Thursday, February 23, 2012

My 4 year old is jumping, does she have OCD?

My daughter, Jenna, is almost four years old now and is jumping all the time it seems. It started since she was about 8 months old and learned to stand on her own. She jumps for periods of anywhere from a couple minutes to half and hour on average and it's usually every day she does this. I'll ask her why she's jumping and she'll say I don't know or just because. It doesn't matter what her mood is, the jumping is an all mood thing. She'll do it when she's happy, sad, angry, stressed, or tired. She has a younger sister who doesn't do this, Jenna is the only one. Their is a history of mental disease in both mine and her father's family, her paternal grandmother is schizophrenic and has more OCD's than I can keep track of and I was just wondering if this could in fact be an OCD, or an early warning sign of something worse? Also, she is currently visiting her father in another state and he told me she just started jumping for the first time in almost a month...which I find hard to believe considering her history with it. I just don't believe it's something that she's going to just stop one day. And comments or advice is greatly appreciated.

Dear Kali:
It could be an ocd but unless she is harming herself or someone else, it appears to be is a form of exercise....

If you are very worried about it then contact your child's doctor and ask for him to screen her. He can refer you to an Infant Mental Health Specialist however, I don't think at this point that it is in OCDdisorder. Children learn by repetition. Often when they learn a new word, a new song, a new behavior they will repeat it until you think you will lose your mind. It is their way of building their own neural wiring in the brain an also building their feelings of competence.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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