Dark horrible intrusive thoughts - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Dark horrible intrusive thoughts

KeiraMarie profile image

MESSAGE FROM APP ADMINS: This post contains distressing information. If you are feeling vulnerable, do take care if reading this post.

It’s me again (I bet you’re all tired of seeing my posts atm cause I’m tired too of feeling the way I do)

So I’ve had a few hard months of severe stress & worry.. I have GAD & was diagnosed with that from been a child I was always a worrier..

we have just sadly lost my grandad on the 15th & I’m also dealing with my dad who’s in he’s 70’s & a severe alcoholic (he’s been this way since he’s early 30’s) he’s had neumorous hospital trips in the last few weeks due to him collapsing black out drunk & also not looking after himself as he’s main priority has & always will be the alcohol..

he’s now in the end stages of liver failure.. Over the last few days I’ve began to have really awful dark OCD intrusive thoughts (about me sexually abusing my two children) which I have to say I WOULD never ever ever act upon, the very thought brings me so much awful anxiety & makes me feel physically sick to my stomach, yet these awful thoughts are are the very forefront of my mind, tormenting me, making me over analyse & question my every movement, making me re trace my steps in case I DID or HAVE acted upon them at some point & forgotten!? Yet I know I haven’t cause I wouldn’t! This then makes me cry & feel so confused, guilty disgusted & ashamed as why on earth would my mind do this to me!?

I’m terrified to go to sleep at night incase during my sleep I do something terrible to them & have no recollection or even worse waking up & realising I’ve acted on these awful nasty thoughts 😭 but again I KNOW in my heart of hearts I haven’t & never would!

I’m scared to be left alone with my 18month old, or to change he’s nappy for all these thoughts running wild inside my mind I honestly can’t live like this any longer.. I’ve even thought that if I was to ever act on them that I would kill myself as I could not ever live with myself knowing I’ve hurt one of my babies it would kill me there & then (again I know I wouldn’t & haven’t) then my anxiety will make me re question things over & over & torment me ‘but are you sure’ ‘can you be trusted around you’re children’ & I feel it’s only a matter of time before I end up locked away forever for something I haven’t done!

I’ve now lost 11lbs in the last 3weeks! Due to my levels of worry & anxiety & OCD intrusive dark horrible thoughts

I’m under my doctors & I’ve had a chat with them today, my family & my doctors are been so lovely & supportive except for my partner he refuses to stay over & stay with me on a evening knowing how I feel cause he’s ‘tired’

I really hate my life at the moment & how I’m feeling, I dred waking up each morning with this awful anxiety as I know it’s again another day of battling my mind & I ain’t sure I’m no longer the strong one.. all I want to do is hide away in my bed under my duvet till I feel much more mentally strong enough to face the world again..

someone please tell me I’m not going mad!?

Anyone else experienced these awful dark thoughts?

20 Replies
Rachel_at_APP profile image

Dearest KeiraMarie,

Firstly forgive me as this reply will be shorter than I would like due to it being past my bedtime - I will try to write again in the morning. I hope you're fast asleep yourself and will only read this in the morning.

We never tire of your posts, that is what we are all here for. We just want to support you through all of this. I am so sorry to hear what is going on for you at the moment. Goodness it is such a lot. I'm really sorry for the loss of your Grandad, and your Dad being poorly with alcoholism too. Thankfully you are not alone by the sound of it, I am so glad to hear you are being so honest with your health professionals. That is really positive, they are there to support you through this distressing time. Keep talking to those helping you, its super important.

Your dark thoughts you describe must be very very difficult for you, and as I say distressing. They will pass, but it might be that you need a bit more help at the moment? There is support for you at any time of day. You're really not alone. Although I am sorry that your partner is taking some time to himself at the moment.

Do you have the mental health crisis line phone number to hand if you need it? Hopefully it's in your care plan notes? If not, you can go to hospital at any time of day and they will support you. That is where I went, to A&E, when I was most poorly and distressed. They were amazing, and really really helped me to feel safe when my whole world had been turned upside down. There is also Samaritans that you could call, again at any time of day. Their free phone number is 116 123.

