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Super anxious possibly phobic DD1 (4)

(17 Posts)
thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 13:44:36

I really need some help and advice with my DD and her anxiety and what to do.

My DD has always been noise anxious. We lived next to a builder who thought it fine to drill into the common wall at any time (paper thin) and the noise would always be quite loud. DD1 quickly became very scared of this (hands over ears, crying, heart beating really fast) and would have to rush out of the house and sit in the car on the drive so she couldn't hear it. Everytime DH or a tradesman would do any work she would ask 1000 times would they be drilling. Pre school had similar problems with the handyman carrying around his tool box. We moved house not long ago and she seemed to have turned a corner.

Then we took her to the local firework display this year. Big mistake, we left after 30seconds of hysteria. The next few nights she was shaking and crying in her bed while I sat with her and thankfully fireworks season ended.

Then, a couple of weeks ago my husband had a small oil fire on the hob. Complete accident. We were sat at the kitchen table completely safe and nowhere near it but we could see the flames. She went beserk. Took about 15 mins to coax her back into the kitchen. Now she can't bear to be near any open flame (candles in the sitting room, birthday candles, oven with gas hob and open fire.) We went to MIL's yesterday and the fire was on in the TV room and DD went crazy. Even though she could safely stay in the next sitting room without any fire. She spent the whole time upstairs in her bedroom shaking and cuddling her comfort toy in the bed. We've come home today and she can't bear to sit in the kitchen and asked us 100 times would we be cooking etc. She is so anxious she can hardly sit to eat.

I feel so sorry for her, her eyes dart everywhere and you can see her making up excuses to rush upstairs to play (avoid the kitchen).

I'm going to see her key worker at preschool as soon as term starts again and I thought I might need to take her to see some sort of counsellor. She's so little and I hate seeing her so scared of every little bump.

Can anyone help?

Bink Mon 27-Dec-10 14:04:57

I do think it is worth speaking to key worker, and your GP too. It doesn't sound completely out of the usual range for children (the reason I say that is because the things she's scared of are things that it is reasonable to be scared of, so her fears don't at all seem 'irrational'), but it does sound as if her fears affect her general happiness more than fears affect most children.

I think probably professional advice is the best way for you on this one. If you've got a good GP, I'd speak to him/her.

lollipopshoes Mon 27-Dec-10 14:08:23

the first thing I would do is buy the highly sensitive child

dd2 was just like you describe your dd and after we realised what she was like and found ways to help her handle life, she is is now a confident, happy 6 year old.

She is still very unsettled in new situations, and people who meet her would describe her as very shy, but she can cope with home, school, friends houses etc.


CoteDAzur Mon 27-Dec-10 14:11:35

I don't think you can speak about a person being generally "phobic". There does not seem to be any one phobia here but a general anxiety issue and an excess reaction to "scary" stimuli.

Is she over-sensitive to noise in general? Does she complain about the noise cars make on the street, for example?

Does she have other sensitivity issues - to texture of food, for example?

CoteDAzur Mon 27-Dec-10 14:12:48

I couldn't get through the first hundred pages of "Highly Sensitive Child" and would gladly post it to you free of charge if you would care to give a postal address. It's rubbish, imho.

lollipopshoes Mon 27-Dec-10 14:16:18

I didn't read it from cover to cover, but it made a lot of sense to us, and described dd2's behaviour almost perfectly.

You could always do a MN search on "highly sensitive" and see what MNers recommend

thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 14:18:42

Firstly thanks for all replying. DH and I are at our wits end after yesterdays antics. Sitting her trying not to cry!

Lolli - DD is happy to go off to preschool, go to play centres with friends, general 4 year old stuff and is actually quite confident with adults etc.

Cote, she's okay with SOME noise. For instance we can put the music on quite loud and have a dance about, no problems. But if a loud car or motorbike goes by, then she will automatically cover her etars. Doesn't necessarily get upset, but can't stand it just the same.

Forgot to mention MIL took her to a christmas show yesterday and they had to leave after 2 mins due to the introduction. Chirping birds! Too noisy she said.

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Mon 27-Dec-10 14:42:32

It sounds like its a sudden noise issue? Is that right?

thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 14:48:33

Yes I suppose you could say sudden noise. If she hears a bang (semi-detached house) she will come and ask what it was - neighbours front door etc.
And now fire/flames.

Al1son Mon 27-Dec-10 15:11:36

I wonder if this is about control? Not in a negative 'she's trying to control you' way but more is she scared of things she feels she cannot control? My DD1 was very like this as a pre-schooler but we've managed to help her overcome some anxieties by allowing her to have control over them.

For example She was terrified of fire too. We had to leave a restaurant halfway through a meal after she saw a flambe in the kitchen. After a lot of work we managed to persuade her to use a long lighter to light a candle and moved gradually onto matches, then to lighting our log burner and she will now put fresh logs on it. Each stage had to be very gentle with her in control, lots of praise and no pressure. Now she understands about fire and how it works she knows how to control it and and feels a lot safer.

Perhaps you could work on the same principle with DIY sounds. Obviously she's too young to drill a wall but perhaps she could switch the drill it on and off at the socket when someone else is pulling the trigger.

thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 15:59:02

Thanks Alison, that gives me some hope! The fire meltdown was the worst I've seen her have yesterday. I thought I might start with giving one of her teddy bears a birthday party and see if we can get to blowing out a candle on a cupcake. Lots of gentle steps.

LeninInExcelsis Mon 27-Dec-10 17:01:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 17:06:54

Cote - yes just saw your bit about food sensitive - yes MASSIVELY. Very fussy eater anyway, but can hardly touch anything slimy or odd.

Lenin - did you take your DS to the doctor? Was it anything ?

We've just had to give her supper in the sitting room on a picnic rug to get her to eat as she couldn't sit in the kitchen.

LeninInExcelsis Mon 27-Dec-10 17:15:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 19:37:24

Can I give this a bump for the evening crowd?

CoteDAzur Mon 27-Dec-10 19:47:34

thighs - If you post this question re how to help your DD's hypersensitivity to noise, texture etc in Special Needs section, I think you will have many useful tips.

I'm not suggesting that your DD is SN, by the way. I know a few NT kids who are hypersensitive to noise, texture etc. One doesn't eat anything that isn't pureed and the other wears all socks inside out because he is bothered by the seams.

thighsmadeofcheddar Mon 27-Dec-10 20:37:30

Thanks Cote, I'll do that.

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