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Postpartum OCD: 3 common themes

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).

Postpartum OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after the birth of a baby. It is marked by obsessive and intrusive thoughts about the health and safety of the baby, as well as excessive worrying about the mother’s own health and well-being. Postpartum OCD can interfere with the bond between mother and child, and can make it difficult to care for the baby. Treatment for postpartum OCD usually involves cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.

How does it feel to suffer from Postpartum OCD?

It took me a long time to accept that I have postpartum OCD. I didn’t want to believe that something was wrong with me, but I couldn’t deny that my thoughts and behaviors were increasingly becoming obsessional and intrusive.

I was constantly worried about my daughter’s safety and health, to the point where I was checking her breathing and heartbeat constantly. I was also afraid of harming her in some way, even though I would never dream of actually doing anything to hurt her. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and my anxiety was through the roof. I finally reached out for help and was diagnosed with postpartum OCD. I started medication and therapy and slowly but surely I started to feel better. It’s been a long road but I am grateful to be on the other side of it.

Paula F

After the baby is born, the new mother is going through a lot of changes. She is sleep deprived, hormonal, and may be experiencing some postpartum depression. On top of all of that, she now has a tiny human being that is completely dependent on her. It is a lot of responsibility and can be very overwhelming. For some women, this can trigger OCD symptoms.

This can obviously put a lot of stress on the relationship between the parent and the child. It can also affect other relationships within the family, as the OCD can become all-consuming.

When our son Ryan was born, my wife developed postpartum OCD. She was constantly worried about him becoming sick or being hurt. She would check on him dozens of times a night, to make sure he was breathing.

This type of OCD can be very debilitating for a young family. It can make it difficult to get out and do things as a family, and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.

Adam

Postpartum OCD: common themes

Postpartum OCD can occur after the birth of a child. It is characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions related to the fear of harming oneself or one’s child. Common themes include fears of:

  • harming the baby through shaking, dropping, or accidentally stabbing them with a kitchen knife
  • contamination from germs or illness
  • losing control and hurting oneself or someone else

OCD can be a very disabling condition, causing significant impairment in work, school, and other areas of functioning. For women with postpartum OCD, the fear of harming their baby can be all-consuming, making it difficult to care for their child.

Be kind to your mind, try it:

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5 tips for mental preparation to the holiday season

The holidays can be a tough time for people for a number of reasons. Studies have shown that the holidays can take a toll on people’s mental health, especially if they are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.

First, there is the pressure to spend time with family and friends, which can be difficult if relationships are strained.

There is also the pressure to buy gifts and make plans, which can be difficult for people who are struggling financially.

And finally, there is the pressure to be happy and festive, which can be difficult for people who are dealing with personal problems or who are simply feeling down. All of these pressures can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.

OCD and the holidays

OCD can be a mental challenge during the holiday season for several reasons. For one, the holiday season is generally a busy time of year, and people with OCD may have a hard time keeping up with their usual routines and rituals. This can lead to feeling anxious or stressed, which can exacerbate OCD symptoms.

Additionally, the holidays can be a triggering time for people with OCD due to all the holiday-related activities and events (e.g., gift shopping, decorating, attending parties).

This can make it difficult to stick to one’s treatment plan and can cause an increase in OCD symptoms. Finally, the holiday season is often a time when family and friends get together.

For people with OCD, this can be a triggering and stressful event. This is because they may feel like they have to “perform” for their loved ones and bePerfect. This can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress.

I have OCD and during the holiday season, I find it difficult to be around all the people and the hustle and bustle. I tend to want to stay in my own space and not be around others. I also have a hard time with all the food around and the temptation to eat everything. I try to stay on my diet and exercise routine, but it is hard with all the holiday parties and gatherings. I am also aware that I need to be careful of my spending during the holidays, as I can get carried away. Overall, I find the holiday season to be a difficult time for me, but I try to make the best of it and enjoy the time with my family and friends.

Paul M.

