In the last couple of months DD (aged 4) has become very distressed by normal situations and is worried that she will die. Recent examples are;
- while drawing with a felt tip pen, it slipped and she drew on her leg...DD became hysterical, screaming and crying and insisted on scrubbing her leg. For hours after she kept checking her leg and asking if she is going to die.
- playing with a toy car, she said she felt oil drip from the car on to her hands and is now frightened she will die.
- eating an ice lolly with chocolate around the top, she'd thought she'd licked all the choc off, there was a tiny speck which she became convinced was poo. She wouldnt hold the lolly until I had scraped it off with a knife.
- every time a flying insect is near her, she panics that it's a bee which will sting her and she will die.
So far I have hugged and cuddled her, and reassured her that she's fine and I'm here to help her. I dont know whether I am reinforcing the behaviour by giving her attention by doing so though.
The amount of times this is happening is increasing daily...in an hour this afternoon she became upset about 5 times.
DS (6) shouts me to help her if I'm in another room but otherwise is unconcerned. DD2 (2) is beginning to react in the same way to insects so they both become hysterical.
Other than this, she is a bright, loving, happy child. She has been at part time school for a year, and although she's shy and hasnt made friends easily, she enjoys going and seems to have learned a lot and become more confident.
What do I do? My GP is good but I dont know if it's too soon to see them.
Dont know if it's relevant, but I suffered with anxiety during PGy with DD2 and for about 18 months afterwards, but since being treated for thyroid problems I have not had the issues. I'd like to think this didnt impact too much on the DC, but I know it must have to some extent.
Sorry about the looong story...wanted to give as much info as possible.
Don't know what the right thing to do is, but four does seem to be a time when children become aware of death. Perhaps she needs constant reassurance each time a new one comes up that none of the scenarios you suggest will cause death and eventually she will get the hang of the idea that most things don't kill you.