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blinking - anxiety?

(10 Posts)
MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 08:49:15

just wondered whether anyone might have some ideas/help about this.
I've noticed before now that ds,who is 11, sometimes blinks quite a lot when talking to or being talked to by an adult (teacher in one case) and he was doing it the other day at a friends house - the friend was mocking ds's attempts do play on a Nintendo DS - it looked as though he was about to cry.
Anyway,last night he was singing with his choir in a big performance and was blinking noticeably,it looked as though he was about to fall asleep ! I know he was a bit tired but the adrenalin of singing should keep him awake. He is quite shy but enjoys singing/performing..he is in yr 6 and just about to go to secondary school which he seems quite happy about and not expressing any anxieties.

What do you think this might be ? should I worry ? I talked to him and he said it was just a bit of a habit.

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 09:50:59


MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 11:03:48

anyone ?

pamelat Sun 13-Jul-08 11:15:16

Hi Mary

I don't know anything about this but had a quick google for you, and found a couple of things (just by typing "is blinking a sign of anxiety in children")

A few things tend to indicate that its a sign of concentration. It also says that children under 8 will not know to associate blinking with anxiety, so maybe there is something linking blinking to anxiety

Like I say, I dont know about it and there are some strange things (in general) to be found by googling. It doesnt sound too serious to me (but then what do I know!)

Could it be an eye sight problem, or genuinely just a habit that he will grow out of?

My brother developed a habit (when he was 10 or so) of always saying "pardon" when anyone asked him something.My mum thought he had a hearing problem but it turned out to be a genuine habit, he grew out of it

Sorry that i cant be of more help!

Katisha Sun 13-Jul-08 11:15:16

Well I don't know from experience but have just found this on a website :

"Transient childhood tics are not treated. Calling the child's attention to a tic may increase its severity or prolong its disappearance. A non-stressful environment is helpful in both decreasing the frequency of a tic, and hastening its disappearance. Simple childhood tics can be expected to disappear spontaneously over a period of months."

This is comforting, but only if the blinking is being caused by a tic. ...(If) it is "excessive" and worrisome, please get professional medical advice to rule out any potentially serious problems.

Don't know if that's any help. I would think the upshot would be if it is bothering you, trust your instinct and have him seen by someone.

I know I used to roll my eyes oddly as a child for a while (I can be a bit OCDish, but it went away.)

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 12:13:26

Pamelat & Katisha - thank you - both have given sensible advice - much appeciated - he doesn't do it except at these times ( when talking to teacher/adult/other person - and only if it's someone he isn't very familiar with) - normally he just blinks as anyone else would...I have OCD tendencies though and was hoping he wasn't developing anything in that way...the only other 'tic' he has is to flick an old rubber toy snake around,he does this when thinking/imagining stuff -as a kind of prop for his thoughts...I did similarly as a child with a ball or broom...he has a big imagination and is always constructing stories etc in his head.
Actually he is having an eye test in a couple of weeks, so that could rule out any opthalmic thing.

pickledparsnips Sun 13-Jul-08 12:21:01

my brother is 38 now and a fully fledged normal adult! ( he would kill me if he knew I had written this about him!)
but when he was a child he went through a whole range of different "ticks". He even squeaked at one point! He blinked for a while, he constantly licked his lips and wiped his mouth at one stage, and used to open his mouth wide to stretch his lips as a habit for a while.
I will also admit to flicking my hair out of my eyes for while!
im sure he'll grow out of it x

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 13:08:50

thanks pickledparsnips - that is reassuring !

supercherry Sun 13-Jul-08 13:21:16

My partner has excessive blinking, as does his dad and his aunt (dad's sister). I think it's called Blepharospasm. It is supposed to be linked to anxiety/stress but I can honestly say my DP is the most chilled person ever. Best thing is to google it and see what you think. I don't think it is widely understood by health professionals. It seems to me like having a stutter. My partner did it when I first met him and while I noticed it I actually found it quite endearing. I would try not to worry about it to be honest. It's possible my son may have this excessive blinking when he's older and if he does that's fine. It hasn't held my partner back in anyway.

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 13-Jul-08 14:04:51

thanks supercherry smile

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