OCD and the holiday season: some tips

For people with OCD, the holiday season can be a difficult and stressful time. The holiday season can be a trigger for OCD thoughts and behaviors. OCD can make it hard to enjoy the holidays and can make it difficult to participate in holiday activities. Here are some tips for dealing with OCD during the holiday season:

  1. Be prepared for triggers. If you know that certain holiday activities or situations are triggers for your OCD, be prepared for them. Have a plan for how you will deal with the trigger.
  2. Stick to your treatment plan. Don’t let the holiday season throw off your OCD treatment plan. It’s important to stick to your treatment in order to keep your OCD under control.
  3. Reach out for support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by OCD during the holiday season, reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist for support. Talking about your OCD can help you feel better and can help you find ways to cope with your symptoms.
  4. Take a break from holiday activities if needed. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed by OCD, it’s OK to take a break from holiday activities. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to participate in holiday activities if it’s too difficult.
  5. Focus on the positive. The holiday season can be a difficult time for people with OCD, but it’s important to focus on the positive. Spend time with loved ones, enjoy your favorite holiday foods, and take some time to relax.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    3 CBT tips to help boost confidence

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps people change their negative thinking and behavior patterns. CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

    I was always a shy person and I never felt confident enough to speak up in a group or to put myself out there.

    I always felt like I was inadequate and that I wasn’t good enough. As a result, I never got the jobs I interviewed for because I was too scared to sell myself or to speak up.

    I felt like I was always missing out on opportunities because I wasn’t confident enough to take them.

    I decided to try CBT after reading about it online. I started by challenging my negative thoughts and beliefs about myself. I told myself that I was just as good as anyone else and that I deserved the job just as much as anyone else.

    I made a list of all of my positive qualities and accomplishments, and I read it every day to remind myself of how great I really was. I also started practicing visualization techniques, picturing myself nailing the interview and getting the job.

    I would see myself walking into the room with my head held high, shaking everyone’s hand confidently, and answering all of the questions perfectly. After doing this for a few weeks, I started to notice a difference in the way I felt. I was more confident and I felt like I could actually do it.

    I went into my next interview feeling prepared and confident, and I got the job! I’m so grateful that I found CBT and that it helped me to overcome my lack of confidence.

    Maria S.

    3 CBT based tips

    One of the CBT techniques that can help boost confidence is called cognitive restructuring. This involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to low self-esteem. For example, if you believe that you are not good enough, you can challenge that belief by thinking of times when you have been successful.

    Another CBT technique that can help with confidence is exposure therapy. This involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that you are afraid of or that make you anxious. This can help you to confront your fears and to learn that you can handle them.

    Finally, CBT can also help you to develop healthy coping and problem-solving skills. This can involve learning how to deal with stress in a healthy way, how to set realistic goals, and how to communicate effectively. These skills can help you to feel more confident in yourself and in your ability to manage your life.

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    5 tips to reduce OCD checking

    It can be difficult for people with OCD to resist the urge to check for things. They may feel like they need to check things over and over again to make sure they are safe or to prevent something bad from happening. This can interfere with daily activities and make it hard for people to focus on other things.

    Opinions on the matter of checking are naturally varied. It is normal to check, and everyone does that. But at the same time, people dealing with OCD have a tendency to check excessively to deal with their anxiety. Various Reddit posts discuss this matter, and while the community has a plethora of ideas, not all of them are actually helpful as a long term solution.

    I’ve suffered from OCD for as long as I can remember. Checking has always been one of my main compulsions. I’ve spent hours every day checking locks, appliances, and making sure everything is in its place. It’s been a constant battle to try to stay ahead of the OCD and keep my anxiety at bay. Over the years, I’ve learned some techniques to help me cope with my OCD, but there are still times when it gets the best of me.

    A year ago, I started using a checking app on my phone to help me keep track of everything I need to check. While this has been helpful in some ways, it has also increased my OCD distress. I found myself constantly needing to check the app to make sure I haven’t missed anything. This has led to more anxiety and more checking. I was in a cycle of checking that is even harder to break than before.

    When I realized this was becoming a problem, I started working on finding a balance with the app and trying to use it as a tool to help me rather than something that exacerbates my OCD.

    Malina, Greece

    Checking and distress

    For people with OCD, checking can actually increase distress. This is because the act of checking can reinforce the person’s beliefs that something bad will happen if they don’t check. Checking can also lead to more anxiety and intrusive thoughts. It’s important for people with OCD to understand that checking won’t make things better and can actually make things worse. If you or someone you know has OCD, it’s important to seek out professional help.

