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Fears and anxieties

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Not kids' -- mine.

Does anyone else seem to have deeper fears and greater heart-pounding anxiety post-child? I am--sometimes, not all the time--suddenly paralyzed by these fears--of losing dd, of being separated from her, of having her taken, or of her dying. I feel so vulnerable.

The other night I had a dream that my husband's brother and his girlfriend were babysitting dd. (His brother lives in Florida, and doesn't have a girlfriend, but whatever.) She called me to tell me she'd put dd on the subway to come across town towards home. I freaked out--she's 2 years old, on the subway alone. I started crying and screamed "how long ago? Where is she?" and she said, "oh, about an hour ago." I realized dd was somewhere in Queens or the Bronx, long gone, alone, terrified, that I was never going to find her, and I cried and cried and woke up with my heart pounding.

Does this happen to anyone else?
post #2 of 15
I periodically have dreams like that. They are terrifying. I think these kinds of fears go with the territory of being a mother as there can't be anything worse than losing your child, and we can never have full control over what happens to them. But you can't let the fears control you. I think there are times when it happens more than others and you can roll with it, but I think if it happens too much, maybe it would be a good idea to talk to a counselor or someone about it. In part, because you don't want them to feel the anxiety coming from you and because it's not a healthy way to live.

When we went to England when my first dd was 18 months, I had dreams the whole time of losing her or someone taking her or claiming she was theirs, etc. I think it was because we were so far from home and maybe I felt like I had less control over things. Luckily, I've only had sporadic dreams since then about it.

Sorry about your scary dreams and anxieties.
post #3 of 15
I had these dreams towards the end of my pregnancy and until ds was about 4 months old. It was worst while he was in NICU .

Every now and then, I'll have a nightmare or a fleeting thought, especially if I see the news by accident, or a commercial for Law & Order SVU *shudder*.

They're very stressful, but I think it's part of being a parent. Dh has them too, on occasion. I think it's the brain's way of preparing you in case something does happen. Do what you need to do to feel confident in your baby's security, and drink some chamomile tea (if you're not allergic! ). Eventually, you will be able to relax again.

If you're not able to cope with these feelings after a few months, you might want to think about getting help for anxiety disorder. Only you can tell if this is a natural process for you, or if it's something more sinister and long-term; I'm not suggesting that you immediately seek help, because all parents do go through this. I'm talking about the difference between baby blues and PPD, kwim?
post #4 of 15
I've had generalized anxiety disorder for years. It sucks royally.

I don't like to talk about it in general, as I've gotten better at not letting it control me, so to speak. Although my hubby is planning to take my son out tomorrow to give me a couple of hrs to myself, and of course I'm terrified.

I plan to go back on Effexor once I'm done breeding and breastfeeding. It worked wonders. But for now, I'm just trying to get by.

post #5 of 15
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Amy, I'm so sorry. That sounds so hard. I've never even heard of Effexor--is it an SRI?

I don't think this is a medical or psychological problem, just a natural consequence of realizing--accurately--how vulnerable it makes you to love someone else this much. I just realize I am never 100% carefree anymore, as I used to be at least some of the time, and that's kind of sad.
post #7 of 15
For those moms with sever anxiety and fears, there are Bach flower remedies that can work wonders. I took Rock Rose and it helped tremendously. There are different ones for different fears, but it might be something to look into because they are totally safe and can make a big difference naturally.
post #8 of 15
I agree that if this is not so severe as to be interfering with your quality of life, that it's quite normal.

I have noticed that I, too, sometimes have morbid thoughts about losing DD, or fears of something happening to her, and I wonder why I'm thinking these things. But it seems to me that it is part of embracing this all-encompassing love that comes with parenthood. It's like I've got this new "thing", this love for my daughter, and by poking and prodding it to see just how deep it goes (imagining something happening to her and then feeling that deep surge inside of terror/grief) I am exploring it, getting to know it. Does that make sense?

It's just so overwhelming, this love I have for her. I think it comes with an increased awareness of just how much of myself is at stake with her safety, kwim?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, that's just what I mean too. There's no chance I could get out of this relationship emotionally intact, even to the extent that I could with my marriage. There would be no recovery. You know what I mean. I remember seeing some dumb movie with the line "having a child is like walking around for the rest of your life with your heart outside your body." I rolled my eyes then, but now I know what it meant.
post #10 of 15
Yep! I also have other anxiety "issues", but the funny thing about anxiety, at least for me, is that it can be totally rationalized, and there is a fine line between normal/healthy anxiety and going "too far". I would say so long as your dh (or someone equally close to you) feels you are still *normal* then, it is just normal mommy stuff. I just know from experience that for some people the fact that your fears/anxiety seem totally founded, makes you think you don't have a problem, when sometimes, you do. So, oh, yes a point would be nice right about now - Check with someone close to you, as long as they think you're ok, you probably are.

