Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mayo Clinic study reveals new fathers struggle with obsessional thoughts too

03.09.2003


Both fathers and mothers have distressing thoughts after the birth of a baby, according to a new Mayo Clinic study published in the Sept. 3 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings.

In a survey mailed to 300 childbearing women and their partners, participants were asked to report distressing thoughts, such as "My baby is going to die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)" or "What if I drown my baby while bathing her?" Overall, seven categories of thoughts were studied: suffocation or SIDS, accidents, intentional harm, losing the infant, illness, unacceptable sexual thoughts and contamination. Of those who responded, 69 percent of mothers and 58 percent of fathers reported having these types of thoughts.

"Everyone occasionally has thoughts that are contradictory to their moral or ethical beliefs," says Jon Abramowitz, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist who carried out this study with Katherine Moore, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist. "The difference is that people who develop problems with obsessional thoughts manage those thoughts differently. Usually we dismiss disgusting thoughts -- such as pushing our baby out the window -- as something we would never do. However, people who develop problems tend to believe that thinking the thought means they are bad people who might actually act upon the repulsive thought."



The fact that new fathers have intrusive thoughts moves the debate away from previous thinking that this was a female problem brought on by hormonal fluctuations after childbirth.

"Most likely a variety of factors influence a person who has obsessional thoughts," points out Dr. Abramowitz. "How people’s brains are hard-wired may play a role, as well as how people are trained as a child to think about themselves or the importance of their thoughts. Stress situations, like the period after a child is born, definitely increase the likelihood that obsessional thoughts will occur."

The difference between obsessional thoughts, which will not lead to violence, and psychotic thoughts, which may lead to the rare case of harm against the child, is subtle but important. In the case of obsessional thoughts, parents are repulsed, disgusted and frightened by the thought of harming their child. The person tries to resist these thoughts. In the case of psychotic thoughts, parents view their thoughts as realistic and rational.

Whenever parents have difficulty controlling recurring thoughts of harm to their child, they should seek professional care. Whether thoughts are depressed, psychotic or obsessional should be left to a professional to determine. In either case, the doctor will be able to prescribe medications and/or therapy to help bring relief.

The findings of this study are of particular importance to perinatal educators who might be able to circumvent the issue by informing soon-to-be parents that having intrusive, unwelcome thoughts is normal, and the best way to deal with them is simply to dismiss them.


Shelly Plutowski
507-284-2417 (days)


Lee Aase
507-266-2442 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)
e-mail: newsbureau@mayo.edu

Shelly Plutowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>