Worrying behaviour in 7yo Dd(33 Posts)
Dd has always been a bit different. She's very bright but not so much that she stands out from her peers but she's always been very emotionally intelligent for her age.
When she was a baby she didn't like things on her hands and had an overwhelming fear of anything that buzzed (flies, vibrating toys ect) she also rubbed her bits on chairs a lot at school which took a lot of reminding to get her to stop.
Fast forward to now and she's outgrown all of this and is having other problems. She worries a lot. She's terrified of doing something wrong (were not strict parents) for example last week she was frightened of swearing with her fingers (assuming one if the kids at school told her about this) that she held her hands in a fist.
It all came to a bit of a head last night as she was crying and said she was worried that she didn't know if she loved her family.
I asked her if she was having any other thoughts and feelings that worried her and she said that if she taps something with one hand she feels like she has to do it with the other one and that if she is in schools she has to walk through the desks to her chair a certain way or she thinks I might get sick .
It's all becoming quite clear that there is a problem. I thought it sounded a bit like she has ocd. There is a family history.
Going to make a gp appointment, anyone have any experience of children with ocd?
I'm not a mum (currently pregnant) but as a child I had to touch things with my tongue, thinking back now it was just thing odd little thing I did and I soon managed to leave it behind. Off and on in my life I've had a bit of the whole 'I must do this or something not good will happen' too. I think her talking with someone so young now is a good step to help or she may grow up worrying more than she has to.
As an adult I'm very confident and relaxed (well less so in pregnancy!) but the way I deal with it is to do the thing my mind tells me not to and realise it doesn't matter what I do. I actually did this when I was close to my missed period and wanting to be pregnant, I just let all that stuff go.
Harder to do with a little girl of course but find out if there's anything she does at home, be with her which she doesn't do it so she can see that nothing bad will happen. Just an idea and I'm not qualified but it's what I have tried to do. Best of luck!
Thanks SarahOoo it's comforting to hear you have managed to deal with it well. I think dd is going through a big change in her life in terms of how she perceives the world too and I also remember being a little odd at that age. I have been working on trying to stop her from giving in to her compulsions and showing her that nothing bad happens so will continue with that.
Thanks for sharing
You sound like a very caring mum, OP. I think you are doing the right thing by taking DD to the GP, and I'm sure you can also find information by googling and asking around (as you are doing here). Don't focus on whether it's OCD or any other particular thing, just think about the behaviors that are making your DD's life harder and how to address those. Hopefully you should be able to find some tools to help her. I'm sorry I don't have any specific recommendations but it does sound like you're on the right track.
I was similar as a kid and then it stopped. What helped me was
1) not trying to fight the tic/nervous habit (unless it was something damaging or embarrassing). It's like the old challenge 'don't think about pink penguins' - the more you try not to do something the more it consumes you.
2) realising intrusive thoughts are pretty common and often they take the form of the worst thing you can imagine. It helps to remember that the thoughts aren't you - it's the Imp of the Perverse, the same weird thing that makes perfectly sane people think of jumping when they're on top of a tall building
3) easier said than done, but finding ways of dealing with anxiety.
When I was about her age I would count my steps on my walk home from school, and would avoid the cracks in the pavement, strange things like that, I remember things too where if i did something with one hand I'd feel I had to do it with the other, as if things had to be even or something, I don't even think my parents were aware of any of this (must ask them!) I outgrew it and never had anything like it since and am a very healthy well adjusted 33 year old now, my point being, I wouldn't worry, I reckon its a developmental thing in her brain, try not worry too much but of course just keep an eye on it , no doubt of course that you will
My DS (9) is under CAHMS different reason however he is an anxious child.
I realised he had lots of patterns , his dad had OCD so I spoke to his nurse..Her comment was that it is when there is some sort of consequnce that it becomes an issue.
I have also bought him last couple of days a worry eater...It is a teddy with a zip on its mouth..The child draws picture of writes worry on ..It is supposed to be a step towards working through worries.. I have also ordered a book but it hasn't arrived so will let you know when it arrives.
It might be worth reposting this on the Sen boards as there are a lot of very knowledgeable people that post on there. Not saying your ds has Sen but might be a help
Sorry everyone, kept meaning to come back to the post but had a hectic weekend.
Thank you for all the brilliant advice. She seems a bit better today, she is having trouble with over thinking this week and if asked a question she takes it very literally. For example today I asked her if she was looking forward to halloween and she really had to think hard about it and said she wasn't sure she actually felt excited but she was happy it was halloween tomorrow. This is a running theme at the minute, if she doesn't intensely feel an emotion she finds herself very confused.
I have posted in children's mental health but got no reply. Do you think the SEN board might be better?
Things have taken turn for the worse tonight. She came home from school and said she had horrible thoughts at school that she wanted her brother to die and was massively distressed by this. She adores her brother so this is very out of character. She was inconsolable for a good hour. Called around trying to get hold of CAMHS but couldn't get through so called back to gp and have an emergency appointment for tomorrow morning.
