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My 11 year old DS says he hates himself and wishes he hadn't been born

(18 Posts)
hudyerwheesht Thu 27-Oct-16 22:05:28

I don't know how to help him.sad

He was diagnosed with ADHD and possibly Tourette's earlier this year. He has a LOT of problems with focus/attention and memory and this has lead to DH and I getting frustrated over the years (though we're trying to be more patient since we found out) but recently he has often become very depressed after being told off and is saying stuff like he hates himself, he's so stupid, can't remember anything,etc. Not just passing comment, really being upset - sometimes he goes off to his room and cries or simply seems very down about himself for ages afterwards.

Don't get me wrong- we're not giving him a bollocking every time he forgets something, just telling him off for normal things like forgetting his homework, losing clothes or other possessions because he's careless,distracted, etc. He even has a "to do" list of basic everyday tasks like "make bed, turn off bedroom light",etc pinned up in his bedroom but he still forgets and complains about how embarrassing it is to have it and how it doesn't work anyway as he's too dumb to remember to read it.

We're trying to juggle teaching him to be independent whilst being mindful of the issues he has because of his condition(s) but this recent nose-dive in his self esteem is really worrying me. He said today he wished he'd never been born. It just seems extreme for an 11 year old. Maybe - hopefully - I'm wrong.

Sorry if this is a bit long and rambling, I'm upset and worried.

Tweennightmare Thu 27-Oct-16 22:57:09

Hi hudy I couldn't let your post go unanswered . I think you are right to be concerned . What came across to me from your post and what wasn't mentioned is how much positive feed back is given . Do you praise when he gets it right or are the tasks just mentioned when he gets it wrong . I think it would be very important with your sons confidence being so fragile to concentrate only on his successes for the moment. Try to get his self esteem back up. You are obviously trying to help him get more organised,which should be commended but don't put too much pressure on him if he fails . Has he just moved to senior school a lot of children find the step up very daunting . My own DD certainly did and we had lots of self esteem issues . We found by focussing on her strengths it gave her the confidence to deal with areas she was weak at . I also was actively involved in organising her having folders for each subject keeping a track of all her home works, PE days etc for the first few terms as she was just too over whelmed and then gradually she took over

MrsMcMoo Thu 27-Oct-16 23:06:20

Mine also has said things like this. It is extremely worrying. I tried sitting him down and telling him, directly 'you are a truly good person and I'm really proud of you'. It seemed to help a bit - maybe I hadn't been making it clear enough. Otherwise, just keeping up wholesome routines, making sure they get enough sleep, exercise etc. mens sana in wotsit etc etc. it's very bloody difficult and worrying though. I hope you and your son are doing ok flowers

hudyerwheesht Thu 27-Oct-16 23:09:40

Thanks for answering tweennightmare.

Yes we do try to give him praise when he does remember thing or gets things right, and he does seem to appreciate the praise. I'm a firm believer in positive feedback but we've been worn down by him over the years.
He's very over sensitive about a lot of things - physical or emotional - and its caused us a host of problems over the years.

I realise I'm painting a very negative picture- it's hard to convey everything in one or two posts. He's actually a very kind, caring boy - kind of the upside to him being a sensitive soul.
I do think he's improved slightly since school began (yes, he started secondary school in September and was very, very anxious about it) in terms of organising himself in the mornings and when he replies with an "already done it" or whatever to my reminder I always say "good, told you you can do it!" or whatever.

I just don't know how to help him with his confidence.

hudyerwheesht Thu 27-Oct-16 23:12:16

Cross post, mrsmcmoo - thank you, too. I must try the direct talk more often. We (DH and I - and my mil for that matter) have done it but in the middle of one of his negative meltdowns which probably want the best time. I may try it again when he's in a better frame of mind.

booellesmum Thu 27-Oct-16 23:23:15

Would it be OK to tell him that it really is ok to be him and it's really ok to be a natural introvert and not be confident. That no one wants to change him. BUT you do want to help him with strategies that allow him to do the things he wants to or needs to do?

