Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

is my 8yr old depressed?

(8 Posts)
yamsareyammy Sat 29-Jun-13 11:39:18

Forgot to say, imo , I dont think any of it is attention seeking.

yamsareyammy Sat 29-Jun-13 11:37:59

I would take him to the GP about the majority of what you wrote.

But the bit about when he is starting to fall asleep, I would agree with your husband.
Teach him to ignore it.
This happens to me. Same as when I am waking up.
It is the in between bit of awake and asleep, where I presume less blood is going to the brain.
I just now think of it as the beginning of my dreams phase, or , in the morning, the end of my dreams phase.

Butterflywgs Thu 27-Jun-13 23:06:39

Your poor DS sad. Good advice from apatchylass.
Please let him know he is wanted - I'm sure you do but it can't be overdone.
This is not normal. I think you do need to get him professional help - take him to the GP, who may be able to refer him for therapy which will also help reset his thought patterns. Good luck.

Empross76 Thu 27-Jun-13 10:14:45

Apatchylass - thank you. Are there any books or techniques you can recommend?

apatchylass Mon 24-Jun-13 23:50:31

Empross, I read up on it, and some books say you can stem childhood depression by teaching the brain different ways of reaction. As children are still learning behaviour, their brains are far more receptive to permanent rerouting than we are. Don't know if it's true but I've tried lots of techniques with DS as well as making sure my own symptoms don't spill over into their lives. I'm pretty sure having parents who show signs of depression can trigger it in children as a form of learned behaviour and pattern setting, so intervention is really worthwhile at the youngest age possible.

It's worth having a look in the child psych and parenting sections of a big bookshop and seeing if any books on the subject offer advice that feels right for your DC.

Empross76 Mon 24-Jun-13 17:04:02

Will watch this thread - DD is 5 and behaves similarly. I too worry about depression as it is a family trait on both sides for her. And I know that there were similar signs from an early age for me. I really hope not as more than anything I want her to be happy.

apatchylass Mon 24-Jun-13 16:59:12

These sound like symptoms of genuine depressive tendencies. Could be hormonally linked, possibly. They have some big hormone surge at eight (I've been told) and that could leave him very wobbly.

Sorry but your DH is wrong. You mustn't ignore this. If your DS feels this way he needs someone close to stand by him and help him through.

The more you chat with him at night, the more you might find out if there's a root cause. Is he anxious about anything at school, teased or bullied or feeling like he's falling behind?

First, you can help him be on a even keel as much a possible in the evenings by cutting out sugar (a real mood swinger), making sure he has a bit of fresh air and exercise, even if it's just a stroll round the block with you, and cut back on screen time before bed. You can try to end every day with a chat about what you and he most enjoy or feel glad about that day - just helps to plant positive images in his mind before bed (doesn't always work, but it's a good habit, if used every day)

When he says he wants to hurt himself, can you acknowledge it whilst steering him away from it? Something like: 'Sounds like you're going through a hard time right now if you're feeling like that. Let's try and find something you could do that isn't so aggressive towards yourself, that would make you feel better.' You could offer to give him a back or foot rub or run off some energy outside. Not to repress it -not to distract him from it, but to find positive rather than negative ways of reacting to it.

I think it's a pre-disposition, some people are born with depressive tendencies, maybe your DS is one. But there are strategies he can learn to help pull himself away from negative thought patterns and destructive behaviour before it takes hold. If you ignore it, it could really grow in force and then he might find it far harder to pull back from it.

My husband thinks I'm making something out of nothing but our oldest DS has episodes of feeling sad for no reason, gets very upset and tearful. This often happens at night time shortly after he goes to bed but before he falls asleep. He can't explain why he feels so upset he just does. The he gets upset about being so upset and it cycles til he's in a right state and finds it really very difficult to calm down.

He also has episodes (usually triggered by some sort of disagreement with me - often pretty trivial of itself but then escalates out of control, like the crying/sad thing) where he threatens to hurt himself/run away/kill himself/jump in front of cars/jump out of upstairs windows etc. Once he does start to calm down he gets very upset about saying these things. Says he doesn't understand why he says them and that it really scares him that he says them.

My husband thinks I should ignor him when he's like this and he's just trying to get my attention. I know he's more likely to do this when he's tiered, but that's not always the case. DS says he feels like he isn't wanted in the family and maybe we'd be happier if he wasn't there (which breaks my heart).

We have a happy, stable family life, he's at a lovely school (has great friends there and doing well) and I can think of nothing significant that would account for his sadness sad

Maybe this in the relms of normal growing up behaviour?
Any ideas on how I can deal with these episodes and help him control his anger/deal with his sadness?
Are words like this just words or could he actually mean it?
Should I be getting him some help?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now