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Please help..ocd and anxiety only at bedtime


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Hi,

 

What would cause a return of ocd routines and moderate anxiety at bedtime/through the night only? Wouldn't you think that if there was another infection, it would cause symptoms (attack brain, formation of antibodies) all day and all night.

 

Daytime is completely normal. in fact, there have been recent gains and these gains are evident during daytime.

 

Thanks for any thoughts.

 

Kim

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My daughter has always had higher anxiety during bedtime and nighttime. Its one of the first symptoms for my daughter to appear after fatigue and urinary issues, and one of the last to go. She is still sleeping with us at nights.

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If your DD continues to do well during the day and displays improvements generally, my bet is that she is, in fact, improving and getting healthier.

 

Unfortunately, anxiety and OCD are insidiously good at exploiting the "cracks" in one's armour and insecurities. Since many kids tend to be at least a little fearful of the dark, and more physically and mentally tired at the end of the day, it makes sense to me that your DD's anxiety/OCD has a harder time taking a back seat once the sun goes down or it's time to go to bed (lights out, in a space separated from you, etc.).

 

When my DS was younger and otherwise doing quite well, bedtime would be when he would lay awake long after we'd "put him to bed," calling out to us for reassurances on various things that never bothered him during the daylight hours.

 

Since your DD is otherwise doing quite well, my guess is that she could handle some CBT/ERP approaches to these lingering behaviors as, otherwise, they might become habitual and harder to set aside on a more permanent basis. Not that she'll embrace a therapeutic response, necessarily, but if employed consistently and persistently, you should see each OCD behavior gradually fade away. You don't say what your DD's nighttime OCD behaviors are exactly, but for instance: when our DS would insist he needed to make numerous "confessions" from his bed at night and get our re-assurances that all was well, that he hadn't behaved badly, etc., we started giving him a limit as to how many things we would respond to, and shrinking that limit each night. So at first, say, we'd respond/re-assure a maximum of 5 times, and then a night or two later, we'd only respond 4 times, then down to 3, down to 1, and then zero. He didn't like it. He'd keep calling out, and the first few times, he melted down entirely. But after about a week, that behavior had gone away completely.

 

All the best!

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