Childhood Diseases

Posted by: AB | 2012/08/01


Manipulative or Depressed...?

My son is 8 and turning 9 later this year and he is an apparently heathly and happy child. School is a bit of a challenge but he''s coping, he has lots of friends and have an active lifestyle. About a week ago he wanted something and I refused and when I saw that he''s not going to have his way he told me that he wish he was dead. I was so shocked!!! I explained to him how precious life is and that we had so much to be thankful for. Today, out of the blue he said that he had one wish - he wish he was dead. Once again I could not believe my ears, he was playing minutes ago.... Is he trying to manipulate me to get his way or should I be worried, can he be depressed at this age?

Expert's Reply



Children of this age can certainly be depressed, but your son appears to be a happy and normal young boy. He may have seen that his remark that he 'wished he was dead' had such an effect on you that he is now using this as an attention seeking device. It is always best when children express wishes like this to take them to see a child psychologist,just to be on the safe side and to make sure that we are not missing anything.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012/08/03

Have you asked him why he says this?

His at about the age where he is starting to grasp the permanancy of death, but its possible that he hasn''t realised that yet.

My son has said it once or twice if he''s had a rotten day, and I" ve said to him that he would then be dead and miss all the good stuff in life.

When people are depressed they are grumpy and angry and short tempered and don''t want to play with friends or take part in activities. Try and find out if he is perhaps being bullied at school - clues are bruises, tummy aches and not wanting to go to school, lost clothing and money and just general sadness.

Kids do say a lot of stuff like this without having put much thought into what they are saying - their mouths still work faster than their brains, so if you investigate it and find nothing serious is wrong, then put it down to just not thinking before speaking, or thinking something is a good idea when it isn''t. Explain how sad you feel when he says it because you love him so much.

If you are very worried, make an appointment with a psychologist. The school can probably recommend someone close by, or ask your doctor.

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