Obsessive thoughts/images which generate anxiety symptoms that are accompanied by compulsive behaviors as a strategy to try to manage the anxiety. It is important to note that it is possible to experience these repetitive or intrusive images and thoughts, without having an OCD diagnosis.
Perinatal OCD Symptoms Can Include:
- Obsessions: persistent thoughts or images. These thoughts are generally related to the baby are unwelcomed, upsetting and anxiety provoking.
- Compulsions: Repetitive behaviors are done in an attempt to reduce the anxiety and distress caused by the obsessions, to regain a sense of order and control. Behaviors might include: handwashing, needing to clean constantly, counting, checking on baby or the area many times, hypervigilance.
- Fear of being alone with the baby
- Sense of horror over the thoughts or images
- Mothers with postpartum OCD are at a very low risk of acting on these obsessions because they find the thoughts or images extremely disturbing.
Risk factors for perinatal or postpartum OCD include a personal or family history of anxiety or OCD symptoms. It is common to experience depression symptoms along with the anxiety and OCD.
If you believe you or someone you know may be suffering from perinatal OCD, please contact us.