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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Child Anxiety

 livin6827 - Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:04 pm

My 4 year old daughter is very afraid the bath is going to over fill. Even if we discuss it ahead of time and she tries not to get upset she cannot help it and breaksdown. She is also having breakdowns at school. Her teacher says she cries every time she has to ask a question and is sensitive to what other kids say to her.

The obvious cause to her emotional problems is me and her mom divorced about 2 years ago and despite our best efforts have been unable to coparent as planned. Her mother is biopolar and has had 3 stays in institutions for it since our daughter has been born. I recently took the step of only allowing her mother day visits to provide more stability and work with her on her emotional issues.

How can I best help my daughter with her emotional issues. She is a good, smart child who is not prone to misbehave or act out. She is really trying hard not to get upset.
 Dr. E. Seigle - Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:52 pm

Hi livin6827,

It sounds like your daughter is having anxiety related to the significant trauma of being separated for extended periods of time from her mother, and her mother being ill at times. As you said, this likely underlies her anxiety about the bath, kids at school, and answering questions at school. I would suggest that you have a thorough evaluation by a child-specialist psychiatrist or psychologist. The evaluating professional will then recommend a course of treatment, which will probably involve your daughter, yourself, perhaps her Mom and other family members, being seen for psychotherapy and parent guidance or family therapy.

Good luck! -Eliot Seigle MD

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