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Can a 5 year old have depression?

(14 Posts)
narniesarnie Mon 06-Jun-11 11:59:51

Hi, I am posting here because I don't quite know what to do.

My DD (5 almost 6) is really down at the moment and I am not sure that it is quite normal. She is saying things like 'I don't want to be alive' 'I wish I was dead', 'I hate my life' things that I would expect to hear from a teenager not a small child. I am really worried about her. I don't think she has an understanding of death or really knows what she is saying but it is worrying.

She is also, rather disturbingly starting to talk about being skinny and not wanting to eat...

As a bit of background: she is a very bright child and has always struck me as being way more sensitive than other children. As a baby/ toddler she was a nightmare, couldn't stand noise, bright lights, crowded places, she got totally overstimulated and had massive tantrums. she never slept well and had huge problems settling into nursery.

She is well loved at home and has a good diet and plenty of exercise. She is happy (ish) at school and has good friendships.

Does it sound to you like it might be just a phase or should I be looking into getting help. We live in a particulary crappy part of London and I don't have much faith in children's services... wwyd?

jasperc163 Mon 06-Jun-11 12:13:43

Narniesarnie
Sorry to read your post - I have no real advice to give as I am dealing with some slightly similar issues with my DD aged 5 atm (though not regarding death or weight) - says she feels sad alot, very sensitive and tearful.

We have just bought this book - mentioned on alot of threads on here re hypersensitive children. It may prove of interest as it sounds like your DD has some of the key trademarks of a hypersensitive child? I bought it on amazon.
http://www.hsperson.com/pages/child.htm

narniesarnie Mon 06-Jun-11 12:24:31

Thanks Jasperc163, will look into it.

Does your DD say why she is sad?

jasperc163 Mon 06-Jun-11 12:31:17

I think she often doesn't know. She is very easily upset and melodramatic - change of tone in my voice etc. I think some of it is jealousy over her very full on and physical (she hits her alot) sister aged 2. Also complains of stomach aches etc alot which i feel are pyschosomatic. What we have realised just from dipping into the book is that we have to find a better way of dealing with her as denting her self esteem at this age will likely have life long consequences.

jasperc163 Mon 06-Jun-11 12:36:32

Sorry meant to say the 2yr old hits 5yr old alot (and has her in tears a number of times a day), not the other way round.

jsp56 Mon 06-Jun-11 12:49:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

narniesarnie Mon 06-Jun-11 12:54:15

yes, that sounds really familiar, what you said about the reaction to a change in the tone of voice, my DD is so amazingly sensitive to other people that even a slight tone of irritability will send her into tears.
We also have a younger child who I think she feels has taken away some of the attention she feels she should be getting. She adores him but is very jealous.
There is another good book called 'Raising your spirited child' which I found useful when I read it a few years ago...
thanks so much for your help =)

changeforthebetter Mon 06-Jun-11 13:01:52

My DD said something similar at age 5 sad. I talked to her teacher and it turned out lots of the reception kids were thinking and talking about death. Now she is an arsey little beggar. She learnt to swim, started to make friends more easily and generally gained in confidenct. I am paranoid cautious because I blame every upset on my divorce (and so do others hmm). I would describe DD as "high maintenance" emotionally but she is also bloody good fun, lots of laughter and joking.

That said, it never hurts to get a second opinion. If it sets your mind at ease then it is worth it, if she needs extra support you can move forward.

Good luck smile <<unMN hug - it is a horrible thing to hear your child say>>

pinkcooki Mon 06-Jun-11 20:53:24

hi, im having a similar situation with my 5yrold ds she seems very sad alot of the time she says she doesnt play with anyone at school but sometimes i think she may just be saying this because when i take her to school and pick her up she is always playing. she is very forward and sometimes i feel maybe a liitle over bearing for other children, i also feel she may be having problems because she has a 1 yr old sister, so its not just her anymore, she has had a lot of change in her little life and i just feel sad for her i dnt know what to do to make her feel happy again,
can anyone help me

narniesarnie Tue 07-Jun-11 11:52:30

I have been talking in the playground this morning with the other mums and apparently loads of the kids in DD's class are talking like this. Interestly its all the ones like mine who have had a new addittion to the family in the last year or so.

Our strategy is going to involve making sure we have special one to one time (each of us) with her as she may just be feeling like she is not our special little girl anymore. Also I think we have had a shift in our expectations of her since her brother came along and have maybe forgotten that she is still a little child. I know I tend to think of her as being so grown up now in comparison to her brother that I perhaps am treating her like a bigger kid. It doesn't help that she is so very bright and has the vocab/ mental capability of a much older child (she always tells me off for talking to her like a child!).

Thanks so much for everyone's support, it gave me a good chance to think things through properly. Mumsnet is a great thing.

pinkcooki: I know how you feel, it's awful when you can't work out what's wrong. Would it help to try and get answers through role playing games? 5 is a tricky age I think because they are kind of on the edge of a fairly big developmental change. Maybe that is contributing to it too....

jasperc163 Wed 08-Jun-11 10:47:41

Narniesarnie - glad to hear that you have found some reassurance. I am also interested to read about the common theme here - relatively young sibling.

vmcd28 Wed 08-Jun-11 12:00:21

My ds1 talked a lot about death last year, when he was 5. He now says lots of things about being fat (you can see his ribs). Not sure of what to suggest, except dont dwell on it with her, just sort of "of course you need to eat to be healthy and to grow" etc etc, but try not to be too" Oh, darling, come and sit down and we'll talk about this for hours and hours" as you'll just be adding to the "big deal" that she is already making it. Thats not at all meant to sound flippant, btw. x

vmcd28 Wed 08-Jun-11 12:01:28

Meant to say, he doesnt really mention death now, ever. I believe 5 is a common age to dwell upon these things - it's a time when you start to realise there's more to life than playing with toys etc.

narniesarnie Wed 08-Jun-11 13:12:52

She was fine yesterday morning but when she got home was worse than ever, describing herself as a 'stupid blob' ??? and saying that she was boring, she didn't want to be alive, she hates her life etc. We sat down together and made a list of things she wanted to change about her life and they were all fairly superficial things like playing in the park with her brother more etc. which leaves me even more clueless

I had a chat to her teacher this morning who says if anything she is doing better at school at the moment and has no problems with her friendships. She was surprised by what I was telling her. We have set up a meeting with the SEN teacher. We'll see how that goes...

Thanks again for all your posts.

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