odd behavior from 6 yr old son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 4kidsforme, May 7, 2009.

  1. 4kidsforme

    4kidsforme New Member

    I just found this forum today and am hoping for some help.

    Recently, my six-year-old son has been coming to me with lots of worries. First, he started worrying that he was God, but he couldn't figure out if he was pretending to be God or if he really was God. Then he worried that even if he was pretending, that it was bad and he would get in trouble (of course he didn't, I told him pretending was fun & there's nothing wrong with it.) Once we talked about it, he was fine and went back to playing. He still brings it up occasionally, but not with the panic he did before.

    Then, he started worrying that he was "on the Devil's side" and didn't know it. Which then progressed to worrying that he was the devil. Again, I assured him that he wasn't and after a lot of crying on his part, he felt better and went back to playing.

    Today, he told me he's been thinking about killing me and he's worried that he will. He says he doesn't want to, but then he thinks maybe he should. He said he thinks this when he looks at my "private area". He also said that he was worried he would kill me if someone gave him $100. Needless to say, this was an alarming conversation for me, but I kept calm and talked to him about it. I am not naked around him so I don't know what he means by when he looks at me there.

    All of this discussion is also tied up in confusion about whether it's okay to think about his private parts or to touch them. I told him that it was normal and that his body is his own and it's okay to touch his penis in private.

    I don't know where any of this is coming from. We are not an overly religious family. We attend church sporadically but not enough to prompt all of this worry. Also, he told me some of the kids on the bus are talking about their "private parts" so I don't know if some of it is coming from that.

    We have had a change in our family recently. We adopted another child from China. But this is our 3rd adoption from China and he did not act like this with the other two. Also, a year ago, my mom (who he was very close to) died.

    I'm very worried (not about myself, about him.) He's a very sweet child. Not violent at all. And while he does worry about a lot of things, this is completely unlike him.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us, but sorry you needed to.

    I, too, would be very worried about this behavior. I strongly recommend that you call your pediatrician ASAP, tell him/her what your son is saying and ask for a referral to a child psychiatrist. If there is a long wait to get in for an appointment, ask your pediatrician if he/she can call the psychiatrist directly so you can be seen as soon as possible. Your son needs an evaluation to figure out what is causing this strange thinking on his part.

    Is this your biological child?
    If so, are there any mental health issues in the family tree?
    If not, do you know the mental health history of this child's bio family?

    Again, welcome.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Also sending you hugs and a big welcome.

    Are you the only person he comes to with these ideas/fears?
    Is he in school? (What I am getting at is, is it possible he's getting this from someone at school?)

    Glad you found us. I don't know a whole lot... What I have I am willing to share. Smallworld has a couple of good suggestions. Maybe - if he is in school - they have a counselor too? Sort of a "gotta-do-this-right-now" thing?
  4. sosotired

    sosotired New Member

    Welcome. I'm more a lurker but felt the need to reply to your post.

    You are not alone. Read through some of the posts here. Everyone is dealing with different levels of issues .... different but still issues like yours. I have found the simple knowledge that other have survived the turmoil I am dealing with now, and often much, much worse, very comforting (although I'm sorry any of us have to go through this).

    Your mommy instincts are telling you something isn't right. It may not be as catastrophic as your fear is telling you but the right kind of doctor is absolutely necessary to get to the bottom of it. If he isn't a danger to you or himself right now then slow down, take a deep breath and put together a list of what you need to do. Getting him in to see a psychologist or psychiatrist is the first and best step. Tell them exactly what you told us here. They are there to help you and your child. I personally would not approach the school as I've found our school is not necessarily vested in my child's best interest and have used anything and everything against him / us when it was convenient.

    Good luck and keep posting.
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Welcome. You will find a lot of help here.

    My suggestion would be to read about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), especially about obsessions and scrupulosity. If you think it might be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it would be worth getting a therapist that specializes in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for an opinion. My daughter, with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), had a regular therapist that didn't recognize her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) even though I asked her about it.

    Now that we have found the proper therapist, even my daughter can see it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I agree with smallworld that you should contact your pediatrician immediately and ask for a referral to get him seen ASAP. As she mentioned they usually can pull strings.

    Even though you've seen no signs of violence, I strongly urge you not leave your son alone with other children. I also wouldn't leave him unsupervised except for very short periods.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    At 6, it is hard to describe thoughts versus voices in his head. I would be worried about the thoughts as possible auditory hallucinations. Obviously, having these thoughts scares him.

    Call the doctor tomorrow. He needs to be able to talk to someone that can understand what is worrying him.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    Are there any psychiatric problems on either side of his family tree? in my opinion this could be delusions. If he really thinks he's God or the Devil, he could be skirting some sort of psychosis. Has he ever said he hears voices in his head?
    All in all, I wouldn't even venture a guess what is wrong, but I'd want him to see a Psychiatrist ASAP. It's scary to hear him talking about killing--he needs help. Although "stuck" thoughts can be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I'm concerned about the nature of his thoughts. My own grown son has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but he doesn't focus on things like that and, while everyone is different, this would scare me too. Don't delay. Get him evaluated. Very soon. Good luck!
  9. 4kidsforme

    4kidsforme New Member

    Thank you for all of the replies. I really do appreciate all of them. He is our biological child and on my husband's side we do have some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & depression/anxiety disorders. I'm really hoping that we're not dealing with anything huge. He's always been an anxious child, but never like this. I made an appointment with our pediatrician so hopefully we'll at least start getting some answers, but he can't get us in until next week.

    Thanks again.
  10. Whatsername

    Whatsername New Member

    I just wanted to wish you luck and strength! I am dealing with very similar issues with my 9 year old son. our pediatrician ended up referring us to a local psychiatric hospital for an immediate evaluation. Many times, places like that offer outpatient services as well as in. My son stayed there for 10 days, but that was because he was also thinking about suicide, and had a plan in place.
    It's so scary when kids think about things like this. Know that you've found a place where you can express your feelings!
    I am at the treatment point with my son, and we are seeing a lot of progress, so if you ever want to talk about what is going on, I'm a great listener!