My son is almost six, and he is so so so hard on himself and I don't really know how to deal with it. He's a serious perfectionist, and often will crumple/tear up his work if he's not happy about it - he'll be doing a drawing, decide it doesn't look good, and rip it in half, or colour outside the lines and crumple it into a ball. He frequently then regrets ruining his stuff and then cries. He was doing an after-school art class, got upset about something, and cut his canvas into a dozen pieces with scissors. He also sometimes says things like "I'm stupid, I hate myself" and "I don't belong in this family". This morning he said "I wish I wasn't alive."

I don't know how much of this is attention-seeking and he just wants us to hug him and tell him he's great and we love him, how much of this is frustration about being younger and always feeling like he's behind his brother (he also gets really upset about still wearing pull-ups when "nobody else in the family does"), and how much of it is a serious issue. I've tried to talk to him about "do you really feel like this, or are you just feeling sad and you need a hug?" and he doesn't seem really sure.

Advice? Commiseration? Most of the time he's a happy noisy little maniac but this makes me feel so bad for him and I worry about it a lot.