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Anxiety and learning disorders


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Since I was diagnosed with dyspraxia I feel like a whole chunk of my life I completely ignored now makes sense, and with that comes some clarity into the roots of all my anxiety. The trouble is, that root isn't something I can fix or change. Does anyone else with learning disorders (don't know what the phrase is in the US) have anxiety caused by their LD? Struggles I'm having-

  • Social skills or lack thereof. Some of the social anxiety is because I am actually finding people difficult. I don't always understand their motives, or my speech is funny (dropping or changing sounds, forgetting words mid-sentence), I find even small groups of people overwhelming and large groups almost unbearable. Before my diagnosis I stuck it out because I assumed I was just weird, but now everything almost feels worse because I know what it is. Like a lot of girls/women with LD's I think I present far more socially adept than I actually am because girls are more 'emotionally intelligent'.
  • Anxiety over job performance or work. Forgetting to do assignments or that I'm scheduled in at work is probably the quickest way to get me to have a panic attack. I struggle to organise and manage time but I feel like I overcompensate with the anxiety, so I spend days OCD-checking work schedules or even meeting up with a friend. Instead of having a functional system there's a doubly dysfunctional system which mimics a functional one, if that makes any sense.
  • Finding it difficult to cope with new situations I'm not either fully in control of, or fully educated in. I'm trying to look for a job (which worries me for so many reasons) and also contemplating dating again (after a former abusive relationship) and both feel very over my head at the moment because I don't have much experience at either. Well, I have job experience, but each workplace is different and has different structures and rules and people and blah blah blah. Unless I have a literal manual with every step or question laid out for me, it's difficult. I get the whole 'just having to throw myself out there' but every time I've done that, I got burned badly, so it isn't the most helpful advice.

I feel like I've made this post before but can I remember? No

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  • 2 weeks later...

Klonopin and propranolol work for me. What I hate is I do, what to others seems dumb, but it is just because of my dyspraxic miswiring. I have mixed dominance which leads to being a clutz. I am slow to learn new tasks that are physical.  I have trouble with physical tasks that far younger people have mastered and I think this puts me in a bad light. I have great trouble with starting tasks or figuring the order (what comes next) in a task and my ADD (50 % of dyspraxics have ADD) plays into this. Treating my ADD makes a big difference in my quickness to pick up new tasks, figuring what comes first, and the order to do them in.

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I've been wondering if there is something other than just dyspraxia, but it's not a huge priority and I can't afford to be re-tested for what would really be a shot in the dark. I've been advised against taking psych meds, because a lot of the anxiety and whatnot is rooted in personality disorders :/ I have grip problems so one minute, the glass in my hand is fine, the next it's in pieces on the floor. Figuring out the order things should go in is also difficult, especially with short term memory problems. Like if someone rattles off three different tasks I need to do, I'll maybe remember two of them fine and get stuck on the third, if I remember it at all. By treatment do you mean exercises, or medication?

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Learning disorders are not personality disorders. They are a significant deficits in specific abilities that affect learning. There are several LD's. How is your handwriting ? In dysgraphia you see grip problems, trouble learning to write related to grip problems. It is common the person can't well control how much pressure they are using while writing and bear down too hard. Very poor handwriting is common to the point of being unreadable. Depression and to some extent ADD are comorbid.

In dyspraxia, called the clumsy child syndrome, some have trouble speaking as they have poor control of vocal cords and other vocal functions. Not everyone has the trait. They too have handwriting problems but not as significantly as dysgraphics. Learning the grip things, like a glass or pencil is common. Depression is comorbid and 50% of dyspraxics have ADD. Late learning to tie shoes or ride a bike is common (balance problems) Being mixed or cross dominate presentation is common. My dominant hand is the right one but my left eye is dominant. I have very poor eye/hand coordination. 

There is a lot of overlap of symptoms and not everybody has all the symptoms. Treatment consists of learning coping skills and learning to capitalize on strengths. LD people may have significant deficits in some things but be in the 90 percentile with other skills. LD does not affect intelligence, many/most have higher than average IQ's. Treating comorbidities is crucial. That is usually with meds for depression  or ADD.  Otherwise it is learning coping skills so diagnosis is not as important as treating the obvious deficits or things the patient expresses trouble with.

 

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