Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed of the perinatal disorders. It is estimated that as many as 3-5% of new mothers will experience these symptoms.

 

Symptoms of OCD can include:

  • Obsessions, also called intrusive thoughts, which are persistent, repetitive thoughts or mental images related to the baby. These thoughts are very upsetting and not something the woman has ever experienced before.
  • Compulsions, which are the repetitive acts done to reduce fears and obsessions. This may include things like needing to clean constantly, check things many times, count or reorder things.
  • A sense of horror about the obsessions.
  • Fear of being left alone with the infant.
  • Hypervigilance in protecting the infant.
  • Moms with postpartum OCD know that their thoughts are bizarre and are very unlikely to ever act on them.

 

Risk factors for postpartum OCD include a personal or family history of anxiety or OCD.

Many women experiencing OCD have thoughts that are scary…thoughts of hurting themselves or someone they love. Having these intrusive thoughts is a common symptom — it is not your fault and you are not to blame.  Having these thoughts does NOT make you a bad mother.

Learn more about OCD HERE.  And here’s a recent ARTICLE that describes what OCD feels like.

We understand what you are going through and will connect you to people who understand and can help.

Content provided by Postpartum Support International.

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