I have a daughter that's almost 4 that at first just seemed extremely stubborn, and there are many things she may do just because of a strong personality but I know some of it isn't normal behavior for her age. She becomes overly obsessed with things to the point of screaming, hitting, or scratching when she doesn't get her way. She will still have horrible tantrums, she is mean to animals, and she is very intelligent for her age so she understands that she shouldn't do all these things. She also won't sleep very much and lately I've been sleeping in her room or she has to sleep in the living room; she says there are monsters and ghosts in her room and she has woken up screaming with horrible nightmares. I know being scared of those things is normal and bugs and the dark but she's to the point where it seems extreme and becoming sleep deprived and very hard to deal with. She also gets scared very easily, will ask strange questions, and seems to worry about a lot of things kids from 3-4 wouldn't normally worry about. She always has to have me by her side because she seems fearful if I'm not. Depression, anxiety and OCD all run in my family, I'm worried about that; I know she is very young but I see a lot of worrisome characteristics in her. What should I do, just talk to her pediatrician about it?
Anxiety is an inherited trait - one that is highly treatable - and; the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis. One more thing - if anxiety is the issue, I assure you that your daughter will not outgrow it nor will it go away. Our child suffers from extreme social anxiety and is doing very well today (she is now a teenager). We started her multi-modal treatment when she was six years of age (her doctor said if we had started treatment sooner, the severity of her fears would have been less and the time it took for her to learn how to manage her fears would have been reduced so please do not hesitate too long). If your daughter's pediatrician is unable to help you (and you feel anxiety is the issue), then ask for a referral to a medical specialist with experience in dealing with anxiety issues.
I also see from a prior posting that you have been diagnosed with bi-polar. Please be sure to mention this to your daughter's doctor. I wish you and your daughter the best ....
Thanks for your response. It seems like other people who aren't around her much just can't believe it because she seems so sweet! But yes, I was diagnosed with being bi-polar, luckily it's pretty "mild", my grandmother on my mother's side has it severily and my mother and brother both have anxiety so I'm pretty familiar with it. My brother is 16 and I think he started some of these symptoms around 3 or 4 like her. It is good to hear somebody else's opinion so I don't feel like I'm just overreacting because she's my only child but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'll call her pediatrician asap!
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