Anxiety after pregnancy


Anxiety after pregnancy


your avatar   KB, 28-year-old woman

I have always been an anxious person - my imagination runs wild, and I find myself truly believing harm is going to come to me, even when it is not. During certain times in my life, I have been able to deal with it and function fairly normally. In college, for instance, when there were a lot of people around, I felt pretty secure. Now however, as a new mom, I have vivid and horrifying visions that my daughter is going to be harmed. I don't even like to leave my house some days. And every time my dogs bark, I get a knot in my stomach and my heart pounds as if someone is going to harm my family. I have tried coping through breathing exercises, diet and exercise, but it's not working. I am so consumed by fear that my life is not pleasant anymore. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, LPC, LISAC, DCC

Hi KB,

Whenever medication is mentioned or suggested to clients the typical reaction is either fear or defiance. It is too bad that psychiatric medication has such a bad name. There are however some good reasons for this. In the past many medications for mental health issues have had significant side effects. Often these side effects have even been exaggerated.

In the last 15 years however, many of the side effects have been significantly reduced. Most antidepressants have very few side effects and tremendous benefits. Often the real reason for clients negative reaction has to do more with a feeling of shame about needing medication rather than any inherent properties of the medication themselves. The general population has a double standard. If medication is needed from the neck down that is acceptable. If the medication is meant for psychiatric conditions the person unnecessarily tends to feel ashamed and is likely to forgo the medication entirely.

Many times a client's problem is either emotionally based or often caused by trauma. However, whenever a client tells me that they have always been anxious or depressed it is usually caused by a medical or chemical condition. It would've been helpful to know more about other members in your family. Chemical conditions tend to run in families. Therefore, if your parents or siblings have also had anxiety problems that would be more evidence for your need for medication.

It is not unusual for new parents to have fear for their children. It is actually adaptive to be so because more care will be given to them. What makes me believe that the fears you have are not natural for this situation is the degree that you are experiencing them and the fact that you've had them off and on throughout your life. I would suggest strongly that you see a psychiatrist so that he or she can do a complete workup to decide if medication might be helpful.

Good luck.


This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit:


Set personal goals, like "make a new friend" or "clean out the garage".
"Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it."
Dennis P. Kimbro
Don't ever lose perspective of who you are and what makes you amazing.