son tried to choke himself
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|Wed, 06-18-2008 - 9:43am|
My 10-year-old son brought back his folders from school for the year and there was a writing assignment on New Year's resolutions he wrote in January. One his resolutions was to have higher self-esteem, and he said that sometimes he feels worthless and considers choking himself.
I remember his teacher bringing this up at our conference because we were discussing how hard my son is on himself, despite his intelligence (he's been tested as gifted), but she didn't see it as a red flag. But when I read the essay, I was concerned, so I asked my son about it. He said he had done it two or three times this past winter, always when his stepbrother was around, but he said it had nothing to do with his stepbrother. He said he was feeling depressed at the time and he wasn't sure why. He also said he knew that choking yourself could make you die, but that he didn't want to die. He said he hasn't done it for several months now. I asked him if he actually considered himself worthless and he said no. He said he thought his self-esteem was better now (he started Little League and has done very well, so he and I both thought that was perhaps helping).
In general, my son is a highly intelligent, loving, emotional child. He has a negative streak, always sees the glass as half-full. And he's very dramatic in general. We moved to a new town two years ago, and he has two close friends, but is often down about not having more. He's a little bit of a geek, but he's not teased or bullied. I also remarried two years ago and had a baby. He has an OK relationship with his stepdad--he thinks he's too strict but he also thinks he's funny--adores his new sister and his stepbrother. He had a hard time adjusting, but seems to have adjusted more lately. His grades are good; he's eating well; he's involved in baseball; he sleeps well; and in general doesn't appear sad and miserable all the time. I don't see any other warning signs of depression except for this statement in the essay.
I'm not really sure what to make of this. Should I immediately call a therapist?