5 yr old daughter's behavior changed overnight.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by almostcrazy, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    Hello I am new here, and I am hoping that maybe someone has been thru this and might recognize the behaviors. My 5 yr old little girl started telling me about 2 weeks ago that she had to tell me everything. I do mean everything: Mom I picked my nose, I ran in the house, I went to the bathroom, I kicked my toy, I stood on my bed...anyway you get the idea. This is still going on, but 9 days ago she got up and said I wish you weren't my mom. I was of course shocked because she has always been a very loving child, and has never said anything like this before. Over the course of the day she continued with more commments like: I want to run away, I never loved you I only said it to get what I wanted, I don't know what love is, I think you are stupid, and many other things that would hurt me deeply. After a few of the things were said, I started to take away things to show her this was not acceptable behavior. It did not matter what I took from her she continued the comments. She lost toys, TV, a trip to a theme park, and the last thing to go at the end of the day was her pacifier. (Yes, I said pacifier, I know she is too old, but it was always an all out war to take it and I assumed she would give it up on her own.) Since, this day we have continued the bahaviors, and ahe is adding new things everyday. Day 2- She has added saying I Love You, and then saying I didn't mean that. Day 3- She has added that she can't stop saying these things. Something in her head is making her. She has withdrawn all affection, and seems very uncaring. Will not say I Love You. Day 4- I told her I didn't want to hear anymore hurtful things, and that I would talk to a doctor. She cries and says she has to tell me. She says she is stupid and will smack her head, not hard but like she is trying to get those words to go away. Day 5- Will not call me mom or her father dad. She refers to us as him and her. Day 6- Has added not saying please or thank you. Day 7- Has added an "I mean" after starting a sentence, and the continuing as if she never said I mean. She said it all day after every sentence start. Day 8- She has added saying "forget I said that" after evrything she says. More silent periods, looks mad alot. Day 9-She started yesterday with not saying anything at all, she would point or indicate with her hands what she wanted. She finally figured out that she couldn't get anything done and decided to talk again, but she would still say forget I said that or I didn't mean that after each statement. Today was her dad's birthday, and she would not say Happy Birthday. I told her no cake if she couldn't, and she was upset that she couldn't have cake, but still would not say it. I am sorry this is such a long post, but I thought something might ring a bell with one of you. My daughter has always show signs of ADHD, but her Dr. would not consider it at such a young age. Could this be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in combination with ADHD that was masked by the comfort of her pacifier? She is still asking for it daily, and crying for long periods at night for it. She says it is the only thing that would calm her down. I have an appointment with a child psychologist on the 9th of August, but I am losing my mind. I tell her I love her and she'll say...You Do? She has always loved animals and of late has seemed mean to them. Please does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you for listening.
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I do not have any immediate suggestions........except, for now, I would suggest giving her back her pacifier. In kids like this, the consequence is long forgotten, and she probably does just need it to comfort herself (and you need it for your sanity).

    It sounds like you already have a start with an appointment with a psychiatric, but I think I would also get her set up for testing with a NeuroPsychologist.

    As hard as everything she is saying to you is, try and not take things too personally. It sounds like she has had a lot building within her, and this is her way of releasing. As painful as this is for you to watch, it is not really about you and you husband..........it is about her struggling.

    Are there any other changes that have taken place recently? Any new medications started?
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm hoping I can point you in the right direction.

    Has your daughter had a recent sore throat or strep infection?

    Has she ever mentioned hearing voices?

    Has she ever had excessive worries or fears?

    Is she ever left in the care of another adult besides you or her father?

    Does she have any speech or developmental delays?

    Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    I'm not a professional, just a mom, but I think I would lay off taking things away from her until you know what's going on. Something has happened that has changed her behavior, and my gut tells me she needs kindness and understanding rather than behavior modification until you know exactly what has caused the change in her behavior.

    I look forward to your answers.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to our board!

    Your child's behavior is nothing that any of us have not seen before, but in my personal experience, I have never heard of it starting suddenly like that. I wanted to offer my welcome and support. No sure how many responses you will get tonight but it will pick up in the morning. There are many wise warrior moms who will have advice and wisdom to pass along to you.

    My suggestion: get your hands on "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It has a system of ideas on disciplining a child when they are difficult. Great read. Take what works for you and leave the rest.

    Hugs and prayers being sent your way.
  5. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    Thank you for responding. She has not had any new medications, or any other major changes in her life other than the pacifier removal. I still wonder what triggered the 1st day's episodes. She was not angry when this started. I guess I could have handled my responses better if she had just been mad. If I give her the pacifier back doesn't that say that after repeated bad behavior that we give in? I hope that it is something that she will outgrow, but I don't really believe that after the last few days. Any other ideas?
  6. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    Hello, Thank you so much for responding. In reference to your questions. On about day 4 I took her to the doctor for a sore throat and gaulding on her private area. He treated her with antibiotics, and suggested strep, but did not test for it. She had a yeast infection also. She says its not voices just thoughts. She has always been a worrier, and she is terrified of the dark, thunderstorms, loud noises, and bugs. She is never out of my sight. She has always been normal or advanced in her development. Last, but not least, yes there are mental health issues, and susbstance abuse in the tree. My grandmother and my mother both had/have agoriphobia, and anger issues. My mom also has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression, and anxiety. I have mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anger problems, and anxiety. My husbands brothers are both alcoholics, and 1 abused drugs. My husband did drugs when he was younger, years before we thought about children. Let me know if any of these things make a difference. Thank you
  7. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    Hello, Thank you for responding. I have read everything I can get my hands on in the last 2 weeks. I will get that book and see if I can get any answers. Thank you for the prayers. I really need them.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    Your pediatrician should have tested your daughter for strep. There is a syndrome called PANDAs, which is a sudden onset of either tics or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms brought on by a strep infection. Here's a link to a description of the disorder:


    My suggestion is to call your pediatrician tomorrow morning first thing, tell him what you have learned, and request (forcefully) that she be seen immediately by a child psychiatrist who has experience with this syndrome. Do you live near a large city with a children's or university hospital?

