Friday, December 21, 2007

If anyone has a clue...

I don't typically write posts that are directed at my readers, but this is important, so if anyone has a clue what could possibly be behind this, please leave a comment or email me at

My five year old niece has exhibited some frightening behaviour and I keep telling my sister that she needs to get her to a therapist right away because it is not normal for a child so young to be voicing not only suicidal, but also homicidal, thoughts. I figure if I could tell her the symptoms her daughter is exhibiting might be a result of a particular disorder(s), and I could link her to information about it, she might actually get her daughter help. I get the feeling she doesn't want to believe there is something psychologically wrong with her child, but she can't keep denying it cuz things will only get worse if my niece doesn't get help soon. It's blatantly obvious something is very wrong, we just don't know what.

I'd say a good 65% of the time she's a very pleasant, loving little girl. Tonight she wanted to sit on my lap and snuggle with me, and when she wasn't able to (like while we were trying to play a Sponge Bob video game) she would put her arm around me every chance she got. She's also highly intelligent, one of the brightest and most advanced in her class.

But, here's the negative and other strange stuff that concerns us...

She has problems with sleep. She never wants to go to bed and most nights, from what my sister has told me, she only gets about 4-5 hours of sleep. But she's not tired during the day. She's like the friggan Energizer bunny. When she does get some sleep, she often talks in her sleep and/or sleepwalks.

She has on several occasions mentioned that she wants to die. Either outright saying she wants to kill herself or making comments such as my sister would be happier if she wasn't around any more.

She has mentioned wanting to harm or kill her mom and her sister (not sure if she's ever said it about her dad, but my guess is she probably has). These comments typically come when she's angry, but seem so bizarre coming out of the mouth of a 5 yr old. The latest comment my sister told me about was that her daughter told her this week that she wanted to hit her (my sister) over the head with a hammer.

Her mood swings from being sweet to downright evil rather quickly, particularly if someone has done something she doesn't like or if she's asked to do something and she doesn't want to. And once she's in one of her mean streaks, she will throw wild temper tantrums. She'll throw stuff, she'll hit anyone she feels has pissed her off, she'll scream, tear her bedroom apart, etc. This is also when she'll express her suicidal or homicidal thoughts, but they can also be voiced at other times.

I know it isn't possible for anyone to diagnose her based on what I've written here. I'm just looking to get some idea of possible disorders she could have so I can give my sister something to read. Something that might sound like her daughter when she reads it and hopefully remove the denial she seems to be stuck in. So if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I truly appreciate it. I tried doing a Google search, but nothing really came up when I typed in homicidal, suicidal five year old and I'm not sure what other words to search by.


Blogger anna said...

Oh hell, that sounds very worrisome. Red says that he wants to kill people when he gets angry. Not so much since he got put on medication in August, but today in fact, he got mad at my mother and tried to stab her with a screwdriver. The dr says it's part of his Sensory Irregularity Disorder and Apraxia. All neuro bs if you ask me.

Has anything traumatic happened to your niece? I hate to say this, but could she have been hurt by someone? I know that after I was molested as a child I couldn't sleep for a very long time and acted out since I couldn't articulate what had happened to me.

I hope y'all find out what's going on.

9:17 PM, December 22, 2007  
Blogger gabbi said...

Well I know the sleep walking and odd behavior reminds me of what I did as a kid at about the age of 6 and 7. They diagnosed me with absent seizures (epilepsy).

4:48 AM, December 23, 2007  
Blogger Joel said...

I think you know what you are describing. get her to a psychiatrist/neurologist.

11:18 PM, December 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds just like bipolar disorder.

keep encouraging your sister to get her help. she CAN be helped.

10:19 AM, December 25, 2007  
Blogger James said...

I agree that she needs to see a psych ASAP. And yeah, it sounds like she might have faced some kind of trauma.

That is scary for everyone involved. As you know, the longer this goes on the worse it will get.

I would be very blunt with your sister on this one. Even if she gets offended, someone has to help this child.

2:14 PM, December 26, 2007  
Blogger Joel said...

In other news, Sid, I thought you'd like to see this:

1:28 AM, December 27, 2007  
Blogger Nom dePlume said...

I just happened to run across your blog while doing a Web search, and your post of Dec 21 caught my eye.

I don't know what is wrong with your niece, but I agree that something is. If asked to make my best guess, I'd lean towards a very early manifestation of bipolar disorder. Many psychiatrists do not believe that bipolar disorder can start in children, especially as young as this one, but the diagnosis is frankly less important than the treatment.

Feel free to write to me with more details, if you'd like to discuss her situation further. Also, you might want to read up on bipolar disorder on my Web site (, and see if anything rings a bell for you.

Hmm. Scanning other posts, I see you have a problem with rage and depression. I would not expect Valium, or any antidepressant, to help much with severe rage. I would expect a mood stabilizer, like Depakote, to be more effective. Again, write me if you'd like to discuss your situation.

Best wishes,
Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

12:14 AM, January 02, 2008  

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