A recent article found in the Journal of Reproductive Health (March/April 2013) that was published by researchers at Northwestern University has indicated that new mothers are four-times more likely to present obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms than that of the general population.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition in which the individual engages in several repetitive or ritualistic behaviors in order to help deal with intrusive, anxiety-provoking thoughts. Having a newborn is a time of increased stress and anxiety. The entire family’s daily life and expectations change. It would be abnormal for a new parent to not exhibit any anxiety or stress during this time.
If family members or friends begin to notice a new mother engaging in excessive ritualistic behaviors that change daily activities, it may be time to seek help.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Repetitive behaviors.
- Checking things.
- Washing hands, putting on hand sanitizer at an excessive degree.
Do not be afraid to approach a new mother about possible concerns and to suggest possible help and intervention if need be.