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Can a 5 year old really be depressed?

(10 Posts)
Amarker Thu 05-Nov-15 18:56:01

Hi, I have an amazingly close relationship with my little brother, of whom is just 5. Recently he has been looking incredibly sad when I pop over to the family home to see him, and very reserved.

As a background picture, he's incredibly bright and often prefers adult company, instead of playing with children his own age. Despite that though, he's incredibly popular with his peers and has lots of friends (despite constantly pointing out their flaws).

My Mum was pulled up by his teacher yesterday because she has observed that he isn't interacting with the other children anymore and instead reads in the corner of the playground!

I ask him about this behaviour today, and his reply was that "he finds them unbearably silly". I haven't seen him smile (a bloody 5 year old), in a week!

My Mum insists he is just feeling sad because he's had to go back to school after his break, and is incredibly blasè about it, but I think this has been going on for quite a while longer.

I asked him how he was feeling after dinner (I tucked him in tonight), and he says he feels "really sad and bored". I don't know what to do. He is the most intelligent, charismatic child I've ever come across and has friends and resources at his fingertips, yet he is apparently bored.

Another red alarm is he's decided he doesn't want to go to his swimming lessons anymore and resigns to his bed after school each day. My Mum thinks nothing of this and I just can't believe it doesn't concern her.

Perhaps I sound a little overbearing but his symptoms come across as slight depressive behaviour to me, and I'm worried, really worried.

Sorry if I sound like a nosey cow, maybe I am.

Any thoughts?

spaceyboo Thu 05-Nov-15 19:00:20

Withdrawal is often an early sign of a number of mental and physical issues in kids and of course abuse/bullying. It could also be a sign that he is super-intelligent and bored at school. It's probably a good idea to take him out of the house to discuss this in a safe space.

Wolfiefan Thu 05-Nov-15 19:02:04

I don't think you are nosey in the slightest. This does sound like a cause for concern.
Any major changes in his life?

Can you take him out for his tea or something, somewhere away from the house (and yours) and see if he opens up?

This makes me so sad. DS is 4 and they're so little to be unhappy.

I hope you get to the bottom of it and sort it out.

Amarker Thu 05-Nov-15 19:09:03

Hi all, thank you for replying.

There's been no major changes in his life, no. All is well (to what meets the eye), and there have been no deaths in the family/relationship issues etc.

If I'm completely honest, I've often been shocked at his rudeness to younger peers. For example, he announced to a few peers that "they're not clever" for believing a fat man delivers their presents! He got a good telling off for this by his teachers and my Mum was pulled in to have words.

As for being bored at school, maybe he is. My brother often misbehaves in the classroom/doing class work and it annoys the teachers even more because whilst he has already completed the work set, other children haven't even made a start and he's a big distraction.

spaceyboo Thu 05-Nov-15 20:49:32

Yeah that sounds like it. Perhaps he could be put on a talented/gifted programme at school, if it has it? Might be an idea to discuss this with his teacher to see if she has any ideas.

BoboChic Thu 05-Nov-15 20:54:31

Is he the only DC at home, with older parents? It does sound as if (a) he may be bored and frustrated at school (b) not on the same emotional wavelength as anyone at home.

Amarker Thu 05-Nov-15 21:36:09

Hi, no he's not the only DC at home, he has two other siblings aged 6&7.

I'll most certainly bring up the G&T programme to his teacher, she's very friendly.

CakeMountain Fri 06-Nov-15 08:53:56

It does sound concerning. It doesn't sound like your mum is meeting his emotional needs tbh, plus he sounds bright and bored.

Coco7841 Wed 18-Nov-15 15:58:32

To me it looks like he prefers adult company. If he's advanced and more mature for his age he might feel like a teenager playing with five year olds.

He may actually be depressed due to the situation though. Is he fine if he's at home around adults?

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