OCD & Motherhood, recently diagnosed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-27-2006, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello All,

I am new to the community. I actually found this site because I am having a difficult time dealing with a recent onset & diagnosis of OCD. I used a search engine that lead me to a thread..the thread is a few months old, so I just wanted to get any insight from other mothers that are dealing.
It was actually a blessing to find a community that helps support mothers with this condition, as you know t.
The symptoms I started to experience a little less a little over a month ago are obsessions, without compulsions/rituals (at least physical ones). I had a panic attack, and sort of went downhill from there. After that I started experiencing irrational fears of harming my beautiful child, which turned into intrusive images, which then turned into obsessive thoughts which I could not stop (especially after seeing a disturbing story on Oprah). I was desperate & afraid. For one period I was awake for two days, others my brain would not just shut off. I went to a psychologist who diagnosed me with OCD. I have been on Zoloft 50mg for 4 1/2 weeks. Since then I have purchased the book Stop Obsessing, by Edna Foe, and a book on Yoga. I have researched my heart out on the internet for success stories with overcoming OCD, to give me back a shred of hope that I will not always feel this way.
I am deeply saddened, afraid, at times I feel hopeless. I do keep telling myself that I will feel better one day. But, it's hard to hold on to this feeling. I thought of myself as pretty 'normal' prior to this recent onset & fear I will never be myself again, that I will not smile again without OCD hanging over my head. I haven't started the CBT therapy yet, I do this Saturday. I am trying to accept the images, ideas, as the books so not to. But, it seems my brain is now trying to grasp EVERYTHING as an obsession, almost as though I am obsessing about obsessing, obsessing about being diagnosed with OCD, obsessing on if I will get addicted to lorazapem (anxiety) medicine, obsessing on if I have an irrational thought, will this be an obsession also? I am in fear mode 80% of my day at least, and the rest of the time saddened. I want to wake up in the morning and feel alive again, instead I look at the day as another fight, another day in which I won't be the person I used to, another day in which I am looking for answers.
I have not experienced hopelesness before, fear like this. I was ashamed that I was a mother who had these thoughts. As most of you who have this also, knows it can be very lonely. I keep telling myself I will be better when I am better, so that I am not anticipating or dissapointed when I spend my day wrapped up in this cycle. I have taken steps like not avoiding objects (knives) when they make me anxious (again, that darn oprah episode), still making love to my other half even when OCD is trying to take that also(i am starting to have a fear taht I'll obsess about a fear that I will relate sexuality to my son in some weird way, yeah, it hasn't happened, yet I fear it, maybe because other people with OCD have, and that's scary to me.) weird !
So, all of you could probably charge me $100 per hour it took to read this entry . But, if there is anyone out there who could offer any insight to living with OCD, and recovery stories...thank you. Stay Well, and thanks for having me.
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#2 of 16 Old 11-28-2006, 09:44 PM
 
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Mama, i dont know how to help but couldnt read this without responding. ((HUGS)))

Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

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#3 of 16 Old 11-28-2006, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the hugs...I have read the past posts on this, and also some more reading on coping and am feeling much more positive about recovery ... it's so strange when something just hits ya almost seemingly overnight, you know ? especially, when I have been a single mom so long, it's weird to adjust 'taking' care of yourself, without the guilt of not being completely emotionally available for your baby boy. (baby, hehe he's 8 ) well, i was happy to find this site, and look forward to learning more from all you mamas..i still look forward to any experiences that are to be shared on the subject..
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#4 of 16 Old 11-28-2006, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks
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#5 of 16 Old 11-30-2006, 02:06 AM
 
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Hi - long time OCD sufferer here! It's great that you've already started dealing with the problem, and the Edna Foa book is the one that my psychiatrist gave me to work with, so excellent choice I recently finished a course of Acceptance Committment Therapy (ACT - check out www.acceptanceandcommitmenttheory.com ) with him and it was sooo helpful. It focuses more on mindfulness and just accepting how your brain works rather than on your "negative thoughts" and how to change them. But, whatever method works, I say go for it.