    Tips for reducing checking

    1. Use a timer: Set a timer for a specific amount of time and only allow yourself to check once that time has passed.
    2. Distract yourself: Find something else to focus on that takes up your attention and time.
    3. Create a barrier: Put something physical in between you and what you’re trying not to check.
    4. Let go of perfection: Remind yourself that it’s okay if things aren’t perfect and that you can still function even if things aren’t exactly as you want them to be.
    5. Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to resist the urge to check, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist who can provide you with additional tools and support.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    OCD, PTSD, and how to cope with both

    After my car accident, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I was having intrusive thoughts about accidents and feeling like I was in danger all the time. I was also hypervigilant and always on the lookout for potential threats. My friends and family were trying to be supportive, but I felt like I was struggling to cope on my own. I still have days where I struggle. I am hopeful that with time and continued progress, I will be able to fully recover and live a normal life again.

    Corinne, Canada

    If you’ve experienced trauma, you may feel like you’re never going to feel normal again. The combination of OCD and trauma can add additional hardship.

    When someone is obsessively thinking about a traumatic event, they are re-living the trauma over and over again in their mind. This can lead to flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.

    The person may also start to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma, which can make it difficult to function in daily life. This can all lead to a downward spiral of anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.

    There are studies that show the relationship between OCD and PTSD.

    5 symptoms of OCD and trauma

    1. Unwanted, intrusive thoughts that are difficult to control or stop.
    2. Excessive worry and anxiety about everyday situations.
    3. Compulsive behaviors or rituals that are performed in an attempt to ease anxiety or prevent certain thoughts from occurring.
    4. Avoidance of certain people, places, or things that trigger memories or thoughts of the trauma.
    5. flashbacks or intrusive memories of the trauma that can occur at any time.

    Recovery

    Studies about PTSD and OCD define recovery as strongly related to thinking and rituals: “effective treatment of trauma-related OCD is defined as the reduction in obsessional thoughts and compulsory rituals“.

    The good news is that there are treatments available that can help you recover and heal. One of these treatments is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

    CBT is a type of therapy that helps you change the way you think about and react to your experiences. It can be used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions, including trauma.

    Here are some of the ways that CBT can help you recover from trauma:

    1. It can help you understand your reactions.

    CBT can help you understand why you’re feeling the way you are. It can also help you see that your reactions are normal and that they don’t have to control your life.

    1. It can help you change the way you think about your experience.

    CBT can help you challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that you have about your experience. It can help you see that your experience is not who you are.

    1. It can help you change the way you react to your experience.

    CBT can help you learn new ways of coping with your experience. It can help you deal with your emotions in a healthy way.

    1. It can help you connect with others.

    CBT can help you build supportive relationships with others. These relationships can provide you with the social support you need to heal.

    1. It can help you take care of yourself.

    CBT can help you develop healthy coping skills. These skills can help you take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, PTSD or a combination of the two, it’s important to seek professional help.

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    3 Tips for improving your confidence if you have OCD

    People with OCD often have issues with confidence because they are constantly doubting themselves and their abilities. This can be extremely frustrating and debilitating, as it can prevent them from enjoying activities or participating in activities that they used to enjoy.

    I have ocd and it really affects my confidence. I tend to second guess myself a lot and it really holds me back from taking on new challenges. I’m always worried about making mistakes and it really affects my ability to just go for it. I’m constantly doubting myself and my abilities, and it’s really frustrating. I know that I’m capable of so much more, but my ocd just gets in the way.

    Mark Romanoff

    Why people with OCD struggle with confidence?

    There are 3 main reasons why people with OCD can have issues with self esteem and confidence:

    1. People with OCD often have intrusive and unwanted thoughts that they cannot control. These thoughts can be very distressing and can make it difficult for them to feel confident in themselves.
    2. People with OCD may also have compulsions that they feel they must do in order to reduce their anxiety. This can lead to them feeling like they are not in control of their own lives and can make it difficult to feel confident.
    3. People with OCD may also avoid situations or activities that trigger their OCD symptoms. This can make it difficult for them to participate in activities that they enjoy or that could help them build confidence.

