If you have obsessive and intrusive thoughts that cause you to feel compelled to change your behavior and environment, you may be dealing with Postpartum Obsessive Compulsion Disorder (PPOCD).
With PPOCD you may find yourself obsessing about
· concerns about accidentally causing harm to your baby
· unwanted scary images such as dropping the baby pop into your head
· Intrusive and unwanted thoughts you can’t control
· Unwanted and disturbing thoughts of sexually abusing the baby
· Fear the baby will develop a serious disease
· Fear of exposing the baby to toxins
Mothers who suffer from PPOCD are hypervigilant to anything that may be related to child abuse or neglect and are compelled to do everything in their power to avoid any abuse or harm to their child.
These compulsions may include
· Removing all sharp object from the house
· Obsessively checking to make sure the baby is breathing
· Avoiding certain foods for fear of harming the baby
· Not changing diapers for fear of sexually abusing the baby
· Not feeding the baby
· Not leaving the house for fear of harming the baby (such as fear of losing control of the stroller)
PPOCD does not go away on it’s own and must be treated with combined medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.