Sending huge hugs to you KeiraMarie, I will try and write again in the morning - but Jenny who is another administrator for the charity APP will also be around all weekend. Plus lots of other women who have been through PP are here too. Take care.

Rachel x

KatG profile image

Dear Keira Marie - please don’t ever worry about posting, we are always here for you. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your grandad. And for all the stress and worry of your dad’s illness. I just wanted to say that you are not alone in having these OCD intrusive thoughts. It’s incredibly distressing, but it can be overcome. Usually with very intensive CBT. It’s great you have supportive doctors looking after you - have they discussed with you how you might be helped, with these thoughts you’re having? If in doubt have a look at some of the resources on Maternal OCD website: maternalocd.org/resources/

Hope you can schedule in some fun distractions for yourself and your little ones - don’t let the intrusive thoughts win, they will come and go but they are not real and they are not in charge. You sound like an amazing mum, and an incredibly strong person. Take good care.

Kat x

EmiMum profile image

Hi KeiraMarie,

My heart goes out to you when reading your post. It all sounds so overwhelming. I am so sorry you are experiencing these dark intrusive thoughts, I remember this from when being unwell and they were the most difficult aspect to manage when I am at my lowest. Is like living in a walking nightmare when your brain conjures up these thing, its torturing. And the exhaustion from lack of sleep also drains your ability to battle them.

As Rachel says, it is important to have some phone numbers at hand during the weekend in case you need them, and if it is needed going to A&E, they are there for situations like these. I am so glad you are having the support of your family, do you think it may be possible for a member of your family to stay over with you and help you with your boys? Don't hesitate in reaching out for help, because it all sounds very overwhelming at the moment.

Be very open with professionals, as you continue to be, I know that these are difficult conversations to have, but the fact that you are opening up about them just shows your desire to start feeling better and your love for your boys.

Take care my dear, please write here whenever, I hope you managed some sleep tonight. Don't feel like you need to battle this on your own, there is help and support out there, please reach out.

Dear KeiraMarie,I'm filled with compassion for you my love, after reading your message. I, too have experienced very distressing intrusive thoughts in tha past when my children were small. How I learnt to deal with the thoughts, were to just stop what I was doing when a thought came along. Then take deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. At the same time, as you breathe out, drop your shoulders. You will feel just how tight they are, and as they drop, the tension and anxiety will be relieved. Do this a few times. While you drop your shoulders, just let the thoughts pass through your mind, at the same time, say to yourself "Okay, these thoughts aren't real, its okay , I'm okay". Keep doing this whenever you get a bad thought.

Just stop what you're doing, on the spot, and just know that the thoughts will pass.

It will get better, I promise you. I've been there. All the anxiety is coming from fighting the thoughts. If you just let them pass a cross your mind, and say "Okay, this isn't real", and relax, it will help .

I do hope this helps you in some way KeiraMarie x

You are not alone, believe me.

Big hugs,

Thankyou for you lovely ladies taking the time to comment & not judge my post I do appreciate the support so much 💕I managed to sleep a little last night & was awake from 3am onwards till 5am then I’ve been up since 7am this morning (Im in the uk) with my youngest so I’m so tired, I didn’t want to leave my bed, but I somehow managed to drag myself up, I’ve made a cuppa & I’m just taking half hr to enjoy in peace whilst Luke has he’s milk & watching Cocomelon

I am really hoping & praying today is a much more positive day mentally for me, I really am..

I’m a little scared of taking myself to AnE over the weekend if I feel no better as I don’t know what they will do with me!? What if they admit me to a general psychiatric ward & I have to stay there for a few days/weeks till I am much more mentally stronger? I don’t feel that would be the best for me at the moment as I believe that would only make my levels of anxiety/intrusive thoughts worse..

but then again it may be best. I ain’t sure..

I wouldn’t even know what to say to the crisis team if I do ring them as I have this fear of them coming straight out to me & take me away.. I wish I had the option to go back to the MBU for a few days, I felt most at home there, rather than admit myself to a clinical psychiatric ward plus I ain’t sure if they are allowing any visitors? I would hate to be somewhere all alone on my own with just my thoughts, I’m such a home girl I do love been in my home comforts.

