What does it mean when a nine year old draws sick figures without any faces?

I have a nine year old son with my husband. We have been married 13 years and he has been deployed 6 out of 13 years. My husband has been home for only 3 of his birthdays. Currently he has been in Iraq for 19 months. My son, is a great little boy. Lately, he has been declining academically and socially in his new school. His pictures lately, are confusing. He draws sharks eating happy fish, ships and helicopters with guns and stick people without faces. Is he exhibiting signs of depression? Or maybe loneliness? Whats the difference?

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5 Responses to “What does it mean when a nine year old draws sick figures without any faces?”

  1. unusual cow said:

    It could be a huge number of things, maybe as simple as he likes fish, or maybe Asperger’s (from the fact he doesn’t draw faces) or depression. Either way, get him to a psychiatrist soon.

  2. Leigh said:

    it could be that he has some depression, or it could be nothing. i was a perfectly happy child and i loved drawing sharks eating fish, i loved sharks, and my brother, who was also a perfectly happy child, always drew tanks, ships, guns, helicopters, anything military related, (thats why no one was surprised when he joined the marines), it was just what he was interested in as a kid. maybe your son just doesnt like to draw faces. the thing that worries me a little is this combined with the academic and social decline, those are signs that hes going through something. loneliness is that hes just missing his dad, depression is hes feeling alone and empty inside, and cant snap out of it. i would talk to him about it, see if anythings going on, and if there is, get him some help.

  3. Thyra said:

    He probably just sad and school sick.. lol but really when i left the barn in Tennessee to go to California i was felt like toast on a Barbeeq

  4. dubious said:

    Or maybe a combination. You also mentioned a ‘new school.’ Which can certainly cause a lot of anxiety at any age. Now add to that the absence of your husband. Personally, I don’t believe in all that psychology mumbo jumbo, but you could simply ask him about it. “Hey, whatever-his-name-is, why don’t your people have any faces?” Or, “Why are all the sharks eating the happy fish?” Could be something really simple…in a kids mind, things are a lot more simple than we make them out to be. And more than likely, he has a reason for not putting the faces in there. Could be as simple as, ‘I ran out of time.’ Probably the ships and helicopters…he is probably thinking about his dad. And he is spot on. Is that not what your husband is doing right now?

  5. Ryan said:

    he is distrubed or he misses his dad


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