Mommy anxiety is very normal
post #11 of 15

Hi CityGirl,

I have those dreams all the time, where I am on a bus or subway and get off and leave DS behind, then I am left standing on the sidelines, overcome with grief and regret. I wake up nauseated from them! I also dream that I am always losing him. It does have alot to do with the vulnerabilty we feel as mothers, I think.

I have been dx'ed with Generalized Anxiety. In my case, my anxiety is NOT normal mom fears - I can say that because I've been on both sides of the fence...I know what normal anxiety feels like as well what abnormal anxiety feels like. It started for me when my oldest child was about 3 months old, and lasted for a few years. Now I have a 4 month old as well and I can feel those old feelings creeping back up on me.

I never went on any meds, but I did see a psychiatrist for two years. If anything, it got me out of the house! :LOL (Isolation/being cooped up with a baby and with no help was a big part of the problem). My psychotherapy was paid for since I'm Canadian. I'm not sure if I would have gone that route if I had have had to pay out-of-pocket.

It may be worthwhile talking to your doctor about it, if you think it's necessary. Best of luck to you, I know how debilitating it can be.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have had moments, actually, where my anxiety scared me. Dd had some health problems and spent a couple nights in the PICU several months ago and that didn't help matters. But I hate the thought of going on medication for this--I want to just process it emotionally and psychologically so that it doesn't rule me.

The other problem is I feel like I'm bombarded with this everywhere. Last night I was watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (LOL--guess I brought it on myself!!) and the plot was a pregnant woman who was kidnapped, gave birth and then died. During the show, there was an Amber Alert running across the bottom of the screen because a 2-year-old in Brooklyn had been kidnapped. ARGH!! And let's not even mention ER-- seems that every week one of the plot devices is a mother who kills herself, is murdered, is beaten, beats her children, etc., etc. I can't escape the fear!
post #13 of 15
City Girl

Medication is not always necessary, if you think you need help with this, see a counselor, they can work with you, without meds often. Best wishes. (I know what you mean about Law And Order: )
post #14 of 15
I just wanted to 2nd or 3rd that medication is not always necessary. It depends on the situation and how debilitating the anxiety is.

Regardless, as you pointed out CityGirl, it seems like we are talking about 2 different things, Mommy anxiety and an anxiety disorder. Mommy anxiety will be there regardless and no pill will take that away and there are many avenues on working on an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately for me, I have had no luck w/counseling w/o medication, I need the medication to get me to that normal state and then counseling is extremely helpful. In fact, I was anxiety and med free for about 8 months before I conceived my son. I joined a meditation group and the anxiety came back worse than ever Which seems to be everyone's opposite experience :

Regardless, for me, in order to keep it in check I've had to make some changes in my life. We got rid of our TV and all the constant Law & Order Reruns (I think I have them all memorized) and that SVU too. Wicked! Also CSI didn't help either. I've also stopped reading scary books. This has helped tremendously, but unfortuantely I have a really good memory.

So, for now, the anxiety is in check. Whenever I start to go somewhere in my mind it helps for me to open my eyes and focus on something and remind myself that everything is fine, this is my brain doing its thing, I'm fine, my son is fine, my husband is fine. If my husband is late for some reason (not often) I also don't "allow" myself to start obsessing about it until a decent amount of time has passed. Usually he'll show up in that period anyway and I didn't waste any time worrying.

Okay, I think I'm rambling, hth some,
post #15 of 15
Originally posted by CityGirl
The other problem is I feel like I'm bombarded with this everywhere. Last night I was watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (LOL--guess I brought it on myself!!) and the plot was a pregnant woman who was kidnapped, gave birth and then died. During the show, there was an Amber Alert running across the bottom of the screen because a 2-year-old in Brooklyn had been kidnapped. ARGH!! And let's not even mention ER-- seems that every week one of the plot devices is a mother who kills herself, is murdered, is beaten, beats her children, etc., etc. I can't escape the fear!
This is why I haven't watched the news, read a newspaper, or watched prime time network TV since ds was a 6 week fetus. :LOL

Seriously, I used to watch those shows all the time. I'm still fascinated by forensic pathology/entymology/accounting... I could go on and on. I just know that I can't handle it. While I was pregnant, my mom found and interesting news story and handed it to my best friend to read, telling him not to let me see it. He read it out loud to me and I bawled for half an hour; after that, he learned his lesson, and no one has attempted to make me aware of current events since.

There are lots of things in TV and books that I can reason my way out of. For example, I started reading "The Cider House Rules" right before I got pregnant with Eli. It's really not great reading for a pregnant woman, but I didn't have much trouble with it because I knew that my son was wanted and loved from the beginning. Other things, I can't feel safe from, so I avoid them as best I can.
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