Postpartum Depression Was Her Deepest, Darkest Secret

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:

Does Having Scary Thoughts Mean You’ll Act on Them?

On What She Wishes Someone Had Told Her About Postpartum Anxiety

A Toolkit for Postpartum Anxiety & Panic Symptoms

About Katherine Stone

is the creator of this blog, and the founder and executive director of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the 15 most influential patient advocates to follow. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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Comments

  1. I have to say…I know too. It was only once and a fleeting thought from when my girl was just a newborn. Podling didn't want to sleep that night and I hadn't slept in 2 days…my 4yr old still woke up frequently at night too and since DH was the one who worked, I am the one who got up at night.
    On this night I did have a flash of just throwing her in the floor and walking away. It scared the shit out of me to the point I put her back in her bed, then woke DH up and told him he had to get up, work or not. I couldn't stay up with her anymore that night.
    He did and I was able to get some sleep. Later that day I told DH about my vision and he got very concerned and told me to never hesitate to wake him up if I needed him. I was naturally relieved (DH is wonderful) and not long after came up with a plan that he has to get up with the 4yr old Babyhead and I will take care of Baby Podling.
    It was only once, I have never had the same vision before or since, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I know it was from sleep deprivation and DH was there to help me out…but I also know that for a lot of women it is worse and they need more help than that.
    Just remember, you aren't alone. There are any number of women out there feeling the same thing you are.

  2. I "know" her very well, too. Someone should read all the comments on her blog, aloud, to those opposing the MOTHERS Act.

  3. I too know this scenario very well. My only comment is that what she experienced sounds more like OCD than depression, the treatment for which can be very different. I know she'll get better, I just hope she gets the best treatment possible.