    As scary as this is, there is treatment in the form of medications and/or therapy (it is treated the way any Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms are). But you need to get her in to see a child psychiatrist ASAP. Do not trust a psychologist with knowing how to treat PANDAs.

    I'm here if you have any questions. Please keep us posted on your progress.

    Hugs to you.
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    What do you mean a gaulding area on her private area? And a yeast infection? What and how did they treat that?

    As far as giving back her pacifier - it is my thought, due to her mental state, that she is no longer learning from that consequence. Therefore, giving it back to her will simply make her feel whole again, rather than feeling as if she got away with something. These techniques are outlined in the book one of the other members mentions, The Explosive Child - definitely worth the read.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Strep can appear in the vaginal/anal areas. According to our pediatrician, girls do not get vaginal yeast infections until they have gone through puberty.
  11. mattsmum

    mattsmum New Member

    I would also give her back the pacifier...maybe gum to chew during the day would help?

    In the meantime, it sounds like something is going on. If I was you, I would hold off on the punishments and be more gentle and understanding at this point. For example, in response to her saying she doesn't love you, I would say, "I am sorry you feel that way, but I still love you."

    Or..."I can see you are mad about something. I hope you know you can talk to me about it when you are ready."

    I would just be available and understanding at this point, until your appointment. Reassure her that you and her will get through whatever this is together.

    Just my opinion.
  12. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    Hi, I did read something about that in one of the books I
    have. I will call the doctor in the morning. She has also started complaing that every night she has pain in her lower legs. Could this be related? Do you think the pacifier loss has added to this problem? Should I give it back?

    Hugs to you also
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I think the pacifier loss could be adding to the anxiety and stress she's already feeling so I agree with giving it back as a tool for self-soothing. Pain in her legs could be related to the strep infection, if that's what it is.
  14. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    I have been doing those exact things, and have been as reassuring as possible. It is very hard on me with this sudden change. The day before we were arguing about who loved the other the most. It is like a completely different little girl. I'm sorry I'm not up to date on the abbreviations.

    I do so much appreciate the imput. It is really good to be able to talk to people who understand.

    Blessings to you and yours.
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Just read some more about PANDAs. Joint pain is listed as a symptom of the syndrome. Get to a child psychiatrist ASAP!!!
  16. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    The doctor said it was yeast. Her vaginal area was very red and itchy with a white pasty substance present. She was given an antifungal ointment, and seemed to help the itching right away. That is cleared as of now. I have had repeated occurances myself with strep, and my doctor said I was a carrier. I have never seen strep in the vaginal area. What would it look like?
  17. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    The doctor said it was yeast. She was very red and itchy. He treated it with an antifungal ointment. I've never seen strep in the vaginal area. I have had strep 6 times a year for long part of my life until I had my tonsils out. My doctor says I'm a carrier.
  18. almostcrazy

    almostcrazy New Member

    She was red and itchy. The doctor said it was yeast. There was a white pasty substance present. Treated with an antifungal ointment. Seems to have gone away. Thanks for the information about the pacifier I just gave it back. I hope it helps her.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Frankly, my advice is to stop trying to figure out why and take her to your pediatrician, asking for a referral to a Child Psychiatrist after checking for strep. None of us here know what is wrong--we can make a lot of suggestions--but I'd want her seen by a professional. In this case (and this is just what *I* would do) because it came on suddenly, first I'd take her for a physical. If she tests out fine, I'd immediately take her to a Psychiatrist (with the MD). As for the pacifier, I'm the mom of five kids, the oldest 29 and the youngest 11. I really doubt the pacifier made your daughter so upset--don't beat yourself up over that, please!!! But I'd give it back to her because right now, in my opinion, it's not a good time to take it away from her. Trust me, she won't still be using one in college :wink: Meanwhile, tell your pediatrician it's an emergency, have her tested for strep. She could have some sort of infection, but that still doesn't necessarily explain her behavior. I'm not that familiar with PANDAS (don't think it's diagnosed much in the US), but that would still need psychiatric attention, if that's what it is. In the meantime, I would check into everything, but in my opinion I'd skip any talk therapists. I'd start with the medical people and go from there. I really hope you get a handle on this. I swear, my son has had every weird symptom in the world...lol...but this one he didn't have. Post again and let us know what's going on. You got other great feedback here.
  20. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    Hi, and welcome to the board.

    I agree with letting her keep the pacifier till you find out what is going on.

    My son also had a pacifier till he was 5. One day my nephew who is a few years older told him "I will give you $5 for your pacifier"

    My son pulled it out of his mouth and handed it over and that was the last day he had it. No anxiety at all.

    Good luck finding out what is going on with your little girl.

    Is her behavior better now that she has her pacifier back?