How to Manage Intrusive Thoughts When Postpartum

You brought home your beautiful babe. But instead of a happy pastel-colored time, you find yourself worrying all the time. The pressure to be a perfect mom is weighing on you. You find it difficult to be present and enjoy time with your child. You may even have scary thoughts at times about something happening to you or your child.

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But, you don’t have to do this alone. As a therapist in Orange County, CA, I work with mamas like you. Empowered women who are managing self-care and difficult thoughts as a new parent. Trust me, you’re not alone in this either! Many new mothers experience a variety of depression symptoms when postpartum. In fact, according to womenshealth.gov, one in nine new mamas experience postpartum depression!

What exactly are intrusive thoughts

Today we are focusing on intrusive thoughts and how to manage them. Ok, but what are intrusive thoughts? In short, intrusive thoughts are those messages that pop up in your brain without you wanting them to. They seem to come out of nowhere. I like to think of them as pop-up ads on a website. They range from being annoying on a mild level and easy to click out of, to a complete nightmare that ruins the whole experience.

Intrusive thoughts can be scary and may make you wonder if you’re “losing it.” But, intrusive thoughts don’t exactly mean you have a mental health condition. They are common after periods of high stress. And there isn’t much more stressful (or sleep-depriving) than bringing home a new baby.

How can you know if a thought is intrusive?

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Intrusive thoughts are identified by three factors. The first is that it is an unusual thought for you. If it seems out of the ordinary, it might be intrusive. Intrusive thoughts are also bothersome. They are a little scary or annoying. Either way, if it is affecting you and your ability to parent, it might be time to get help. You may find that the thoughts are difficult to control. If they pop up without warning and you can’t seem to shake them, they might be intrusive thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts aren’t always “bad.” But, they can be difficult to cope with. Working with a postpartum anxiety therapist in Orange County, CA is one of the best ways to learn how to manage them.

What to do when you have intrusive thoughts

If you find yourself having intrusive thoughts, there are 3 things you should do to help manage them.

Identify the thought as intrusive

The first step is to realize that the thought is intrusive. Identifying it as such can be a great relief. Accepting it as your body’s response to stress and not an indicator of who you are as a person goes a long way to keep yourself calm.

Don’t fight with it

The next step is to not fight with it. Don’t go to battle with the intrusive thought. This can lead to obsessive behavior and isn’t effective. Accept that the thought is there and talk yourself through it. I like to have a mantra of “I am safe.” This simple phrase can go a long way in calming your mind.

Don’t judge yourself!

Intrusive thoughts are not uncommon after periods of high stress. You are not broken or wrong, your brain is instead dealing with stress in the best way it knows how. If you find your intrusive thoughts are hard to control or are interfering with your everyday life, it might be time to seek help from a postpartum anxiety therapist in Orange County, CA.

The Moxie Family Therapy Approach to Anxiety Treatment

A close up of a therapist writing notes while sitting across from their client. This could represent the support a postpartum anxiety therapist in Orange County, CA can provide. Learn more about online therapy in California and other services including anxiety treatment in Orange County, CA. 92704 | 92683 | 92805

At Moxie Family Therapy, we work with clients on a variety of issues. Our approach to anxiety treatment is to provide a safe and non-judgemental place. Here, you can be honest about the thoughts and feelings you are having. We will work with you to find coping skills which work for you. By doing so, you can help manage the signs and symptoms of postpartum anxiety. We will also work to learn how to navigate the intrusive thoughts you are having. Together, we will help you learn how to reframe them and move forward. We will also work with you to find ways to practice self-care that work for you as a new mama. It’s so difficult to focus on yourself when you have a baby at home. But, it is vital to take care of your mental health as you navigate learning how to parent.

When you get finished with anxiety treatment you will be able to manage your anxiety symptoms with success. You will find yourself managing the intrusive thoughts which pop up and moving forward with your hopes and goals. Your relationships will improve and you will be more present with your little one. Talk about a win-win!

Begin Anxiety Treatment in Orange County, CA

Managing intrusive thoughts takes time, and is much easier said than done. Our team of caring therapists understands and would be happy to offer support in helping you manage these difficult thoughts. We offer services from our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:

Other Services Offered at Moxie Family Therapy in California

Anxiety treatment isn’t the only service provided at our Orange County, CA-based practice. Our team is happy to offer a variety of services in support of children, teens, and couples. We offer services in person and across the state via online therapy. These mental health services include therapy for anxiety, therapy for therapists, clinical supervision, adoption therapy, art therapy, counseling for adoption, and play therapy. Feel free to learn more about us by visiting our blog or FAQ page today!

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