I will see how I get on today & hopefully I’m okay, I will keep you all posted on how my day has been when I’m back on here later today/tonight

Thankyou all so much for been so lovely & kind 💕

Big huge hugs to you. You are so brave for reaching out and asking for support. You are not alone. I have terrible OCD intrusive thoughts too and I understand your anxiety surrounding them. You have to try to tell yourself that they are just random thoughts, they aren’t you. It has nothing to do with what you want to happen, what is going to happen or what your values or morals are. They are just thoughts and mean nothing. It’s just OCD. Plain and simple. Are you taking anything for it? I started Prozac for mine and although they aren’t gone the panic surrounding them is better. They don’t really bother me anymore because I know it’s not real. Try to tell yourself that. It’s not real. It’s called OCD. Feel free to reach out anytime. I know what you are going through. Big hugs.

KeiraMarie profile image
KeiraMarie in reply to Gingmg

Thankyou so much for the comment Today I feel okay.. the thoughts are there tho every now & then but I feel less panicked by them & today I’ve been able to go about my day out in the sunshine with my boys so hopefully this continues

It’s absolutely hell fighting a battle inside my mind xx

HelenMW profile image
HelenMWVolunteer in reply to KeiraMarie

Hello Keira Marie

I am so glad to read that you are feeling a bit better today.

Also glad that you can express your thoughts and feelings here. People understand and can empathise.

During my PP in 1988 my thoughts were very unpleasant and the battle in my mind immense.

I just wanted to say noticing the weight loss you mentioned , have you had your blood checked maybe for hormone levels. Just a thought as I have recently had a thyroid imbalance and found my thoughts a little odd. I also lost weight. My consultant advised CBT and I found it really helpful identifying wrong thoughts which are not the truth and working through them. I contacted ITalk. They have been really helpful.

Battling in your mind is exhausting. I hope you can make space to relax and regain your energy.

I will be thinking of you. Helen x

Jenny_at_APP profile image

Hello KeiraMarie,

I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling with such awful intrusive thoughts, and the stress and loss you’ve been dealing with. You’ve had some lovely replies which I hope have been helpful. As others have said, you’re not alone.

I’m glad to read that you’ve had a better day today and enjoyed the sunshine with your boys :) It’s also good to read that you have support from your family and doctors, keep reaching out as needed and do write here any time - we’re all here for you and it will get easier.

Take good care, I hope you can rest this evening.

Jenny x

Lilybeth profile image

Hello KeiraMarie

I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and stress with treasured family. I admire your courage for reaching out here. It must be so difficult for you trying so hard to deal with your intrusive thoughts and care for your boys.

I had PP many years ago and my intrusive thoughts were overwhelming at times. I was worried how professionals would react if I shared them so I found sanctuary in my bed, which became my safe space for a while. Eventually I was sectioned for my own safety.

There’s a CBT therapist on YouTube, Katie d’Ath who has been mentioned on the forum before. I just wondered if you might find hope in her chats, one of which is “OCD Treatment : How to deal with intrusive urges, sensations and emotions”. Quite good to watch as it feels like she is talking to you 😊 I’m sorry I don’t have the link to her site but googled it myself.

Also I wonder if you have thought of extra help for yourself? There might be a Home-Start at home-start.org.uk in your area, who are there to support mums with mental health and postnatal illness amongst other things?

I hope you feel better soon. Take care of yourself .... you’re an amazing mum.

Jenny_at_APP profile image
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you Lilybeth :) Here are some YouTube links:

Understanding intrusive thoughts:


How to deal with intrusive urges, sensations and emotions:


Jenny x

Hello, I recommend the book - dropping the baby and other intrusive thoughts. I was recommended this book by another mother in a postpartum group. It really helped me. As long as you know the thoughts are disturbing, it’s an intrusive thought. You acknowledge the thought and then counter it with a rational thought. I think we suffered from similar things, I too still feel depressed when I’m about to get my period. Do not look up other women’s intrusive thoughts online. It will make it worse. I’m sorry you are going through this, but it is treatable and will go away. When you worry about it and believe the thought then it gets worse. You just refuse to believe the thought and treat it like an annoying fly. There are also YouTube videos on combatting intrusive thoughts. Hope some of this helps

Jenny_at_APP profile image

Hi KeiraMarie,

I hope you’ve been ok the last couple of days and have managed to rest.