Brighteyes27 Thu 27-Oct-16 23:26:22

Well my 12 year old without aspergers says things like I wish I'd never been born from time to time when grumpy/upset/arguing. I think it is an age/attention thing with him. So don't get too down about this.
But I have had conversations in my line of work with young people with Aspergers saying they often forget to do important things like knock the oven off or something and others in the flat get really grumpy upset or fall out with them. But they don't realise they have done anything wrong or upset anyone. It must be really hard. Keep praising and keep finding ways to help him many of the young people have reminders set on their mobiles or other devices. Maybe if he has a phone or an iPad or something your son might prefer to engage in something more like this and if it works for him?

hudyerwheesht Fri 28-Oct-16 08:40:08

Hmm the phone reminders are a good idea, I'll keep that in mind.

I guess as someone who has a long history of depression myself, him talking like this disturbs me. If he's talking like this now, what is he going to be thinkin/saying when he's older?

hudyerwheesht Fri 28-Oct-16 09:49:01

Hmm the phone reminders are a good idea, I'll keep that in mind.

I guess as someone who has a long history of depression myself, him talking like this disturbs me. If he's talking like this now, what is he going to be thinkin/saying when he's older?

Crazyhorse123 Sun 30-Oct-16 02:55:41

Hi I read this and thought snap. I have just posted about my da who is seven and said he wished he was never made tonight which really freaked me out tbh. I have had him assessed but senco did not pick anything up. Like u as someone who has had depression in the past I am trying not to project into his future but I am v worried. There is a book called the highly sensitive child I am reading which is helpful. On the plus side I think if they are able to share their feelings at home rather than bottle them up that is good.

Cucumber5 Sun 30-Oct-16 03:10:15

Does he fully understand his diagnosis? Have you any positive role models with the same diagnosis?

Is there anything he's particularly good at? A sport or being compassionate or whatever? Make these more a feature in his life.

Is he doing enough to get feel good endorphins? Exercise, upbeat music,

What's his social network like? Can you help him build relationships with positive caring people. Do you have a little one to one with him daily?

I wouldn't bother telling him off for forgetting PE kit or books. He's at secondary school and so there will be natural consequences anyway. However you can help by making sure everything is labelled clearly.

Cucumber5 Sun 30-Oct-16 03:10:49

The highly sensitive child book is excellent.

Cucumber5 Sun 30-Oct-16 03:11:05

The one by aarun

Crazyhorse123 Sun 30-Oct-16 03:33:32

Yes that's the one. Problem is I may follow its remnants but school, peers, relatives etc don't!

hudyerwheesht Tue 01-Nov-16 14:02:08

I have that book! I actually bought it when he was 4. He was having such issues going out in public (couldn't cope with anyone being near him or touching him) that we took him to a GP who recommended it.
Loads of it really resonated with me - dislike of so many sounds/smells/textures; really over the top reactions to things, etc, etc.
I'm a similar way myself, so I understand the issue with possible projections.

We haven't had the conversation yet about his diagnosis - tbh I am a bit daunted by it, I'm being a coward, I know, but he's such a worrier and is already so down about there being "something wrong" with himself.

As for sports/interests - I wish he would get interested in something but computer games is all he likes.

Cucumber5 Tue 01-Nov-16 14:03:28

Maybe you could do a walk together daily to touch base?

Sunnysky2016 Sun 06-Nov-16 10:11:55

Hudy I just wanted to pick up on the forgetting everything part. My son is 11 and just started high school, no problems health wise etc, but he also forgets things (and I kno his friends do). I.e- left his Pe kit behind, or forgotten to take it, forgets to make his bed, pick up his clothes, do a piece of homework and so on. What I am trying to say (maybe badly) is a lot of this behaviour is actually normal behaviour for kids, so add in ADHD and he really struggles. So although he has this, you could have a NT child and still have some of these issues.
I too am using 'charts' in ds1 to remind him to do everything he has to each day, and I think sometimes we expect the kids to do and remember so much, that we forgot that new schools, new terms, new teachers, routines and friends is a lot to get used too.
Some excellent advice above though X

hudyerwheesht Mon 07-Nov-16 13:15:03

thanks sunnysky, charts are a good idea.

I get what you're saying, it can be hard enough for any 11 year old anyway for them to remember it all with all the changes of going to high school, etc.

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