Ever caught yourself trapped in your own mind, looking at that mum on the street with her gorgeous child, perfect hair and an in-season outfit to boot?
Well, I think at times that may be me. You see, I rarely leave the house without my hair styled, make-up on and a carefully selected outfit.
But I have a secret I want to share with you. One you may just be hiding yourself. You see, just like thousands of other young mums who suffer from the same illness that has haunted me most of my life, I am the girl on the street who you may see passing by, but fail to notice the OCD shadow that never lingers far behind. All the while, I’m staring at you and wishing I could have your mind, even just for a day.
My illness is one mums and even dads are silently suffering from all around the world right now, and no, it’s not postpartum depression.
It’s postpartum OCD.
Thoughts or images of bringing harm to your child which you find utterly unbearable, gut-wrenching and deplorable – and yet you can’t control them from entering your mind.
Sound like something you’ve experienced?
Postpartum OCD is an anxiety disorder associated with disturbing thoughts or images revolving around common OCD obsessions. Harm obsessions and sexual obsessions are especially common in postpartum OCD ― both of which cause the parent to distress about the baby’s safety or their ability to keep the child safe. Parents suffering from postpartum OCD often find their intrusive thoughts or images fall into the following three categories:
1. Unwanted violent thoughts or images (about intentionally harming the baby)
2. Unwanted violent thoughts or images (about unintentionally harming the baby)
3. Unwanted sexual thoughts or images (involving the baby)