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Question
Posted by: Sg | 2008-12-22

Strange behaviour by 8 year old

My 8 year old son lives with his mother in Cape Town.I have an excellent relationship with him and see him every school holiday and phone him everyday.His mother and I also get on well enough.
About a month ago he had a very strange bout in that he felt there was something crawling over his body and he screamed and shouted and one could sense a form of hysteria in his voice (his Mom called me to help settle him down).
Last week we went on the Melody on a cruise and 2 nights before departure he had a similar " attack"  in our hotel room (just as we went to bed).He kept calling out " why must this happen to me"  and even prayed out loud " why are you doing this to me God" ).He also said that things were crawling all over him.He was totally beside himself.I eventually pasified him after about an hour after phoning his Mom for help.
It has not happened again but I' m concerned it might.
I might add that in the last few years I have moved from Joburg to PE and his Mom has moved from Joburg to Pretoria and eventually Cape Town a year ago.She is now talking about going to Australia-they in fact are going over in June next year for a lookaround.
If it had only happened just before we got on the ship I would have put it down to fear about the cruise BUT it happened a month ago as well !
Could you please give me an idea what the problem could be,I suspect it might be related to some form of stress.

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Our expert says:
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This does indeed sound bizarre and highly unusual. I wonder whether he might have seen something similar to this while watching television, to explain the form of this "attack". ANyhow, it suggests that he is worried about something, perhaps something about the relationship between you and his mother, and perhaps concerns about having moved so much ( Joburg - Pretoria - Cape Town - Australia ) and that if he went to Australia, he might see very little of you.
Best to have him properly assessed by a good child psychologist or child psychiatrist, especially as they can use indirect ways to help him express what is bothering him, and can then make helpful suggestions abouit how to sort this out

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