7 year old obsessed with dying

(2 Posts)
Lilypad15 Thu 17-Mar-16 20:52:01

For about a year now, my daughter has been obsessed with worrying about literally everything. From people breaking into the house, natural disasters like earthquakes and floods to people dying from getting old or being ill. She is VERY concerned about harming herself. She will become hysterical to the point of being unable to talk if for example, she touches a container that says keep out of reach of children on it (nothing bad, things like body butter that a baby might eat a whole tub of but touching the outside of it obviously will cause no harm) She sobbed hysterically the other day because she breathed in cigarette smoke of a man who walked past and she just came to me then to say a bit of her toothbrush had touched the bar of soap in the bathroom so she didn't want to brush her teeth in case she got poisoned. She won't leave any switches on in her room and will become concerned if a light is left on when she thinks I'm in bed. Recently she told me not to stick knives in the toaster (??!!) She convinces herself someone is going to break in and hurt me or take her away. She is worried our house will catch on fire. My mum works at her school and told me she came to her at break time crying her eyes out and it turns out she was scared my mum was going to get old and die, which she has cried about to me on several occasions, that she doesn't want me or anyone she knows to die.

At first I thought it was just a phase but it's beginning to worry me. At 7 years old, is it wrong for her to be thinking so deeply? She is a very deep child. Very intelligent and always has been inquisitive and so part of me isn't surprised she thinks about things like flooding or dying and whatnot. But it's not just that, it's the little things like getting hysterical because she touched a stick out of a reed diffuser air freshener and thought she was going to die because she thought it was poisonous. I have sat her down so many times and tried explaining to her things like how we live in a secure building (we have a flat with key access and our front door is bolted and chained) how we have smoke alarms but that I always turn everything off at night. I've gone through every single thing a million times to try and reassure her not to worry. I've tried to tell her that she's only little and she needs to try and focus more on having fun and playing with her friends instead of spending her playtime at school in tears because she's randomly thinking about family members dying. Plus I don't want kids in school to pick up on how sensitive she is because they might make fun of her or tell her things they know will scare her. I have no idea where she even gets all of this from. She doesn't watch tv much and when she does it's only my little pony!

Am I being over-worried? I don't really know what to do with her. Nothing I, nor anyone else says seems to put her mind at ease. I'll explain one thing, she'll seem okay but then it's something else and it's constant. Any advice?

Mumofsophie Fri 18-Mar-16 19:10:51

Wonder if some of the suggestions here

www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/worried_about_your_child/anxiety/treating_anxiety

might help. I think the worry about death and family members dying is a phase a lot of children go through (I did) but it sounds like your DD is anxious generally and that some strategies like those mentioned in the link might help.

My DS (5) has a recurring worry about people breaking into our house. I find that discussing it with him in too much detail actually seems to feed his worry whereas just repeating to him briefly that the doors are locked, no-one can get in, and that I am here to look after him and then changing the subject seems to work better.

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