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OCD During Pregnancy

test1Pregnancy OCD is very common type of OCD. Most women who have had OCD before pregnancy will focus on the pregnancy as the center of their obsessions.

For example, if a person had obsessions about catching an incurable illness such as AIDS, that fear will likely be multiplied during pregnancy. Same goes for any kind of OCD fear.
The reason why the women feel worse during pregnancy is that they feel like now that they are pregnant they are responsible for not only themselves but also for the baby. This brings on additional guilt that is present in most OCD fears.

The other side of this is that pregnancy has very serious hormone fluctuations and this can make OCD much worse. It is simular to when you have your monthly cycle and you feel anxious and irritable.
So what to do if you are pregnant and you are having severe OCD fears?
First of all, don’t take the fears seriously. I know it’s hard, but this is what you need to do if you want your OCD to go away. It is the proper therapeutic response.  Remind yourself how many times you had OCD fears that have not come true. Allow those fears to be there, do not try to resist them. After all, they are not real, so why would you pay any attention to them?

Here is an example:

A woman with OCD is scared that she some how infected the baby with some incurable illness. She starts to go over the situation and obsess that this may be true.
What she should doinstead, is say to herself that this thought is OCD because:

– it is repetitive
– it brings on anxiety and guilt
– you doubt whether this thought is OCD or not.

I can guarantee that if you are in this situation and you are reading this article you are having these 3 “symptoms” of OCD. So now that you know that this is OCD a thought , you need to react correctly. You need to show that you are not scared of this thought. To do that you need to ignore the thought no matter how real it feels.

You will probably feel a strong urge to reassure yourself that the situuation you fear is not real. Do not allow yourself to seek reassurance because this will definetly make this particular obsession get stuck in your brain.

Do the following:

-Every time you get an OCD thought that has to do with pregnancy, say to yourself: This is an OCD thought”
-Do not allow yourself to think back to the situation that created the thought to try to solve it. Just let it be, allow it to have the space in your mind. Say to yourself “I don’t care if this thought is here forever, it’s false anyway”.
-Remind yourself that you have no control over the thought but you do have control over the reaction to the thought and by controlling the reaction, you will make the thought unimportant and it will stop coming back to you. In this way you actually do control the thought.

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