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Bee Bot 19

Worried parent - OCD in young children

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Hi there, I am new to this forum. Our 7 year old daughter K has been suffering heightened anxiety and OCD tendencies for the past year. We (and her well-being worker) believe this was triggered by her older sister's tonsillectomy and subsequent stay in hospital - we lost my husband's parents and our dog the year before this and K found it very difficult to come to terms with, and so just shut everything out. Her well-being worker believes her sisters operation then triggered the feelings of bereavement, K was incredibly worried and panicked about the op and we think possibly because everyone else she has known who went into hospital, hasn't come out. She has had protective behaviours work through a local agency working with her school, and also was referred to the Children's Well-being Team for help with her anxiety - she was subsequently diagnosed with levels of generalised anxiety, separation anxiety and OCD that were above the clinical threshold. She panics and gets very distressed if I am not around or if I go out, or even if I'm not in the same room - she has many worries about me not coming back or something happening to me. For a long time now she has had dreams about a witch who comes and takes me to heaven in her dreams and I can't get back. This has led to what she calls her "checking" which is much worse at night - she has rituals involving looking at various things in her room, making sure things are lined up, touching things so many times, making little noises in her throat etc. She's very subtle with it at school and it's much much worse at home. We have been told that should things get worse then the next port of call is a CAMHS referral for her but we also have concerns about this. We do feel that her checking gets worse around times of anxiety (e.g. she had a school performance last term and her checking got much worse in the week before) but are not sure whether it is actually any worse than it was a year ago. We're looking into possibly taking her to see someone privately as there is a years waiting list for CAMHS in our area. I guess our concerns are that we just don't know enough about this - do we get on top of this now and get her some CBT? Or will this be making it into a bigger issue for her than it is? We are very open at home and both our children are very open with us so I do feel we are lucky that she is very honest about all this with us. We just want to do the right thing as parents and are a bit unsure where to turn. Any advice would be gratefully received, thanks in advance.

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On ‎20‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 00:27, Bee Bot 19 said:

do we get on top of this now and get her some CBT? Or will this be making it into a bigger issue for her than it is?

I get your concern there...I wonder if you could go to a counsellor that works with kids and discuss your concerns with them.

Having had an anxiety disorder my whole life that eventually morphed into ocd, I think it's a good idea to have kids with anxiety tendencies to be given tools early on to deal with this stuff constructively. I would imagine a good counsellor would know how to help a kid without making it seem like a huge deal--hopefully they could just develop a nice trusting comfortable relationship where they can help your child develop some really great tools to face these overwhelming feelings.

That is great that she is open and honest about what's going on for her!

Wishing you all the best!

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Hi,

I'm sorry to hear that your daughter and you are going through such a hard time. I don't claim to know the answer here but I can tell you from my personal experience. I've had OCD my entire life (definitely at your daughter's age) but I didn't get diagnosed until I was 20. I think it would have been really helpful for me to know that all of my worries and upsetting thoughts were due to a some condition and that they were not real. I think I also would have benefitted a great deal from learning strategies to deal with all of these issues rather than believing them to be true and going around in circles like I did. 

I understand your concerns here and it is difficult to start therapy, even as an adult when you decide to do it for yourself. So I can imagine it must be really difficult trust a complete stranger with your child for a condition that you don't fully understand.

I personally think it could help, but that communication with the therapist is crucial. You should feel free to ask lots of questions, discuss what they are going to do, how it works. Whoever your daughter ends up seeing, it's really important for her and for you to be comfortable with this person. They can teach her some strategies for dealing with her worries and compulsive behaviours. I think if you are relaxed about it and don't treat it as a big deal, she may not see it as such a big deal either. 

I hope this helps a little! 

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Thank you so much both of you, we really appreciate your replies. We've had a tough couple of weeks and have an appointment with the GP next week to talk about a CAMHS referral. School have been brilliant and she's having art therapy once a week as of this week and we have the details of a local therapy place that support young children so will be contacting them as well. My husband and I have also contacted someone about some support for us so we can understand and help our daughter in the best possible way. Really useful to hear it from the other side in your responses so thank you.

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35 minutes ago, Bee Bot 19 said:

Thank you so much both of you, we really appreciate your replies. We've had a tough couple of weeks and have an appointment with the GP next week to talk about a CAMHS referral. School have been brilliant and she's having art therapy once a week as of this week and we have the details of a local therapy place that support young children so will be contacting them as well. My husband and I have also contacted someone about some support for us so we can understand and help our daughter in the best possible way. Really useful to hear it from the other side in your responses so thank you.

Best of luck, I hope it all goes well! You guys sound like a very supportive, understanding and caring family and I think that is going to be one of the biggest factors in your daugther's treatment. 

 

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