Sudden anxiety and fears — The Bump
Pre-School

Sudden anxiety and fears

Over the past couple of weeks, DD has become increasingly fearful and anxious.  She needs to be with DH or me all the time, and panics if I'm out of her sight in the next room for more than a minute.  She used to go to sleep on her own just fine, but now one of us has to lay with her for 30+ minutes until she finally falls asleep.  Also, she won't go to the bathroom without us anymore.  She says she is scared and when asked what she is scared of, will point to a random piece of fuzz or dust.  She is also terrified of bugs and has a very extreme reaction if she sees one. 

The most concerning thing is that she is suddenly having to go pee incredibly frequently.  I took her to the doctor to rule out a UTI, and he thought it was related to anxiety.  It is very frustrating to be taking her to the potty every 5-20 minutes or so.

DH and I have racked our brains but can't figure out any event that would have triggered this. Has anyone's child been through something similar?  I'm hoping it's just a phase but I'm concerned it's something more than that.

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Re: Sudden anxiety and fears

  • My DS is also going through an anxiety stage too. He will be 5 in the summer. I don't know if it's the impending arrival of the baby or a stage or a bit of both. He isn't as outright as your daughter in terms of anxiety with the potty etc. His is more subtle. He has nightmares, is overly cuddly or needing hugs often, is testing boundaries constantly but very quick to dissolve over nothing. Screaming fits, won't be left alone in a room etc.

    I am just trying to be patient, talk to him about things when he's in the mood. Talk about the new baby sometimes, talk about kindergarden (coming this fall), talk about school to see if anything is bothering him there. It's hard since I'm not sure what the trigger is.

    Sorry I can't give better advice, I'm not sure what to do about it either!

  • I think it totally developmental. I notice it with my son also but he's a bit younger. We find the more we stick to our "routine" the happier he is and less anxious. And just keep an open dialogue or if you anticipate anxiety talk about it ahead of time to help ease his fears.
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  • We are also going through the sudden extreme fear of bugs and anything that could possibly resemble bugs.  DD freaks out and gets totally hysterical.  One thing we've done at night that has helped is her sheets have to be solid colors with no print at all because otherwise she wakes up screaming in the middle of the night that there are bugs in her bed.  It's very frustrating because I have no idea where this sudden fear came from, we're just trying to be patient and talk about how bugs can't hurt her etc.  I hope this phase passes quickly!
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