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Intrusive thoughts

I had my son 9 months ago but 5 days after having him I started having intrusive thoughts of harming him which scared me to bits...l consulted my doctor and psychologist and they said it was OCD intrusive thoughts...anyway I was admitted to a mother and baby unit and put on some medication to lessen the thoughts and make me feel somewhat better...l was there for over 2 months and now I am home and still on medication but having some bad days where I feel worthless and just wish l wasn't here but l struggle everyday with a battle inside my head and try to stay with the logic part of my brain...so draining to be honest...the medication makes me so tired and no motivation and worse still weight gain which adds to the depression...I suffer real bad anxiety too and this doesn't help...l am in CBT therapy but don't find it help as much with the thoughts...I could go on and on but l guess someone understands

11 Replies


I'm sorry you've had this awful experience - intrusive thoughts of harming your child are a symptom of PNI. My obsessive thoughts revolved around illnesses and dying but they were obsessional. Someone described all of these thoughts as the protective mothering instinct going into overdrive where you even see danger from yourself and other unlikely sources but at the same time you lose the ability to rationalise these thoughts.

Even when recovering it's normal to have dips which could be triggered by pmt, tiredness , illness etc. Feelings of worthlessness and lack of motivation together a retirn of those feelings can be common and yes I do understand after my own experience of PNI.

Can I ask what meds you're on. Overall do you feel you're improving? What care do you have in terms of Drs? Is anyone monitoring how you're doing? How often do you feel low?

PNI is a tough illness with lots of ups and downs but you will get through it. Having effective coping strategies for those difficult times can make a huge difference .

Do keep talking X


I was on olanzapine venlafaxine and mirtazapine but now I am slowly tapering off mirtazapine and off olanzapine...psych doc has introduced pregabalin with the intention of slowly coming off mirtazapine as l feel so sedated during the day...l do CBT but I don't feel it's helping with the intrusive thoughts...I have got much better than what l was but not where I think l should be...my anxiety is through the roof each morning and my day then is damned by the thoughts of worthlessness...


Recovery can be painfully slow. Hopefully as you come off mirtazapine you'll feel less groggy and that will give you a lift . Do you have support from friends and family?

What makes you feel worthless about yourself ? X


Just having the thoughts makes me feel worthless...l try to not engage with the thoughts but it can be so worrying at times and it scares me...all that I have learnt in CBT just doesn't work...as hard as l try


The thoughts are a vicious circle - you have one , you get upset about it , you dwell on them so you get them and they can easily become an automatic response. This cycle can be broken but it's bloody hard work and can take time to take effect. Don't give up!

I know you dont have much motivation - this is another common symptom - but try to make a walk part of your daily routine - even if it's 5 mins round the block - and afterwards congratulate yourself on doing it.

I got PNI after my second child. I never knew such lows and the depths of despair could exist. I did recover and you will too x


Thank you and l will try...l never suffered like this either having my other children...being scared of thoughts becoming reality...in time l hope I will find a way out of this vicious cycle


Did you have PNI at all with your other children? Do you know what triggered it this time round?

I got PNI after my second child. In many respects life was far more challenging first time round . Third time round I was very careful to avoid triggers. With my second child I was obsessed with being perfect- something I had no hope of sustaining with two children and put huge pressure on myself by running myself into the ground.

Your thoughts won't become reality at all - they are just thoughts and nothing else x


Never experienced PNI with my other kids and there's 10 years between my last daughter and my son so l think it could be age and a lot of ruminating...


Is there anything you were particularly worried/ruminating about particularly if this might have led to PNI? Is there any particular aspect of the cbt that isn't helping you? Just a consideration it might be the therapist as opposed to the technique.

You mentioned your anxiety is worse in the morning - a lot of women say this. I've heard this is due to various hormonal changes during the time.


I guess I ruminate about my past becoz l was brought up in care and abused as a child and l am scared with having a son l would do that to him...the CBT doesn't help with the thoughts and l try to stay grounded but my anxiety gets the better of me


Im so sorry you had to through such terrible experiences. Often these can be a trigger for PNI. You're at your most vulnerable when having a baby and it's no wonder you dwell on your past. I do think that maybe your mothering instinct is so strong it's gone into overdrive .

Anxiety is hard to control . A few people have recommended headspace app - apparently it's free. It's a meditation/ mindfulness - supposed to be very goodx


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