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Is my daughter suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Q: My 12 years old autistic daughter is always restless and doesn’t socialise with others. Of late, for the last 15 days, she has developed the problem of frequent urination at night. Recently she went to urinate for 35 times between 10 PM and 1 AM with at least 6 times going to toilet in succession with time gap of barely 10 to 30 seconds. She does not show any signs of fever or discomfort. She drinks water often in large quantities. Does she have some urological problem? Or, is it a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder?

A:There is a higher incidence of compulsive water drinking in autism. The worry is of developing water intoxication and it's associated problems such as low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatraemia). Further, frequent nocturnal arousals will result in disturbed sleep and it’s related problems. My suggestion is to meet your Paediatrician to get relevant urine and blood tests to diagnose that it is primary polydypsia etc., check sodium levels, exclude urinary infection etc. If the child is on medicines, check for side effects. Thereafter, reduce external cues like running taps (close them tight), increase edibles in her diet, restrict fluids and reward her when she refrains from taking excessive fluids. Do not give colas, coffee, tea etc. Meet your child psychologist, psychiatrist for behavioural therapy, medications.

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