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Extreme anxiety in 7yo
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Twilightsparkly · 05/08/2022 15:10

Hi all, this is actually my dsd but not step parent related, just after some advice.

My dsd turns 8 in December, I'd say in the last year or so she has developed extreme anxiety over the smallest of things, she refuses to play out anymore, when we go to a park/soft play she won't go off and play like she used to unless an adult is present, when we go shopping she won't walk infront of us always has to be directly beside us, anything to do with insects she is terrified of. For example there was a moth in the bathroom yesterday, had to go somewhere else to use the loo and still hasn't used the loo today although there is nothing in the bathroom now. Won't go out with grandparents or any other member of the family, won't go to their house, she agrees initially but when the times comes gets extremely upset in tears. The list is endless. She hasn't experienced any trauma, the only idea we've got for this behaviour is a "stranger danger" chat her mum had with her a while ago, kidnapping was mentioned and seems to have scared her to death.

She is currently undergoing tests for autism, just wanted to see if anyone has been through anything similar, does it sound like autism or just a phase?

Thank you

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Twilightsparkly · 05/08/2022 16:13

Anyone??

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bookworm1982 · 05/08/2022 16:22

My niece, who is now 21, developed certain anxieties when she was around this age. She became really scared of certain things, like being burgled, but nothing had happened to make her scared. There we other things, which were a little stranger, like she became obsessed with having things around her mouth (I.e food after eating), and had a problem with crumbs. Also had horrible thoughts in her head about her mum and dad, which she shared with me. I remember being absolutely convinced that she had OCD, as a lot of her odd little traits were similar to mine (I have OCD and probably am also on the spectrum). However, she did settle after a while and went on to do well in her teens. Seems it was just a bit of a phrase. She's now 21 and does still suffer from anxiety and is a worrier, but otherwise everthing about her is just fine - she's funny, bubbly, very social, has a ton of friends and a good job

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purplewolfie · 05/08/2022 16:23

Is it maybe about the insects? Could she be worried that she may run into them in the places she's avoiding?
My DD developed a dog phobia for a couple of years and she used to be worried about places like beaches and parks for that reason. I'd imagine it's a lot harder to try and avoid insects, if that's the issue?

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Twilightsparkly · 05/08/2022 17:44

purplewolfie · 05/08/2022 16:23

Is it maybe about the insects? Could she be worried that she may run into them in the places she's avoiding?
My DD developed a dog phobia for a couple of years and she used to be worried about places like beaches and parks for that reason. I'd imagine it's a lot harder to try and avoid insects, if that's the issue?

Personally I just think the insects are a small part to play in this scenario.

They weren't her first fear, they have just been added on to the long list of things she is afraid of ☚ī¸

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Twilightsparkly · 05/08/2022 17:46

bookworm1982 · 05/08/2022 16:22

My niece, who is now 21, developed certain anxieties when she was around this age. She became really scared of certain things, like being burgled, but nothing had happened to make her scared. There we other things, which were a little stranger, like she became obsessed with having things around her mouth (I.e food after eating), and had a problem with crumbs. Also had horrible thoughts in her head about her mum and dad, which she shared with me. I remember being absolutely convinced that she had OCD, as a lot of her odd little traits were similar to mine (I have OCD and probably am also on the spectrum). However, she did settle after a while and went on to do well in her teens. Seems it was just a bit of a phrase. She's now 21 and does still suffer from anxiety and is a worrier, but otherwise everthing about her is just fine - she's funny, bubbly, very social, has a ton of friends and a good job

This is interesting as dsd has an obsession with clothes and what they feel like on her, loud noises etc? Never even thought of OCD but perhaps that could be a contender aswel

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germsandcoffee · 05/08/2022 17:56

My 8 year old daughter is exactly the same and also undergoing an autism assessment x
It's really hard watching her try to navigate life being so anxious.

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Twilightsparkly · 05/08/2022 18:11

germsandcoffee · 05/08/2022 17:56

My 8 year old daughter is exactly the same and also undergoing an autism assessment x
It's really hard watching her try to navigate life being so anxious.

It's so hard isn't it, especially not knowing where it has all stemmed from we all just feel helpless and it just seems to be getting worse not better 🙁

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Prairie21 · 05/08/2022 19:55

It does sound very hard. I was the same at the same age, especially about insects. I was hysterical and wouldn't go back into a room for days after there had been one. I also was petrified of the house burning down or flooding after I learnt this was possible through a TV program. So it could well have been triggered by the kidnapping chat.

I think for me it was OCD as I used to tell myself that if I repeated something 50 times it would prevent it from happening.

It was just a phase for me, and passed after a year or two. My brother was the same and it also passed.

I hope DSD feels better soon.

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Lovetogarden2022 · 05/08/2022 20:11

I went through a very similar phase at around this age, as did my cousin's daughter. I became extremely anxious about losing things or throwing things away incase I needed them later, and my cousin's daughter was exactly the same. It was just a phase, and after about a year I'd grown out of it. However, I do think it's linked to OCD (I suffered as a teenager and can occasionally have waves of it now as an adult).
I'm glad that my parents and family allowed me to just "grow out of it" and didn't go down the medicated or therapy route. I've seen a lot of parents (including family members) who've got their children into therapy and all sorts and i strongly believe it made it into a bigger problem than it was, when actually you're better brushing it off and saying "don't be silly". It sounds old fashioned, but its what worked with me and my cousin at that time.

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