My son has just turned 10 and has told me he hears voices in his head and some times he can see them and talks to them. They tell him to be bold and do naughty things. They have even told him to hurt myself and my partner and when he tells them no they say they will hurt him. He only sees them at night because they wear black clothes but he hears them during the day. I’m really worried and don’t know what to do.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Dear worried parent,
It is very understandable that you feel worried about your ten year old son. The fact that he told you about voices and images and the voices telling him to hurt you is enough to provoke worry in any of us.
In my opinion, the first step is to have him seen by his Medical Doctor. It is important that you report all of this to his doctor and ask the doctor to give him a thorough examination with blood tests and even a neurological exam. It is always my opinion, especially with someone as young as your son, that potential and underlying medical problems be ruled out.
If medical problems are ruled out the next step would be for your son to be seen by a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in working with children. It is possible that the psychologist will recommend a Psychiatrist (MD) for possible medication treatment. BUT:
Please note: Having written all of this, I must point out that the problem may lies less in your son and more in what is happening between you and your partner. Therefore, it is entirely possible that Family Therapy will clear up the entire problem.
Still, I would first have your son seen by his MD just in case.
Good luck and do not delay