    20 examples for common negative thoughts related to confidence

    1. I’m not good enough.

    2. I’m not smart enough.

    3. I’m not pretty enough.

    4. I’m not thin enough.

    5. I don’t deserve to be happy.

    6. I don’t deserve to be successful.

    7. I’m not worth anyone’s time.

    8. I’m not worth anyone’s love.

    9. I’m not lovable.

    10. I’m not good enough for anything.

    11. I’m not talented enough.

    12. I’m not special.

    13. I’m not worth anything.

    14. I’m not worth anyone’s attention.

    15. I’m not worth anyone’s respect.

    16. I’m not worth anyone’s love.

    17. I’m not a good person.

    18. I’m not a worthwhile person.

    19. I’m not a lovable person.

    20. I’m not a good enough person.

    10 Examples for negative thoughts related to confidence that are specific for people with OCD

    1. I will never be able to control my OCD.
    2. I’m so ashamed of my OCD.
    3. I’m disgusting because of my OCD.
    4. I will never be able to lead a normal life because of my OCD.
    5. I will always be alone because of my OCD.
    6. I will never be able to have a successful career because of my OCD.
    7. I will never be able to have a happy and fulfilling life because of my OCD.
    8. I am a burden to everyone because of my OCD.
    9. I am worthless because of my OCD.
    10. I will never be able to be happy because of my OCD.

    So what can I do to improve my confidence?

    Cognitive behavioral methods are a way of increasing confidence by reducing negative thinking and self criticism. The way it works is by changing the way you think about yourself and your abilities. Instead of thinking negatively, you focus not just on your positive qualities and accomplishments, but more importantly, on supportive interpretations of situations. This change in thinking leads to improved self-esteem and confidence.

    The first step is to become aware of your negative thoughts and self-criticism. Once you are aware of these thoughts, you can start to challenge and reframe them. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough,” you can tell yourself “I am good enough.” Once you start to reframe your negative thoughts, you will start to see an increase in your confidence levels.

    3 tips for building confidence

    1. When you feel low confidence, write down your negative thoughts, so you get to better understand your challenges.
    2. Challenge and reframe the negative thoughts. Try to find additional ways to approach a specific negative thought or situation.
    3. Studies show that maintaining LOW self-esteem is actually a very laborious and consuming habit. Just by reducing your self-criticism, your confidence will increase.

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    5 examples of magical thinking when you have OCD

    If you have OCD, it’s likely that you suffer from magical thinking. This is when you believe that your thoughts, emotions, and actions can control events and outcomes that are unrelated to you.

    For example, you may think that if you have a negative thought, something bad will happen to you. Or, you may think that if you don’t perform a certain ritual, something bad will happen.

    I am a sufferer of OCD, and my condition causes me to have what is known as magical thinking. This means that I often believe that my thoughts, actions, or words can influence events in the world around me in mysterious or supernatural ways.

    For example, I might believe that if I think about a certain person too much, I can make them have a car accident. Or, if I don’t perform a certain ritual just so, I might think that something bad will happen to me or my loved ones.

    I now know that my magical thinking can be extremely distressing and can cause me a great deal of anxiety.

    Stephan, Switzerland

    Here are five examples of magical thinking:

    1. Thinking that you can control the weather by thinking positive thoughts.

    2. Thinking that you can influence someone’s behavior by imagining doing something bad to them.

    3. Thinking that you can prevent accidents or illness by worrying about them.

    4. Thinking that you can control your destiny by making sure you don’t do anything that could jinx it.

    5. Thinking that you can influence other people’s thoughts and emotions by thinking about them in a certain way.

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    7 tips to deal with social anxiety

    If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from social anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be. You may feel like you’re being judged, or that you’re not good enough.

    You may worry about what others think of you, or that you’ll say or do something wrong. You may avoid social situations altogether, or if you do go, you may spend the whole time feeling anxious and out of place.

    OCD and Social anxiety

    Do you find yourself obsessively worrying about things that you know don’t warrant that level of anxiety? Do you find yourself avoiding social situations because you’re afraid of what others might think of you?

    If so, you might be suffering from OCD and social anxiety.

