Thought id write about this , as an ex sufferer and from what i have ascertained in the years of supporting those that suffer with ocd and raising awareness.
Dads with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, one of the worlds top 10 most debilitating illnesses !)
How does OCD affect a Dad , be it post or peri natal !
Becoming a new father , or leading up to it , carries a big RESPONSIBILITY , its a life changing experience in more ways than one ! so for those that already suffer with ocd it can trigger new thoughts , for some who have never suffered at all in there life it can be a onset !! There are also those that suffer in silence, without any formal diagnosis of ocd , so unawares it can be a huge change in tack for the undiagnosed ocd
Notice the word in capitals !! RESPONSIBILITY . With ocd it becomes what we call HYPER RESPONSIBILTY driven by crippling anxiety and awful doubting caused from the ocd !!
An eg for a dad or dad to be might be “what if im not the dad of the baby” Now im sure all dads have had this unwanted thought, but are able to brush it away , but for dad with ocd it hits like being hit by a brick wall. The fears and angst attached to the thoughts causes huge debiltation, which would lead onto them carrying out a compulsion to work out if the thoughts are real or not , and search for 100% clarity
Typical compulsions could be , ruminationg over whether he is or not , checking baby for signs of alikeness and by carrying out these .this causes the ocd to increase in value !! where an increase of new thoughts might bombard , “what about when she went out …” then they could lead onto constant reassurance seeking , asking mum over and over !! sometimes to the point of requesting a dna Test !!
OCD can take many many manifestations , what if i harm the baby ?? What if i touch them innapropiatley ? What if i drown the baby when im bathing it ? This leads onto ocd destroying father hood because dad would avoid holding at all costs , sometimes dad would move out of house to live some where else , because the ocd becomes so powerful , they actually start to believe in it !!
Personally when i was poorly , pre diagnosis id constantly check if they were breathing , not just an hour ALL night , probably surviving on 2 hours sleep a day .
What if the blankets on there face ! what if they roll over ! what if they have cot death ? the thoughts were constant !! it was crippling
So on a footnote i thought id give the DADS a heads up dealing with this horrid illness !! It is beatable with the right help , and do not be afraid to seek it !! SOONER rather than later !!
CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is the golden key for treating ocd !! Gain lots of knowledge to !!
OCD ACTION are a fantastic charity for support and advocacy !!
This also goes out as my buddy Mark Williams is launching a new website for fathers this fathers Day
@DadsMatterUK on twitter whom @markwilliamsROW is co founder
Weekly ocd chats on twitter #ASKASHOCD tuesdays 8pm ish