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Diagnosis: Depression???

My 9 y.o. son tends to be highly enthusiastic, emotional, and high energy.  He is passionate about life, has not lost enthusiasm for playdates with friends, Star Wars PS games, Legos or TV.  He has some difficulty in school and receives extra help because of being classifed from the time of preschool.  He was three months premature at birth and was diagnosed with hypotonia (low muscle tone) and later with Sensory Integration Dysfunction-- especially with tactile defensiveness and fine motor difficulties.  He has received OT from the beginning for these issues and used to have PT.  Sometimes he gets overwelmed when he has a "bad day", feels off or seems to be overloaded from too much stimulation.  If we're home, I put him in the shower for an hour and let him decompress.  Sometimes it helps if we go for a walk.  He can get quite irritable and be difficult to settle down, he threatens to break things, sometimes throws things, and threatens to run away.  A few times after getting into a high emotional state, he has said he wants to "kill himself" or hurt himself.  This has me very troubled as we have a family history on both sides of depression and bipolar illness.  When talking with him, he says he feels that his younger brother (6yo) gets all the attention and that we yell at him (my older son) too much.  The teachers at school comment on what a wonderful child he is, but remark on his low self esteem.  "I'm nothing," he said to the latest teacher.  He has to work very hard at school to do well because of his difficulty in the Language Arts.  I'm afraid that even though he doesn't display classical symptoms of depression, his low self esteem and threats to harm himself may cause him to do something impulsive and rash.  Thank you.  Your suggestions are appreciated.  
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Avatar universal
9-year-olds seem to go through "something".  Mine is and it's not too different from yours.  A lot of it has to do with wanting attention especially with siblings are involved.  My wife had a strong talk with my daugther the other day because she complains about everything and it turned into a big discussion about how we didn't understand her because she wants to be a pop star and yet we're not appreciating her talents.  Eh carumba.  I am still laughing because I play a few instruments and can't get her interested in playing music.  To much Hanna Montana I'm thinking.

My mother's family has some history with depressions and anxiety so we keep our eye on it.  But, there's also the fact that kids will do all kinds of things if they think they're getting attention.  Remember, what you feed will grow.  If you feed too much into the threats and loaded phrases then he's going to use them again and again.  That's why the infamous, "I hate you" works so well with kids because they know it gets a reaction.  Children will take negative attention at times and it will have nothing to do with what you think it has to do with.

My recommendation would be to keep an eye on him but don't micromanage the situation.  They're kids and they do nutty things.
Avatar universal
My inclination might be of no value whatsoever, but it seems very familiar with a family I know of.
Her son changed completely after they had moved house, and his school.

To cut a long story short, it turned out that he was being BULLIED at school.
He tried to counteracted his fear, also what he felt as being insecure, low self esteem, and even a coward, by acting the complete opposite at home.

Consider the possibility NJZ,and plan from there....Regards UK Ray.
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