Trigger warning – This post contains details of intrusive thoughts, so please be mindful of this if you are struggling as it may be best not to read on x
Intrusive thoughts can be very scary, they often focus on our baby or ourselves/friends/family, but it is important to remember they are just thoughts, it is common symptom for mothers experiencing depression.
These thoughts can be constant, intermittent, intense or mild, either way such thoughts can be distressing and often lead to guilt, feeling that ‘good’ mums wouldn’t have these thought but it is a common symptoms of depression but just not talked about very openly. Remind yourself that you ARE good mum and these thoughts aren’t a real reflection of you as a mother.
Intrusive thoughts can also indicate a form of OCD below is the list on the OCD UK website of common thoughts a mum may have whether she is suffering OCD intrusive thoughts or possibly depressive intrusive thoughts.
- intrusive thoughts of stabbing the newborn baby
- intrusive thoughts of suffocating or drowning the newborn baby
- unwanted images of throwing or dropping a baby
- disturbing thoughts of sexually abusing a child
- fear of accidentally harming a child through carelessness
- intrusive thoughts of accidentally harming the foetus by exposure to medications, chemicals, or certain foods
- fear of being responsible for giving a child a serious disease such as herpes or AIDS
- fear of making a wrong decision (i.e., getting inoculations, feeding certain foods, taking antidepressants) leading to a serious or fatal outcome.
While these thoughts can be incredibly overwhelming it is important to remember that you an seek help to reduce these thoughts, please speak to your GP if you have any concerns.
“Your brain is playing a trick on you. The more you focus on them, the more you are telling your brain to believe them and the more you empower these thoughts. Try your best to distract yourself. Tell yourself that it’s okay you’re having these thoughts, nothing bad is happening and that you won’t always feel this way” Taken from Postpartum Stress – “What if I’m having scary thoughts?”
I’ll leave you with these 3 things :
- Know they are just thoughts, let them pass.
- Talk to someone straight away if the thoughts become unbearable or you don’t feel safe.
- Know you are a good mum and that although you may feel scared by these thoughts, they are only temporary and you can get better.
Please seek help if you become overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts and don’t feel safe.