ACP advice for 12-year-old with no aspirations in life

ACP member Georgina Taylor contributed her expert opinion to a real-life scenario in the Guardian's Problem Solved column concerning a boy who had lost interest in life.

His parents contacted the newspaper's advice page after the 12-year-old wrote a note which said that he didn't care what happened in life or if it ended. "He seems to have the worries of the world on his shoulders, which upsets my husband and me as we have always tried to instill self-confidence and self-worth in our children," says the boy's mother.

Georgina says that much of what the boy's parents are describing suggest "typical changes at the edge of puberty - it would be quite surprising if he didn't pull away at this stage." However, she advises that their son's feelings of detachment need further exploration and - given that parents are "often the last people a young person wants to talk to" - suggests finding relatives or family friends who might be suitable to talk to him.

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