Continuing with yesterday's theme of postpartum anxiety and OCD, thought I'd share this from reader Della P.:
"I was never depressed. I didn’t feel despair or hopelessness. I didn’t lack the connection with my first baby or my second. I loved them. I also worried myself sick. I obsessed. I made mountains out of molehills. Eventually, I became paralyzed by fear. Fear, anxiety, paranoia — I don’t really know the difference — overwhelmed me. I couldn’t differentiate my maternal instincts from my obsessive and intrusive thoughts. It was terrible, the worst time of my life. Fear is such a four letter word.
This fear, anxiety and paranoia that I was feeling was a totally treatable illness that I waited longer than I should have to deal with. Sure, it’s natural to worry as a mother, but when has it gone too far? I don’t know, but professionals do. Learn from me and receive the help that is out there waiting to make you better. Get the help you need that will allow you to feel joy in the role of motherhood. Just by reading this, I know you are taking steps, and I applaud you for that.
Now, Ihave learnedthat most of what I worry about never happens. There is great truth to the old acronym, F.E.A.R., standing for False Evidence Appearing Real. I also know I am good mother who feels peace and is so very grateful to be a survivor. It is all because I received the help and treatment I so desperately needed and because I now take care of myself and my little girls."
Some moms have the symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Some have one or the other. What matters is that, no matter what combination of symptoms we have, we get the help and support we need and deserve.