Another interesting thing (I think it's covered in the Foa book) is learning (and I stress [I]learning[I]because it's not easy to do) is to accept the feelings of fear and anxiety instead of feeding them so that they grow ever larger. ACT helped with this aspect, also, as you are encouraged to merely notice that you are having anxious feelings and to sit back and be a casual observer. It sounds pretty bizarre and counterintuitive but it really worked for me, I think, because people who suffer from OCD don't want to think the "wrong" things. With ACT, it's never wrong, just something that's happening in your brain.

Is the Zoloft working for you at all? It's only been 5 weeks or so, so you might be having some relief, but anxiety disorders (notoriously OCD) usually respond better to higher doses (eg 150-200mg). Would you consider going up? I was on 150-200mg off and on for years (with some time spent with Prozac in there) and finally went for 4 mos of therapy when I was feeling pretty good and stable so that I could work on the issue from within, knowing that it's always going to be present. You seem very intelligent and motivated and you're taking great steps to get to feeling better! Anyway, sorry for rambling - hope some of this information helps!
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#6 of 16 Old 11-30-2006, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank You for your reply...I was reading that higher dosages are usually recommended for OCD - - It has taken me 3 weeks to get into a psych who can help me get on the right med dosage (my initial Primary Doc just asumed I was depressed) so, I see him on Dec 11th, hopefully he'll be a good one ! I think Zoloft is working, I am starting to have a more positive attitude, then there are moments when the OCD are still very overwhelming and I'm swimming in my thoughts...but instead of saying, ' i can't live like this' etc...I'm saying, 'just feel the anxiety' ...it's not fun, but it's leaving me less "hopeless".

Who will I be now ? Part of the difficulty is accepting the symptoms will always be around, that this is who I am now...I think I need a few hours with my psychogist just for that aspect ! I have to refrain from thinking about the future..I know it sounds strange, but I imagine my wedding day 'then i'm like, oh no, it will just be filled with OCD thoughts' ..you know, so hopefully the zoloft and counseling will help.

I am going to look over that website this morning, thank you so much for your reply....
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#7 of 16 Old 12-03-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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Faith 21- I have a one week old so I am just respondingn quickly to your post but didn't have time to read it all-sorry babe neeeds me! I have anxiety/obsessive thoughts. EMDR therapy has worked for me-I have only had two sessions but it really helped. It is usually used for abuse/PTSD issues which is why I started but it has worked wondering on my obsessive thougts. I am experiencing similiar symptoms and it is awful-you are not alone. I will try to read the whole post and respond more later. Hang in there
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#8 of 16 Old 12-06-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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I have an adult daughter who has had OCD since early childhood. I wish I knew more about the brain etc. But, I am so happy to hear that you are getting treatment and not avoiding the sharp knives etc. My daughter was taught at an inpatient facility to say yeah, so......... is true, what if? It helped her to normalize I think but I do know the road is rough. Keep talking and keep reading. Connecticut has the OCD Foundation. I am really curious as to natural remedies for this. Good luck.
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#9 of 16 Old 12-12-2006, 11:31 AM
 
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Hi,

I was diagnosed w/ OCD several months ago. I thought I was going nuts!
Looking back I can see now that I have had it all my life but not the same type (pure-OCD mostly mental).
I think I have cycled through just about everything: germs, harm, health (I have had some heart probs and that seemed to set everything off again) worrying about kids' health (well I have a reason for that but I can't change it so why worry right?).

When I was little I would freak out and get so upset about things and actually throw up (usually over germ issues).

I also have something like ADHD so sometimes it is hard to think, that foogy spacy ADHD thing, and I am like OMG am I going crazy? LOL um no I am just not paying attention or am bouncing off the walls!
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#10 of 16 Old 12-14-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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Faith,
I have OCD and have for several years. I went through a period of time where I was having panic attacks and couldn't sleep because I thought demons would possess me as I was falling asleep. These started when I was 15 and I was experiencing trauma due to my parent's divorce and my mother's mental breakdown (she has PTSD from sexual abuse as a child).

