Many women with postpartum depression and anxiety have strange and frightening thoughts as a symptom, called intrusive thoughts. The thoughts are so scary they often don’t tell anyone about them, which is understandable. That’s why it’s so important for those of us with PPD who have had intrusive thoughts to talk about this openly, so moms won’t be afraid to ask for help.
This link is to a post from popular mommy blog Suburban Turmoil, in which the author, Lindsay Ferrier, decides to bring her postpartum depression experience completely out into the open, that she might help others. Here’s a tidbit:
“Worst of all, strange and terrible thoughts were invading my mind, usually late at night. I’d wake at two a-m to change my tiny daughter’s diaper in our bathroom and as I held her, I’d imagine dropping her, hard, on the cold tile floor. Gory images of the results would run through my head on repeat play, torturing me.
While I knew deep in my heart that I would never do anything to hurt her, the fact that those thoughts of ‘what if I did?’ were running completely unbidden through my mind really, really bothered me.
Today, I still have a clear memory from that time, of some logical part of my brain standing back from the scene, assessing all that was going on during those late-night diaper changes and thinking, ‘You’d better not tell anyone about this, because they will totally take your daughter away from you.'”
Oh girl, you don’t know me, but I know you. At least I know what you were going through. I’ve had those strange thoughts invading my mind, thanks to postpartum OCD. I shudder to think about them now. Is there anything worse? I look at my sweet, sweet boy that I adore more than anything else in the world (with the exception of my sweet, sweet girl) and I can’t even connect now to the scary thoughts I had back then. It seems like it was someone else entirely. It couldn’t have been me, could it? Yep. It was me, alright. But it’s not me anymore. Hasn’t been me, not even one little bit, not one tiny ounce, since I recovered. She recovered. I recovered. You will recover with help.
If you’ve been experiencing intrusive thoughts, you might find some of the following stories helpful: