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Is this normal 7 year old stuff or something to worry about?

(20 Posts)

DD1 has always been a 'thinker' and a sensitive soul. She is generally happy and has a settled family life with no recent trauma/ bereavements etc. Just recently she has become a little moody - nothing drastic, but a noticeable change. I put this down to hormonal changes.

She has very recently been talking about how she gets 'sad' at night but she's not sure why. She is telling me that her body is telling her things like she is "no good". Tonight she said she didn't know what her purpose was in life sad. I explained that it would come clear in time and that the confusion is probably the result of her brain trying to keep up with her growing body. She seemed reassured by this and decided her purpose might be to help small creatures smile

She has also recently developed a tic whereby she whistles involuntarily. She says her body is telling her to do it. We have largely ignored it.

I am struggling to determine a cause of this change in behaviour, and I'm wondering whether this is not unusual or whether we should be seeking help.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 20:56:06

Does she have an medical diagnosises.
Has she just gone back to school, or just started the holidays.

cocolepew United States Mon 18-Feb-13 20:59:15

To be honest it sounds a bit OCD to me. I'm basing this on personal experience not any medical experience.

No medical diagnosis, this is all very recent. I was hoping it was hormones and it would pass, but tonight's conversation worried me a little.

OCD? I don't know much about it, but other than the Tic, there is nothing repetitive or compulsive in her behaviour.

cocolepew United States Mon 18-Feb-13 21:13:09

OCD can take the form of intrusive thoughts, the tic could be a compulsion. My DD has no rituals but 'feels' things.

TreadOnTheCracks Mon 18-Feb-13 21:17:20

My dd, also 7, is a sensitive soul too. She has said she is sad but can't say why. It tends to be on a Sunday evening at bed time and I think she is just sad the weekend is over. It was also when she started yr 3 and had a new super strict teacher, so there was something behind it, just took a while to get to it. NO digging, well maybe a few gentle questions, just let her come out with it over time.

Our school has an ELSA (Emotional Literacy support assistant). If yours has one they might be able to advise?

TreadOnTheCracks Mon 18-Feb-13 21:18:21

Sorry, didn't mean to shout NO - just a typo. No digging.

Thank you Tread-I did wonder about school. Her current teacher has commented that she is quiet and there are a lot of 'strong' personalities in the class. I was wondering if she is feeling a bit over-looked at school. We did ask at parents' evening about the strategies to bring out the 'quiet but able' pupils. The teacher did seem to take this on board, but I'm wondering if this could be the trigger. She hasn't mentioned anything herself though confused.

TreadOnTheCracks Tue 19-Feb-13 17:08:23

Do you like her teacher? Does she seem experienced? My DD's quiet but able as well, and her teacher is fantastic at making her feel included (she does this by making sure those "strong personalities" buckle down and get on with it too or they get what for).

Have you had half term or are you in the middle of it? If things are better at half term could it indicate she's not 100% ok at school? It's such a huge part of their lives. How are her friendships? Friendships have caused my DD minor blips - but they are over very quickly.

Do you feel like you need more input/help?

If you do I imagine the avenues are the school or the GP. I think I'd try school first as the GP might take you more seriously if you have taken advice from the school.

Her teacher seems fine, but she is newly qualified and didn't seem to realise that there may be a problem with other children dominating the class. To her credit she has agreed that she should control them better and share her attention out more. I did think I might speak to the school about the whistling thing, so I could raise it as a possible cause then. I did tell the teacher at parents evening that she thinks about stuff a lot. I told her she was worried about her upcoming birthday party and wanted to be sure that everyone would enjoy it. Her teacher was surprised at this.

She hasn't had any major friendship upheavals. She has a couple of girls whom she considers close friends though the teacher said she wasn't aware of any specific close friendships. The girls she likes are nice girls and they don't seem to have big fall-outs.

I've told my DD she can talk to me at anytime if anything is worrying her, so tonight she told me that sometimes she wonders if everything she sees is real or whether it is made up by computer! She also said she gets spooked by shadows at night and convinces herself they are monsters. The last one, I remember worrying about as a child and I grew out of it. The computer thing, I'm not so sure!

Thanks for your thoughts on this everyone.

Vexedbybook Tue 19-Feb-13 20:07:16

She sounds utterly lovely! As do you. I was a sad anxious little girl but never dared tell my mum about it, think its great that she's able to talk frankly with you.

Thank you smile

Frustratedartist Fri 22-Feb-13 21:30:25

It sounds to me like you have genuine reason for concerns.
The symptoms may go away again in time with your reassurance and attention, but it may also be worth talking it over with your GP. Even if they don't feel the need to refer to Child Psych yet - if you then have to go back in the future your first visit will mean they have clear evidence of your original worries.
My daughter and son both now have Tourettes. She has marked anxiety and he has thoughts of worthlessness. I don't mean to scare you- they are both doing well on medication. But I would follow your instincts as a mother. If the GP doesn't listen the first time- they may have to the second time you go.
Hope that makes sense- had some wine!

When i read your OP i my first thought was OCD, i am basing this on personal experience not medical training.

I have OCD, a formal diagnosis and i am very much like your DD, although nearly 30 years older! I dont have OCD surrounding the 'typical' stuff people think of with OCD, (washing hands, obsessively cleaning etc) my OCD is much more personal and i know of some of the reasons behind it and why i do certain things. It sounds like your DD is lucky to have such an open relationship with you.

I also second what Frustrated said, if you as a mother have concerns then follow them, and don't take 'no' for an answer unless absolutely satisfied. Again this comes from personal experiences.

Good luck, keep talking to your DD but for now put your feet up and have a glass of wine!

Thank you both. I am still mulling things over and I have bought a book which helps children deal with anxiety and she is enjoying working through it. She also has some Mayan worry dolls (miniature matchstick characters you put under your pillow to take your worries away) and they seem to help her.

The thing is she is generally a very happy little girl and even when she is talking about her worries etc she doesn't seem anxious and generally quite open about stuff. I have no idea what may have triggered this behaviour except that she has always been sensitive and a deep-thinker.

I will discuss it with her teacher when she goes back after half term and then make a doctors appointment, if she is still whistling and worrying after a couple of weeks of trying these new strategies.

The worry dolls are amazing, my ds has some that he carries in his pocket. Glad she is enjoying the anxiety books, some are great.

What i would say is your second paragraph runs so true with me, I have OCD but i talk openly about it and it doesnt cause me any anxiety talking about it. I remember when i was going through my diagnosis we had dinner with close friends, the topic soon become my impending OCD diagnosis and we spent a good couple of hours with everyone saying what they had noticed about me and my OCD traits, i could justify each and everyone they came up with. Perfectly fine for me, but i think my friends and dh found some of my 'reasons' a little uncomfortable. Talking about the issues isn't the issue IYKWIM, its when you have the intrusive thought going over and over in your head that they causes the anxiety and the need to do the compulsions. Once i have that need to follow my compulsion i have to it no matter what.

This is the basic way that my OCD affects me and it is a spectrum so it affects people differently, and like i said i am not in any way telling you that your DD has OCD.

morethan thank you for telling me about your experiences. What you say about being comfortable with your own habits makes sense. I know you are not trying to give a diagnosis, but I see that it is a possible explanation.

One of the things I have noticed with DD is that she approaches our new puppy, kisses her fingers and then 'plants' the kiss on his head as she whistles. She does this virtually every time she walks into the room and sees him. I asked her what prompts her to do this but she said she didn't realise she did it.

The book we have asks her to write down the things she worries about and the only thing she has written down is that she is worried about losing our puppy sad. She does ask a lot of questions about when he will die etc so I'm wondering if this is a trigger for her. We have only had our puppy since Sept and she is extremely fond of him.

That sounds like the Obsession = puppy, compulsive = kiss
sounds to me like the kiss and touch is her way of making sure the puppy is still real and alive, does that make sense? The visual of him being there isnt enough for her, she driven by her compulsion to touch him.

I bet that if you were to sit down and write all the little things like this she does and divide it up into the obsessive and compulsive bit you will be surprised, i know i was with some of mine that came out at that dinner party! Things came up that i have done repeatedly for years and didn't realise how they impacted on my life.

I amglad she is engaging with you re her worries etc, this can only be a good thing.

I have spoken to her teacher who was surprised, but seemed to take it all seriously. She spoke to DH today and asked if they could do an emotional literacy assessment with DD. They want me and DH to do one too!

Well that's a good thing, atleast they are taking it seriously. Good luck, and I hope you get some answers soon.

Good luck with the test!

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