I have also known many gifted who wonder aloud about life after death and how others would feel if they were gone -- not because they were suicidal, but just because it's an interesting question! There is also a tendency among gifted kids for what I call dramatic talk: "I will never have any friends again"; "I absolutely hate my brother"; " What's the point of graduating from school if global warming is on the increase and we're all going to die?"
When a parent, or a counselor, is looking at possible serious depression or anxiety in a gifted child, check for the following:
1. A change in physical symptoms, such as serious loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tension headaches, etc.
2. Unusual behavior, such as refusal to leave the house or increased fearfulness.
3. A real lack of hope for the future, or an inability to see any solutions recommended by others.
4. Very dramatic behavior, such as writing a last will or giving away prized possessions (before they plan to die).
It is also essential that the counselor understand the true sense of being "different" that many gifted kids feel. This is not elitism, but very accurate when you consider how statistically unusual giftedness truly is. Many professionals -- teachers, counselors, coaches -- have had little or no training in working with the gifted. Do not hesitate to ask before you sign on with any professional. A counselor's understanding of giftedness may be essential if she is to help your child.