It was tollerable for awhile but after the birth of my daughter it worsened. I was diagnosed last year with the OCD and also PPD. I was prescribed wellbutrin for it but I was too afraid to take it. I did however take St Johns Wort and changed my diet to a sugar free/whole grain diet. The combination of both of these helped considerably. I still get episodes from time to time but they haven't gone back to the overwhelming ones I had right after Marah Jade's birth.

I have noticed that stress makes the episodes worse so I try to reduce my stress as much as possible. One thing you probably need to work on are your coping skills. Do you have a therapist? I try very hard not to focus my energy on the obsession but sometimes allowing it to run its course helps. As an example DH found out his family carries the chromosome for Huntingtons Chorria. I allowed myself to feed into it a little bit and did some research. I also talked it out with my mother who is a huge source of support for me. I find that talking about the obsessions with someone who is reasonable minded helps. My DH sometimes gets frustrated but he does a good job helping me.

My elder brother has a more serious form of the OCD than I do and I have been trying to help him work through it. I do have to say talking to someone is probably the most effective way of controlling the obsessions.

The zoloft should start helping with the symptoms soon. If you don't feel relief from your symptoms it is possible you are not reacting to the drug and you may need to try a different medication. Not every medication works right for every person.
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#11 of 16 Old 12-15-2006, 04:39 AM
 
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Hey mama;

I have an OCD child and I would like to reccomend 'Brain Lock' to you as a ver good helpful book.

Just remember, OCD thoughts do NOT come true! You will feel much better!!!
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#12 of 16 Old 01-01-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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Wanted to bump this, because it's been a topic of recent interest, and because I wanted to second the recommendation for "Brain Lock".

I start CBT next week. I've been in therapy for 6 months... diagnosed incorrectly, and told that there was "nothing I could do" about the anxiety I was feeling. Such a load of BS. I went out on my own and found a great therapist who actually can help me. Sometimes it's hard to find someone who knows the signs of OCD, and even harder to find someone who knows how to treat it.

How are you doing now??

Mom to two beautiful boys, now in school to be a therapist and help other women with PPD.  
 

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#13 of 16 Old 01-02-2007, 05:04 AM
 
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How are you doing mama?? I care.
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#14 of 16 Old 01-02-2007, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am doing a lot better, I went to see my Psychiatrist....last week I was down again because I was feeling extreme Depersonalization 24/7, and you can imagine mixing DP with OCD ! Not Fun : ( . So, although I was really anxious about any Benzos, to help me through this tough time (also doing 'the work' with my Psychologist) I am taking .5 Klonopin a day, this has allowed me to get out of bed in the morning...I know I still have a tough road ahead of me for recovery.....my theory is when the OCD hit hard for the first time, I am overwhelmed just thinking of the memories, it's very painful. Being in constant fear, terrified ... it was traumatic . I hope I have left the darkest hours behind in this particular journey...we'll see. I couldn't have made it through some moments as well as I did without all the other mamas on here..thank you for caring, it made a world of difference..i know my dh appreciates it also since his mommy is getting better.
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#15 of 16 Old 01-02-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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I'm so glad you are doing better. As you know now the meds do help. I also have OCD that is without physical rituals (they call it pure obsessional but as you know the rituals are still there, they are just mental ones). My first episode and the second I had (severe both times but with about 6 unmedicated years between them) were traumatizing. Still are in that it changed my life. However, with time it the trauma feelings fade. Hugs to you. I know this is hard.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#16 of 16 Old 01-03-2007, 03:53 AM
 
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I am SO glad that you are doing better.

It is also therapuetic for me to read about others with OCD~ it's my son that has it, but it helps me understand.
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