I have been a member here for a while but have really just browsed… I am struggling today and wanted to get my story out, perhaps someone has some suggestions and some insight to offer.
My OCD started right after my child was born. I had a traumatic pregnancy and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, had major pre-term labor issues and ended up on bed rest at 32 weeks due to 5 trips to the ER in pre-term labor that they managed to stop. Due to having gest diabetes they wanted me to get to at least 38 weeks b/c those babies' lungs develop more slowly. Bed rest was miserable. I am a constantly on the go person and to sit alone with my thougths all day was the beginning of my issues.
My dad was also diagnosed wtih lung cancer when I was5 mos pregnant and tragically lost his battle with cancer 3 days before my child was born. Needless to say labor and delivery were awful. I got two epidurals, both of which wore off – now I understand this is not supposed to happen and it is very rare but apparently I am one of the "lucky ones".I was in labor for 31 hours and felt all of it. I literally had an out of body experience the last five minutes and honestly dont remember it. I felt as if I was looking down on my body and when they placed my Gracie on my chest, I didnt realize she was mine. I bled terribly and should have been transfused but they did not for some reason, lost 50% of my blood volume and was sent home less than 24 hours later. I was severely anemic and continued to bleed at home. I know it sounds over-dramatic but I had PTSD from the whole thing, and still struggle to watch L/D on tv, read about it in books, as it sends me spinning. My father was buried literally to the minute of my child being born. My family left the church to texts and messages that Gracie was here and doing well.
My anxiety sky-rocketed 24 hours after coming home when I couldnt sleep for over 24 hours straight. My precious girl was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches but I would just lay there in agony, feeling like I was crawling out of my skin. I had terrible haunting violent intrusive thoughts that terrified me. I was prescribed xanax and in 2 weeks they dissapated but I beleive my body went into shut down and I just started going through the motions, as if my brain and body couldnt handle any more trauma or emotions.
Needless to say I never got to grief, feel all those feelings, and deal with the death of my father OR adjust to being a first time parent. I work in the mental health field with children who are severely abused and neglected and every scary thing I had ever seen would flood my mind as a "what if I am capable of that" type scenario.
FInally at 3 months post partum everything caught up to me and I began having multiple daily panic attacks and feared I was losing my sanity. I found the help of a wonderful psychiatrist and therapist and am proud to say have done wonderfully since then.
All that being said, I dogreat on a low dose anti-depressant (zoloft for 1st 18 months, lexapro since may) but would like to try and be healthy off of the medication. I certainly had OCD traits prior to this trauma, but never to the point that required medication. I have very very slowly weaned off of the lexapro for almost a month now, but as has happened the last 3 times I tried to come off meds, I have anxiety and insomnia along with the IT's return within 4-6 weeks. I am trained in CBT techniques and know what to do, and yet cannot seem to get them to work for myself when IT's come creeping in.
Do I suck it up and realize that I may have to be on meds forever or do I keep mustering through and see what happens? I know they are just thoughts, and have read countless books on IT"s and anxiety, and most recently really found "The Imp of the Mind" very helpful, but just can't seem to move on. Part of me wonders if I need to really sit in these moments and be present in them, in order to ever be able to move past them if that makes sense, as I don't know that I ever truly grieved my Dad, the loss of a more pleasant birth experience, etc.