Oh gosh how awful for you both
I don't have any advice I'm afraid but didn't want to read and run. I'm sure lots of much more knowledgeable people will be along to give advice soon
Definitely look into buying a worry monster. X
Hi cake, when I was little I used to have horrible thoughts as I lay in bed about Fires and that my family would all die. I couldn't get rid of them and I wouldn't be able to fall asleep. My mum taught me to line up buckets and buckets of water in my head and throw them on the fire. It really worked for me. It sort of gave me a weapon against my own mind. I was very worried as a child too I once slept with my back to the wall for weeks because I'd been to a history exhibit where someone was stabbed in the back and I didn't want it to happen to me. I think it's amazing that she's speaking to you about it and you have such good communication. You sound like a lovely mum.
Thank you hawaii, I'm glad she feels like she can talk to me and is comfortable opening up.
Thank you for sharing your experience, do you mind me asking if you still struggle as an adult at all?
I think the main problem is that she's worried about having bad thoughts and images now so it's always on her mind and is getting more severe. I wish there was more I could do to help I feel a bit helpless.
I'm hoping the gp will take me seriously.
I suffered with OCD for years and had treatment for it (and I'm fine now). I had rituals and intrusive thoughts.
I think going to the Gp is a good idea. Not because I think you need to panic, but just because getting extra support and advice is a good idea. Personslly,I would also be reading up on CBT techniques for helping with OCD and anxiety as it will help you not to be scared by the things your daughter is saying, but instead be able to listen and then suggest practical techniques she could practice when she is feeling the impulses.
The problem with thoughts is that the more you try and stop thinking the thought, the more you think it and then it spirals into - why am I thinking this, it must be true, I must want it to happen, and so stress and anxiety all increase meaning more rituals/thoughts. My counsellor used to say to just allow yourself to think it, notice the thought but let it out, notice that having the thought does not mean that you actually what whatever it is to happen, don't try and push it away. I think the pp who mentioned the buckets of water was right, as thinking "what would I do if there was a fire" is working with the bad thought practically, rather than trying to crush and block the thought (which is only likely to make you think it more).
But generally, i think the more you know about the techniques that can be used to help with OCD and anxiety (even though your dd may well never suffer with OCD) the less anxious you will be by what your dd is saying and your confidence will reassure her. Plus the practical techniques might also help and give her some good tools to help when dealing with stress and anxiety in life generally.
Thank you donhill. I have her appointment in a couple of hours. I feel a little nervous for her but think it's definitely the right thing to do at this point.
Thank you for taking the time to write that I really appreciate it. I have been looking into ocd and cbt. I have seen a few books suggested online for children dealing with it so will order those too.
She sounds very bright and self aware, and you sound like a lovely mum OP.
I have (now well managed) OCD which first presented at about 7 - I used to worry hugely about my parents and sister dying and had specific rituals around light switches, cracks in walls etc. But mostly it was around thoughts, so it was well hidden until I was about 15, which caused considerable distress - I thought I was mad or worse, bad. Being diagnosed with a condition was an immense relief.
I say this because I'm so glad your DD has shared her experiences with you, and also that CBT is extraordinarily effective in treating ruminations and OCD type issues. So definitely the right thing to go to the GP.
I'm 38 now and my OCD is more like an annoying relative who pops up uninvited from time to time, but doesn't affect my quality of life overall!
Good luck - also the young Mind website is worth looking at if you haven't already.
Gp was amazing, so reassuring and empathetic and spoke to dd on her level brilliantly. She has been referred to CAMHS and feels happy that she's getting help.
Really good that you deal with your ocd well now billstickers thank you for taking time to post. It gives me a lot of positivity hearing lots of stories of people functioning well as adults with ocd.
Sorry cake, just seen this. It doesn't really affect me at all now as an adult, it pops up slightly in my head from time to time but I'm mainly able to override it if I dismiss thoughts straight away. It's only been overwhelming once when my son was supposed to be staying at his granny's and I had a bad thought that if I left him something bad would happen. It did make me pluck him from his bedtime story with my mum and take him home and I knew it was silly but normally I'm able to dismiss it. So glad the gp is taking you seriously, good luck to you and your dd
The big book of worries is great too and how about trying some relaxation type activities I do this with my very anxious oldest but my other kids like joining in (focusing on breathing and positive visualisation type stuff ) and it has eased some nervous tics that were escalating
I have DS just like this. Dark thoughts that upset him, total OCD over equal things and lots of other quirks. He has been under Camhs for three years now. He is improving and has found an outlet for his quirkiness. He is 12 now
Thanks everyone. Have looked into the big book of worries it looks good. Glad your ds is doing well pieceofpurplesky.
Spoken to dds teacher and we're going to keep a diary between us which will hopefully make communication a bit easier. I thought this would also be a helpful reference once she goes to see the therapist.
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