tell anyone about the images for a long time. I wish it were talked about more.
post #9 of 33
You are definetly not alone. I had ppd with horrible intrusive thoughts after my ds (age 19 now) was born. I had full blown panic attacks all the time. I was so afraid to tell anyone. I am only so glad that now ppd is so much more known. I thought I was completly crazy, and now I know that it was ppd. I actually run a support group in my town now, for ppd. ( Please im me if you would like anymore information. ) I have 4 other children ( ages 14, 9, 7 and 4) and I never had ppd again. Have you spoken with your doctor or midwife regarding any of this? That might be a good place to go next.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thank you...

... for replying. This sounds exactly like the thoughts I have had for awhile. It's so good to know that I'm not insane or a real threat to anyone. I don't remember if I had any of these thoughts before I had my first, but I still have them, even two years after my second. Could it be that I still have PPD? I kind of feel like I need to deal with this before / while ttc #3, but I also don't want to deal with it or admit it for fear that my ability to care for my family will be called in to question.

Also, I refused medication (long story about options) after #2, because I did not want to give up bfing. I knew (or thought) that when I came off the meds that I would feel so guilty for depriving my ds because I couldn't handle things. I had also read/heard about the tunnel effect that some anti-depressants can have, and wanted to avoid that.

Has anyone had experiences with meds that would prove me wrong?

Thanks again!
Stacy
post #11 of 33
the doctor i had in the hospital told me that everyone has intrusive thoughts at times, for example, when driving the thought flits through your head "waht if i crash the car", the difference with PPD is that it is focused around your baby and it is frequent and can be obsessive (post partum OCD). that doesn't mean you are going to act on the thoughts, they just occur more frequently and because they revolve around your baby they are very distressing. i felt paralysed by intrusive thoughts when i was at my worst and my first psychiatrist didn't help, she only made me more anxious because she wasn't familiar with treating PPD and we just didn't click. i later saw a specialist in PPD and she told me that intrusive thoughts are very common with PPD and treatable. i am now on Celexa and that helps a lot.
post #12 of 33
I took zoloft after my dd and after my ds as well. The only side effects were loss of my sex drive. the good side effect was I no longer had to deal with intrusive thoughts and being so low I was ready to die.

Zoloft is by far the safest to take while bfing. I nursed both mine till 2y 7m and they are still fine to this day.

I almost didnt get help with dd because i was worried I couldnt bfed and take anything but I am so thankful that isnt the case any more. There are safe meds.
post #13 of 33
I think the scariest thing about the intrusive thoughts is how calmly the would come on. Like I would be carrying DS down the stairs and then image of myself throwing him down the stairs would take over, but it was just a calm occurance as if it was a normal thing to do.
post #14 of 33
Yep Neva BTDT the most horrific thoughts just come out of no were. I have had some so bad they litterally make me physically ill.
post #15 of 33
I breastfed while on Effexor. The benefits of breastfeeding outweighed the drawbacks of the effexor. So far, in the children that I have breastfed while on Effexor, I have noted no difference. That said, though, you need to do what you are comfortable with. It's important to follow your gut and do what you believe is right or you will constantly be second guessing yourself.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neva View Post
I think the scariest thing about the intrusive thoughts is how calmly the would come on. Like I would be carrying DS down the stairs and then image of myself throwing him down the stairs would take over, but it was just a calm occurance as if it was a normal thing to do.
Exactly. There was no anger or rage associated. Nor regret or 2nd thoughts. I remember once thinking "Oh. I get it now. Why did I never see it before? I know why people kill other people."
post #17 of 33
Yes, I had them too and also in the book Down Came The Rain by Brooke Shields she talks about having them...she said she thought of her baby hitting the wall and sliding down it and she went on Oprah and talked about it and all these other women came forward to say they also had horribly intrusive thoughts and her book helped them...also, yes, I agree that a lot of women are terrified to get help because they are afraid their kids will be taken away..like...oh no, they are going to think I am like Andrea Yates and that I am going to murder my kids...when you don't want to murder them at all...and the thoughts just torment you.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
Yes, I had them too and also in the book Down Came The Rain by Brooke Shields she talks about having them...she said she thought of her baby hitting the wall and sliding down it and she went on Oprah and talked about it and all these other women came forward to say they also had horribly intrusive thoughts and her book helped them...also, yes, I agree that a lot of women are terrified to get help because they are afraid their kids will be taken away..like...oh no, they are going to think I am like Andrea Yates and that I am going to murder my kids...when you don't want to murder them at all...and the thoughts just torment you.
: well put
post #19 of 33
Thank you!!
post #20 of 33
I had horrible intrusive thoughts when ds1 was newborn. it lasted for a few months but did go away on it's own, thank goodness. When I was pregnant with ds2 I was terrified of them coming back. I prepared for it by imagining myself saving the baby from whatever harm was coming to mind. When he was born I had a couple of the thoughts, but after picturing myself save him, they never came back. I hope that helps someone out there
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