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Dd saying she wants to be dead :(

(13 Posts)

Dd (6, ASD+VI) is getting VERY anxious about fire. I can only assume its related to the run up to bonfire night, but also we saw a lot of smoke in the woods near my parents house a couple of weeks ago and dh left us in the car whilst he went to check it wasn't dangerous (it wasn't! It was a BBQ in a house adjoining the woods) but she completely panicked and freaked out. A relative (that she didn't know) has died recently and it's brought up a reoccurring obsession with death, and she told me tonight she wanted to make herself dead because that way she wouldn't have to worry about fire getting her. she talked about wrapping something round her neck and really freaked me out sad

I tried to explain that being dead is forever and she wouldn't be able to watch tv or see her friend (ASD obsessions) and she got even more upset. Then she started asking what being dead was like and when I admitted that nobody really knew, her argument was how did I know she wouldn't like it then.

How seriously would you take this? School already thing there are no problems (despite physical diasabilities!) so I doubt talking to them would do any good. We aren't seeing anyone else like CAMHS. Should I try to get someone like a psychologist involved(if this is even possible). Or leave it (with lots of reassurance) until after bonfire night and see if it all blows over????

mymatemax Thu 01-Nov-12 23:36:16

I would seek expert advice but in the meantime I would offer her lots of reassurance (i'm sure you are already) baout how safe she is & you keep her from fire, its not something that jumps put on you, you can smell it, hear it etc etc. Do you have smoke detectors etc?
Lots of logical reasoning may help.

Bluebirdonmyshoulder Fri 02-Nov-12 10:05:02

I developed a big fear of fire at about age 9 following a chip pan fire in our kitchen. It wasn't very serious but I remember being struck by how quickly it happened. I was left with the impression that fire could just happen out of the blue.

My anxiety carried on for a good couple of years, ironically until we had a talk on fire prevention at my school by the local fire brigade.

It might be worth sitting down with her and explaining how fire happens, the precautions you and DH take to prevent fire in the house, assurance that you have smoke alarms and a matter of fact discussion about how you could all get out. All those things would have helped me as I was perpetually worried that the house was going to burst into flames at any moment and we were all going to die.

Can't advise re wanting to be dead, that sounds very upsetting for both of you.

Thanks guys, I hated having to leave for work this morning as her behaviour when she get up showed she was still upset sad

Dh was going to show her how we check the smoke alarm this morning and we will talk about how we could all get out of the house in the event of a fire this evening. Its so strange how its come out of nowhere. she loved fire until last year (I used to have to restrain her to stop her trying to charge bonfires!!)

Honey2vinegar Fri 02-Nov-12 12:39:53

I think I know how you feel, I also have a 6 yr old Aspie DD who last week asked me "if I would let her die., "It would be easier to be dead". So heartbreaking to hear this from a little girl.

Where for your DD its fire, mine is kidnappers, bad people etc. I agree that reassuring about the fire will help. ( i had extra locks put on our doors for my DD) but its only a bandaid approach. She may just find something else to stress about. The underlying issues could be depression?

My DD is extroverted, social butterfly, plays hard and appears happy but underneath it she does not like who she is. She tearfully confided this to me.

I see this as full blown depression, and I think (HOPE&pray) it can be treated...though not easily!
I have started her on a homeopathic remedy for anxiety...and am observing. She also has seen a therapist (psychologist) for anxiety 4 weeks now. but this has not been too helpful yet. - therapist talked about not feeding the "monster inside her" ie face fear rather than run from them. But DD came home and was completely freaked out that a monster was inside her, and decided monsters ARE real because therapists said there's one in her.
I reaffirmed monsters are not real. then this week she started therapy session by calling therapist a liar...sigh! Yah maybe I need a new therapist!

So my advice would be don't leave it... Stay close to her and keep her talking, reassure her of course.
Your DD mention a rope... that is scary but it's amazing that she has confided this all in you.
I don't think little girls should ever want to die, these AS kids have so much to deal with, If we see through their eyes, the world is a pretty messed up place.
Well I'm not a huge help but at least we are not alone!

honey smile and sad at the monster. No matter how often you tell people that what they say will be taken completely literally proffessionals still say such STUPID things!

dd is increasingly obsessed by ropes. we've had to remove scarves and skipping ropes because her "cowboy" games have looked a little unsafe.

its not a good thing to have company with and I'm sorry you are going through it too but it does help to know dd isn't the only one to feel like this, I'm undiagnosed but on the spectrum myself and I was depressed for what felt like large chunks of my childhood. it wasn't picked up on so I had no help. I'm glad your dd has you looking out for her and I will step up my attempts to help mine. How did you get a therapist for her? NHS or private?

I've bought dd a couple of book which were recommended on here, What to do when your temper flares and what to do when you worry too much. Its early days yet so I'm not sure what I think of them. have you come across them?

zzzzz Fri 02-Nov-12 13:49:52

I would teach her to light a fire, how to build one safely and how to put it out.

It may take a long time but facing our fears is part of growing up.

mymatemax Fri 02-Nov-12 13:53:13

If she is not convinced by you & your dh, call in to the local fire station & see if the community fire prevention officer can call in & ahve a word.

Bluebirdonmyshoulder Fri 02-Nov-12 14:53:21

I remember this as though it was yesterday - the thing that reassured me the most was the nice fireman saying that it took 20-30 minutes for a fire to burn through a door and if you place a soaking wet towel right against the bottom of the door it keeps the smoke out.

Made me realise that the fire engines would definitely get to us before the fire burnt through my bedroom door and cured 99% of my anxiety right then and there!

Hope that helps a bit. blush

Thanks for all your replies. She's been calmer today and seems ok with the firework bangs but completely freaked out when the cooking timer went off at tea time thinking it was the smoke alarm and that the house was on fire sad Thanks for all your ideas. I have the weekend on my own with her to try to put some of them into practice.

Honey2vinegar Sat 03-Nov-12 04:33:30

Hi, glad the fireworks are over and seems to be settling a bit!
re therapist, I am living overseas so I have had to do it all privately. DH and I just decided we will take a break for the "therapy" (psychologist) as the cookie cutter approach is not going to cut it!
But the OT is going well and we will carry on with that. If you decided to take this route for anxiety etc I think it all comes down to the therapist gelling or not with the child...so maybe shop around a bit before committing.
my dd seems to have a "sense" about people, some she will work with - some she will not! I am going to trust her inner guide...although it is a bit frustrating at times. Have u ever considered classical homeopathy for anxiety?

Iceflower Sat 03-Nov-12 08:08:35

Just a thought - the local fire service visited ds' school when he was in Y1 and he greatly enjoyed sitting in the fire engine smile.

However the messages about fire safety, checking smoke alarms, etc obviously stuck, and ever since (now Y5) he has been scared of the house burning down, nags me about checking the smoke alarm, etc.

I wonder if there has been a similar visit to dd's school, or a class topic on bonfire night and fire safety?

Iceflower. I plan to check with school as this seems to have come out of the blue but nothing ever does that with dd. it's always a question of finding out where the idea has come from,

As for homeopathy, dd has food/medicine issues which make getting things into her difficult. But I am trying supplements already for ASD (fish oils, behaviour balance etc....) what do you give your dd for anxiety?

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