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Suicide threats from children

(14 Posts)
onthefarm Wed 22-Aug-07 14:49:21

I've just posted on the development thread regarding my nephew, who at 7 has in the heat of a tantrum said he will "kill himself" and has even gone so far as to go and get a knife (though not a sharp one.) My gut instinct is that this is not right and that he may need help. I could be wrong. Would really appreciate any advice. Thanks.

Carnoodleusfudge Wed 22-Aug-07 14:53:06

My DD did this at a similiar age in the heat of a tantrum. I felt the same and was about to whisk her off for some counselling but she only did it a couple of times, then she ran away (quite a successful bid for freedom as it turned out) but then she has become less hysterical. We still have big tantrums but I reckon there have been no knives/running away for the last 18 months.

onthefarm Wed 22-Aug-07 15:09:05

Hi, do you really think it could be just a phase? How did you react to the threats?

TooTicky Wed 22-Aug-07 15:19:14

My 5 yo ds2 has recently started doing this. V. difficult to know how to react.

Desiderata Wed 22-Aug-07 15:32:51

My six year old neighbour recently went through a phase of telling his mum he wanted to kill himself.

She quite simply didn't know how to respond ... but it went away as quickly as it came. The 'phase' lasted a couple of weeks and no more.

It is very odd though, isn't it?

totaleclipse Wed 22-Aug-07 15:40:39

I think some children tend to over dramatise things when trying to express thier emotions, ds (6) is always telling me he is going to blow the house up when he is cross.

onthefarm Wed 22-Aug-07 15:59:30

Thanks so much for your replies - I can't tell you how much it has helped. Trying to remain calm seems important. Am going to sit down now with mil and see what we can do to help as a family, and wait see if it is just a phase. Thanks so much everyone.

lucyellensmum Wed 22-Aug-07 16:21:31

poor you, very worrying for you. But it makes me wonder if the little boy cannot possibly understand the implications of what he is saying, other than getting him lots of attention. I'm not suggesting he is attention seeking in a naughty way, but children are not equipped to say, i need help because, so they do what they can to get attention, if you see what i mean. I guess it must be a bit like breath holders. Has this little boy been exposed to suicide within the family or on the telly or something like that? The trouble is i guess, in as much as he probably doesnt really get that dead means, dead, thats it, no more chances and therefore the seriousness of it isnt quite as great as you perceive. But he should be kept and eye on i suppose, is there other stuff going on in his life just now?

onthefarm Wed 22-Aug-07 19:01:59

Tooticky, I'm really hoping that this is phase and that it will be too for your ds. lucyellensmum, my mil has been very worried today, and was so relieved to hear your views and all the other replies.

TooTicky Wed 22-Aug-07 20:22:43

Thanks onthefarm.

BrownSuga Wed 22-Aug-07 20:32:13

My dh's dd said the same thing a couple of times between 6/7yrs old. we wondered if she'd heard her dm say it, or some such, but she hasn't said anything in a long time. maybe it's "normal" around this age.

Eowyn Wed 22-Aug-07 20:35:52

my 7 yr old, when i upset her, says "now i want to die" occasionally. i have lectured her on seriousness of this as she is quite old enough to understand imo. I think she's just expressing that she feels bad, there is nothing traumatic going on & it isn't often so hopefully it will go away.
T'is horrible tho.

dustystar Wed 22-Aug-07 20:39:08

Just a thought but how did his mum react when he did this? I doubt he really understands what it means to kill himself and I suspect he is using it as a way of getting a reaction. It does sound as though something is troubling him though given what you said on your other thread.

When ds started school a couple of years ago his behaviour suddenly deteriorated and things were very very difficult. He was only 4 and he didn't threaten to kill mimself but he did tell me that he wanted to be dead. When I asked him why he said it was because if he was dead he couldn't be naughty anymore. That broke my hear and even now, over 2 years later, it brings tears to my eyes to think about it.

On a positive note he is doing much better now

pixiella Tue 11-Sep-07 01:35:17

probably doesn't understand the seriousness of what he's saying -maybe it's influenced by something he's seen on TV or in a film ?(to get attention) - rather than being prompted by him actually having the feeling that he wants to die and the knowledge that he could achieve that by hurting himself with a knife..???

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