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Can My OCD After Having Baby Be Hormonal?

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Q. I’ve always been a little anal. But lately I’ve been really bad. It started to get bad after my daughter was born. she’s 4 months old right now. I’m starting to drive my family crazy. I obsess over little things, like if my grandma needs a high chair at her house. Like I asked her if she wanted me to get her a booster one or a regular one and she never gave me an answer so I brought it up again and she got mad and asked why I just don’t leave it alone and we’ll figure it out when my daughter can sit up on her own (she just started solids). But I don’t know why I can’t just leave it alone. If I ask a question, or if I want something, I want it now. And when me and my husband get home at night, I need to feed our baby and put her to bed, but I have to put all the bags (my purse, diaper bag) away first. otherwise I feel like I haven’t completed something. Maybe a little anxious. I get consumed by things too, like if I get an idea in my head, I need to follow thru now. Like if i want to look something up online, I have to do it right away even while I’m at work. Is this hormonal?

Can My OCD After Having Baby Be Hormonal?

Answered by on -

A.

Your behavior may very likely be caused by hormones but it is difficult to known what the exact cause is. It may be that the stress of a new baby has amplified your OCD-like behavior or for whatever reason, it could be that you’re simply more aware of it.

While you may never know the exact cause of your behavior it is good that you know it exists. Because you recognize that it occurs, you can work to change it.

You’ll need to make a conscious effort to stop yourself from engaging in illogical and irrational behavior. I will use the examples you provided in your letter to explain.

If you feel the urge to run to the computer to look something up online but you don’t have time or it’s not important, stop yourself from going. Don’t go, then try to stop thinking that you have to go. You don’t have to. Why would you have to go? Thinking that you have to go is something you are imposing on yourself. When you think about it, this makes no sense.

Lets take the example of when you are getting ready to feed the baby, you start to feel that you need to put all of the bags away first before the baby can eat. Why do the bags need to be away before the baby can be fed? What logical reason exists to explain why the baby cannot eat if the bags are left out? I cannot think of any reason that makes sense. Again, this is a self-imposed “rule” that you have created that somehow makes you feel better. Putting the bags away seems to make you feel less anxious and that is true but it is illogical.

But instead of running over to put the bags away, force yourself to feed the baby without putting the bags away, even if it makes you feel anxious. You will feel anxious for a little while but it will soon subside. Shift your thinking or focus on something else.

The idea here is not to give in to your anxiety. Use logic and reason to understand that it makes absolutely no sense to follow these self-imposed rules that you have placed on yourself and on things. Realize that you have the power to stop yourself from engaging in this unwanted behavior.

If you continue to have difficulty controlling your behavior and thoughts see a therapist. In therapy you can learn how to better control your behavior as well as gain needed support and guidance. Thanks for writing. Take care.

Can My OCD After Having Baby Be Hormonal?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Can My OCD After Having Baby Be Hormonal?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/05/12/can-my-ocd-after-having-baby-be-hormonal/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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