Take good care, sending you very best wishes,

Jenny x

Hey, good morning I’ve been okay the last few days, the intrusive thoughts ain’t as severe as they were (thank goodness) the doctor recommended me to now up my sertraline to 100mg which is what I’m now taking & have been since Friday so hopefully in the next few weeks I see postive outcome I dream about it tho like last night I had an awful night mare regarding my children & the intrusive thoughts I was having & I had to really wrack my brain & trace my steps to see if I did get out of bed or not ( but I know I didn’t as I remember turning on to my side & falling back asleep)

It’s awful tho, & very anxiety provoking..

I’m remaining positive tho & this morning I’m in good spirits

Thankyou for taking the time to check on me I do appreciate it honestly xxx

KatG profile image
KatGVolunteer in reply to KeiraMarie

Dear KeiraMarie - that sounds like really positive progress. Well done!! Even with your horrible bad dream you did really well to rationalise it and not let it consume you. Am so impressed! Onwards and upwards!! Have a lovely day, Kat x

Jenny_at_APP profile image
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator in reply to KeiraMarie

Hi KeiraMarie,

Thank you for taking the time to reply, I’m so glad to hear things have been a bit better the last couple of days and you’re staying positive :)

The nightmare sounds awful, well done dealing with that so well. I wonder if there’s a way to quickly reassure yourself at night that you’ve been dreaming, by putting something on the floor next to you perhaps so you can see immediately that you’ve not been out of bed? Or that would reassure you that you’d wake up if you did get out of bed (a textured blanket or something?) Just a thought, though it sounds as though you coped very well.

I hope the medication adjustment helps too, things will get better :)

Best wishes,

Jenny x

Hi KeiraMarie,

I'm really so so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Just so you know that are not alone, I wanted to tell you that some of my worst delusions were related to a similar topic when I had PP. I thought the whole world including family and friends believed me to be abusive of children although not my own (they didn't obviously think this, I was hearing voices for weeks that led me to believe this). I was so utterly ashamed that these "voices" could even suggest such things that I began to wrack my brain, trawling over my past behaviour and every action. This was utterly exhausting as obviously there was not a single thing I could think of that would lead people to think this so, so I know how you must feel. This also led me to behave very cautiously with my daughter in a similar way as if I was being judged for something when I definitely wasn't. Even questioning yourself for such a heinous thing is such a distressing thought though and apparently a very common theme among those who have had intrusive thoughts (according to a psychologist I saw after my PP). It's basically the worst thing your mind can put you through right?! You are not alone and I wanted you to know that there is nothing to feel. You're do brave posting here and I have massive respect for that. The fact that you are getting up every day and being an amazing Mama is incredible. You are strong and you will get through this. Lean on everyone around you and talk to your doctor - they will never judge you for something out of your control. Thinking of you x

Pikorua profile image

How are you today KeiraMarie? Even though we are from different places, different backgrounds, we all share similar foot prints after PPP. You are not on your own. Your sharing creates inner strengths.

Take good care brave lady.


Someone posted this on another forum and I found it useful


Please don’t ever feel scared of posting here. It sounds like you have a lot of worrying thoughts and a lot to deal with. Intrusive thoughts can be debilitating but try to remember that they are just thoughts, they might circle in your head but as you’ve said you know deep down that you are not going to act on them so hold on to that. Maybe write a list of positives to challenge the thoughts. Thoughts like that can be quite distressing, try distracting yourself with a task or activity breaking your day down. I used to count in my head or just listen to music and eventually you make it through 10 mins at a time. Have you got a local team you can talk to. The Samaritans number is 116 123

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