Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Apple A Day Keeps... Katrina.?!.. Away

Our daughter, Katrina has always been sensitive to smells, tastes and loud noises.  It was something I just thought she'd outgrow as she got older and more exposed to things.  She does not eat any fruits or veggies.  She will eat strawberry jam and strawberry bars and drink grape and apple juices.  But this doesn't convert to real apples or strawberries.  Weird, but I figured she'd outgrow it one year.

But now it's gotten worse.  If I have an apple in my hand I am told to wash my hands before i touch her or her stuff.  Today ate a raw carrot and then touseled her hair.  She cried and said she has to wash her hair.  But i didn't see her go to the bathroom so i thought i'd wait a while then ask her if the feelings inside of her had calmed down, thus demonstrating that ocd is conquered by NOT doing what it says.  When i said this to her, she told me she DID wash her hair.  She took a spray bottle filled with water from her vet kit and sprayed her hair.  Not exactly a 'wash' by my standards but it seemed to make her feel better.

She will run away from someone with fruit or veggies in their hands.  The dog had a grape in her mouth this morning and she ran away from her long after my son removed the grape from the dog.

In school she would sometimes not eat her lunch because the kids beside her had fruit or veggies.  I insisteed she must eat lunch.

When I mentioned to the doctor that she was starting to wash her hands/ want me to wash mine when I had eaten an apple before i was allowed to touch her computer, all he mentioned was that computers are dirty and it's ok for her to want others to wash before they touch it.  Is 6 too early for ocd?  Sometimes I wonder if she is faking it but her screaming and running in fright seem really genuine. And it is EVERY time I have fruit / veggies that she bugs me, not sporatically as if she's just remembered to do it.

I didn't have contamination ocd- or any other, I don't think- at that young age.  Did any of you?  Is it time to call a psychologist??  I'm not sure about how I should deal with it.  ERP for a 6 yr old seems like cruel and unusual punishment- do they have less horrific ways of dealing with it in children, since they  aren't as entrenched yet?? 

...Or do I just entertain myself by chasing her around the house with fruit?  lol. (I know, it's not funny to have ocd esp. at that young age but the thought has crossed my mind a few times)


  1. Kids can get a lot of things at young ages, and the fact you have ocd would make it more likely (from a genetics pov) for her to get it. It wouldn't hurt, and might very well help, to ask a psychologist or doctor what to do. And not getting many fruit/veggies in her diet can't be good for her long term.

  2. Hey Karin. I'm so sorry about your little Katrina.

    I had my first OCD symptoms as a 3 year old. My mom came to pick me up at preschool, and I was crying, because the teachers had rolled me in the dirt to show me that there was nothing wrong with dirt. So, obviously, I must have made some comments to them about dirt. I also had my first anxiety attack as a 3 year old, so yes, I'm sorry to say, it is entirely possible to have OCD at 6.

    I am currently reading a book by Aureen Pinto Wagner, PhD called "What to Do When Your Child Has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder." I have not gotten to the treatment part of the book yet, but so far it is a truly excellent and thorough book. Obviously, I'm not a therapist or psychologist or anything, but I would definitely look into getting to the bottom of this, especially with the history of OCD in your family. There seems to be more and more evidence of a genetic link to OCD (check out OCD Talk's [Janet Singer] blog for the most recent post).

    Good luck and I hope you find a solution for this quickly.

    1. I looked up this book on amazon.ca. It sounds like a great book. Thanks.

      I've been hoping this was just a 'phase', maybe to get attention or control- kind of like monkey see-monkey do. She saw me doing it for years, now she's trying it out. Unfortunately she doesn't seem to enjoy it, can't talk much about it and is embarassed if she hears me talking about it to someone. So that leads me to believe it's real, not just modelling mommy's weird behavior because she thinks it's fun or worse, normal.

  3. Karin, I echo Sunny--6 isn't too young for OCD. My worst OCD contamination symptoms didn't start until I was about 11 or 12, but when I was much younger, I had to clean between my toes with my finger (gross, I know) before my bath--they had to be cleaned a certain way. And my sandwich had to be cut a certain way or I wouldn't eat it. Those are things I remember.

    I'm not a doctor or expert, but you might want to go ahead and talk with Katrina's doctor about it and see if she needs to see a specialist. I think it's a key point that she doesn't seem to enjoy it and can't talk much about it.

  4. 6 is NOT too young. I had OCD at that age. My contamination fears were the worst in my childhood. They have gotten better over time but they were the worst when I was a kid.

    I don't want to scare you but it seems your sweet little girl might be getting some contamination fears. And her compulsion is the washing.

    Speaking from personal experience, contamination fears in childhood are so scary, for I didn't understand that the world was NOT just one big scary deadly germ.