My 6 year old son seems to be bothered by distressing thoughts. This started about 2 months ago with a “scary book” that he saw at school. Apparently two older kids brought in a book which he found upsetting. After discussing the book with him it sounds like a goosebumps book or something similar. He said the front cover had a picture of a hand surrounded by fire and inside there were illustrations of ‘scary aliens and monsters’
This caused what he describes as “his nightmares” - basically at various times throughout the day he will remember something from the book and get very upset. When it happens he will get a far away terrified look in his eyes, like he is about to cry and say “I’m having my nightmare again”. At night he will sometimes be afraid of going to sleep and during the day these thoughts will interrupt what he is doing. Even though he calls the episodes ‘his nightmares’ he doesn't seem to be disturbed by actual bad dreams while sleeping.
When this started happening we spoke to him about it and explained that the book was fiction, what was shown in it wasn't real, etc. We expected it to all blow over in a week or two, but months later its still happening. We have spoken to the teachers to try and find out what the book was, but because the incident happened so long ago there is not much they can do.
Recently he also seems to be having other out of character behaviour. We are not sure if this is related to ‘his nightmares’ or both the nightmares and other behaviour are caused by some other underlying cause. We are also not sure how serious all this is - perhaps its just a normal phase he is going through and he will grow out of it in another month or two, or perhaps its something we should be looking at professional help for?