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Low self esteem and unusual remarks by 6 year old

My six year old son has been saying things that are really concerning and saddening my husband and I.  He keeps telling us that he is "stupid," "a show-off," "an idiot," etc...  We assume that a lot of these terms have come from the playground and classroom, not to mention some of the cartoons he watches.  In addition though, he asks us to disapline him, saying, "Just ground me because I'm stupid."  "I wish I were dead."  "Just kill me."

We have spoken with his teachers and they tell us that he is doing fine acedemically and that they are 95% sure that there is no teasing going on.  He attends a Montessori school so the student interactions are generally very polite.  My husband and I do praise him appropriately and sincerely and do not ridicule nor have lofty expectations of his performance in any of the areas he participtes in.  He has a brother who is 17 months younger and he seems well adapted and even trys to talk his older brother out of his negative thinking.

When I discuss these thoughts with my older son, he says his brain is broken and he can't help these thoughts.  I am certainly open to seeking a therapist or other professional.  I am wondering if any of this behavior is normal or a cry for more attention?  If not, then where do I begin to unravel this puzzle?

Thank you for your time.
Broken Hearted Mommy
3 Responses
Avatar universal
My oldest is 13 and when he was that age, he did the same thing. He was very bright, loved being around adults and was very positive about everyone else. When it came to himself, we thought of him as "Debbie Downer". "Nobody likes me." "I'm stupid" "just ground me because I'm an idiot" . He was also very argumentative. If you said the sky was blue, he would say, "No. It's blue and white, there are clouds."etc, etc..It got to the point where I would get angry because I felt like I was constantly having to stroke his ego! About two years ago, when he was 11, he was diagnosed with depression. Within a matter of days after starting his meds, it was like someone turned a light on! He was no longer this argumentative, complement seeking, "Debbie "Downer", doom and gloom kid. He was happy and started making friends! It was a life saver and such a major relief not only for us, but for him as well.

I hope this helps but if not, I hope you find your answers, take care.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comments.  From all that I'm finding in my research his symptoms certainly seem to be leaning in the direction of depression.  Both my husband's and my family have members who have severe depression, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.  I have a call into our doctor and am open to him getting evaluated and treated.  Your comments make me feel normal.  Thank you.-Broken Hearted Mommy
Avatar universal
If it is any consolation, our child was diagnosed with depression and severe anxiety at six years of age.  Once treatment began, the depression lifted very quickly.  It took much longer to deal with the anxiety; however, today she is doing so well.  I wish you the best ....
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