    I have dealt with OCD and social anxiety for as long as I can remember. It’s something that I have always had to manage on a daily basis. I’ve never been able to just “let go” and not worry about things. I’m always on edge, always worrying about what others think of me and if I’m doing something right. I constantly second guess myself and it’s exhausting. I have to be in control of everything in my life or I just can’t function.

    Amelia, Spain

    OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is an anxiety disorder that manifests in obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors.

    Social anxiety is another form of anxiety that can be debilitating. People with social anxiety often avoid social situations because they’re afraid of being judged or embarrassed. They might worry about saying the wrong thing or being laughed at.

    Fortunately, there are treatments available for both OCD and social anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often effective in treating OCD. This type of therapy helps people to change their thinking patterns and learn how to manage their anxiety. Medication can also be helpful in treating OCD and social anxiety. If you think you might be suffering from either of these disorders, it’s important to seek professional help.

    The good news is that there are things you can do to ease your social anxiety and make social situations more enjoyable. Here are seven tips:

    1. Understand your social anxiety. In order to manage your social anxiety, it is important to first understand what it is and how it manifests itself. This will help you to identify your triggers and work on overcoming them.

    2. Challenge your negative thoughts. When you are feeling anxious about a social situation, it is likely that you are also experiencing negative thoughts about yourself. These thoughts can fuel your anxiety and make it harder to manage. Challenge these negative thoughts by asking yourself why they are not true.

    3. Practice deep breathing. When you are feeling anxious, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This can cause you to feel shaky, have a racing heart, and feel short of breath. Practicing deep breathing can help to calm your body and mind.

    4. Create a mental escape plan. If you are feeling particularly anxious in a social situation, it can be helpful to have an escape plan in mind. This could involve excusing yourself to go to the bathroom or stepping outside for fresh air. Having a plan in place can help to ease your anxiety.

    5. Talk to someone you trust about your anxiety. It can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or doctor. Talking about your anxiety can help to lessen its hold on you.

    6. Gradually and safely, expose yourself to social situations. If you are avoiding social situations due to your anxiety, it can be helpful to gradually expose yourself to them. Start with small gatherings and work your way up to larger ones. This will help you to build up your confidence and ease your anxiety.

    7. Seek professional help. If your social anxiety is severe, seeking professional help may be the best option. A therapist can help you to identify your triggers and work on coping mechanisms.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    OCD and Trauma

    When we think of trauma, we often think of events like car accidents, natural disasters, or physical or sexual abuse.

    However, trauma can also occur in response to less dramatic events, such as witnessing violence, being the victim of bullying, or growing up in a household where there was a lot of conflict.

    Trauma can have a major impact on our mental health, and one of the disorders it can contribute to is OCD. OCD is a mental illness that is characterized by intrusive, obsessive thoughts and repetitive, compulsive behaviors. People with OCD often feel like they have to do certain things in order to prevent something bad from happening. For example, someone with OCD might have a fear of germs and spend hours every day washing their hands and disinfecting their home. Or, someone with OCD might have a fear of being hurt, and so they might avoid leaving their house or driving.

    OCD can be a very debilitating disorder, and it is often made worse by trauma. This is because trauma can lead to feelings of fear, guilt, and powerlessness, which can trigger OCD symptoms.

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    6 meditation tips for people with OCD

    If you’re one of the many people who suffer from OCD, you know how difficult it can be to manage your symptoms and live a normal life. But there is hope!

    Meditation has been shown to be an effective tool in managing OCD symptoms. Here are six tips to help you get started:

    1. Choose a comfortable place to sit or lie down. You may want to close your eyes and focus on your breath.

    2. Start with a few minutes of meditation each day and gradually increase the amount of time you spend meditating.

    3. Be patient and don’t expect immediate results. It can take some time to see the benefits of meditation.

    4. When you have intrusive thoughts, try to observe them without judgment. Accept them as part of your experience and let them go.

    5. Practice mindfulness in your everyday life. Pay attention to the present moment and your surroundings. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.

    6. Seek professional help if you feel like your OCD is severe and impacting your quality of life. A therapist can provide you with additional support and guidance.

    “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

    “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray

    “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” – Buddha

    OCD.app gives users short 15-second meditations on supportive and helpful thoughts. These brief relaxation moments conclude the daily exercise and reinforce the learning while allowing your brain to wind down.

    Be kind to your mind, try it: