Stop The Misdiagnosing of Neurodivergents
I feel that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals need to consider learning disabilities when patients have mental health problems. I have a long history of anxiety and depression,and not one single mental health professional even considered that I had learning disabilities. I believe that there should be screening for learning disabilities in people with mental health problems…especially if they have a history of low self esteem, insecurity,hypersensitivity to criticism that includes feelings of intellectual inadequacy. Psychiatrists really need to have their patients tested psychologically and neurologically in order to differentiate learning disabilities from psychiatric disorders.
Poor coordination,left/right confusion,memory issues,disorganization,and speech irregularities are not just symptoms of psychotic disorders but they are also symptoms of learning disabilities. It was these issues that got me misdiagnosed as a schizoaffective bipolar in 1999 by psychiatrists. They never did any psychological testing nor neurological testing.
Aspergers is listed as one of the conditions misdiagnosed Bipolar in the book,THE BIPOLAR CHILD by The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood’s Most Misunderstood Disorder by Demitri Papolos M.D., Janice Papolos, Janice Papolos,Janice Papolos. I actually copied the characteristics of Bipolar children and gave alternative explanations that could be linked to neurodivergent conditions. One of the common characteristics of bipolar children listed in the book was learning disabilities which pretty much supports my belief that a lot of learning disabled are getting diagnosed as having bipolar. One of the very common characteristics of bipolar are oversensitivity to environmental influences,and learning disabled people are highly sensitive. How many learning disabled children act out, misbehave,throw temper tantrums,lash out,pout,and/or cry because they are frustrated,stressed,angry,irritable,and overwhelmed from problems with processing information that leads to being misunderstood,teased,ridiculed,and criticized. A whole lot. I definitely was no different. Where is the common sense in regards to learning disabled children having secondary psychological symptoms? It just seems like there is very little of it. Learning disabled children grow up to be learning disabled adults,and many of them have secondary psychological problems. I definitely was no different. There is definitely a significant overlap between learning disabilities and mental health problems.
Children with learning disabilities are prone to chronic depression. Older adolescents and adults tend to become withdrawn. They may be quiet or become agitated, irritable, and angry; they may also look sad and talk about their sadness. Young children, on the other hand, tend to exhibit non-verbal clues and express their emotional struggles more by their behavior than by talking. A major depression typically lasts several weeks and may be intense. Mild chronic depression (dysthymia) may last for an extended period of time and frequently appears to be an aspect of a child’s usual moods and personality.
Learning Disabilities Association of America
There’s all sorts of research in the field to suggest and support the concomitance of learning disabilities and mental health problems. Several recent studies show that 50% of individuals diagnosed with learning disabilities have scores above the clinical range on a well known depression scale. One thing we know is that attentional problems are a common feature of both. Another study summary says, Teachers have long known and reported that students with learning disabilities at lower educational levels have similar but more, and more severe, depression, than their peers without learning disabilities. There’s no reason to think this link disappears with age. In fact, it becomes more urgent. And the stakes are higher. Failure to remediate at this adult stage has more serious consequences. http://dyslexia.mtsu.edu/modules/articles/displayarticle.jsp?id=17
About 75 percent of dropouts have trouble reading, according to research conducted by Reid Lyon of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. About half of adolescents with criminal records and substance abuse histories have reading problems, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2001.
Social Skills Deficits in Learning Disabilities:The Psychiatric Comorbidity Hypothesis
For some the humiliation becomes too much. In one study, Peck found that over 50 percent of all suicides under age fifteen in Los Angeles County had been previously diagnosed as having learning disabilities. The actual percentage of youngsters labeled “learning disabled” in most school districts in the United States is below 5 percent; therefore, it seems clear that youngsters with learning disabilities constitute a disproportionately large percentage of adolescent suicides compared with the general adolescent population.
Results from a study in the U.S.A. by the National Center for State Courts demonstrated that youths with LD were 200 percent more likely to be arrested than nondisabled peers for comparable offences. According to the U.S. Department of Education 60 percent of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85 percent of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.
Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia
Depression is also a frequent complication in dyslexia. Although most dyslexics are not depressed, children with this kind of learning disability are at higher risk for intense feelings of sorrow and pain. Perhaps because of their low self-esteem, dyslexics are afraid to turn their anger toward their environment and instead turn it toward themselves.
However, depressed children and adolescents often have different symptoms than do depressed
adults. The depressed child is unlikely to be lethargic or to talk about feeling sad. Instead he or she may become more active or misbehave to cover up the painful feelings. In the case of masked depression, the child may not seem
obviously unhappy. However, both children and adults who are depressed tend to have three similar characteristics:
Ã¢â€“Âª First, they tend to have negative thoughts about themselves, i.e. a negative self-image.
Ã¢â€“Âª Second, they tend to view the world negatively. They are less likely to enjoy the positive experiences in life. This makes it difficult for them to have fun.
Ã¢â€“Âª Finally, most depressed youngsters have great trouble imagining anything positive about the future. The depressed dyslexic not only experiences great pain in his present experiences, but also foresees a life of continuing failure.
Children with both dyslexia and ADD are at dramatically increased risk for substance abuse and felony convictions if they do not receive appropriate interventions.
ADHD and Antipsychotic Drugs
Studies conducted at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., suggest that the drugs are routinely prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
More research needed
There has been little carefully controlled, long-term research on children taking most psychiatric drugs, including the atypical antipsychotics. The FDA is trying to get more pediatric research on the atypicals, says Thomas Laughren, the agency’s director of the psychiatry products division.
The FDA has asked five pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs to test them in children with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the uses they’re approved for in adults. Under law, they can get a six-month extension on their patents for doing these studies.
Also, the drug companies are doing their own pediatric studies on children with disorders as diverse as ADHD, autism, conduct disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.
Janssen LP has applied to the FDA for approval to use its atypical antipsychotic, Risperdal, in the treatment of symptoms of autism, says Ramy Mahmoud, vice president of medical affairs for Janssen.
July 1, 2005 – The antipsychotic drug Risperdal may cut aggressive behavior in children with autism.
That effect was reported in The American Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers including James McCracken, MD, of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), studied Risperdal and autism.
Could a lot of Schizophrenics be actually misdiagnosed Dylsexics,Dyspraxics,ADHDers,Aspergers? I believe so!
Patients with schizophrenia are likely to have problems reading, reveals a study that shows some may even have impairments similar to those seen in patients with dyslexia.
The ability to recognize objects is a fundamental cognitive task in every sensory modality, e.g., for friend/foe discrimination, social communication, reading, or hearing, and its loss or impairment is associated with a number of neural disorders (e.g., in autism, dyslexia, or schizophrenia).
History: Most children who develop schizophrenia have disturbances of behavior and cognition prior to the onset of characteristic symptoms of psychosis. Delays in speech and language and delays in acquisition of motor milestones are noted in approximately one half of these children. Children who develop schizophrenia have higher rates of impaired social skills and school achievement prior to presenting signs of schizophrenia
(Delays in Speech and language are signs of Dyslexia,Dyspraxia,and Autism. Delays in acquisition of motor milestones are signs of Dyspraxia. Impaired social skills are signs of Aspergers,Autistics. Impaired school achievement is common in Dyslexics,Dyspraxics,ADHDers.)
Language Disorder In Schizophrenia As A Developmental Disorder by Ruth Condray
Language disorder is increasingly understood to be an important characteristic of schizophrenia. The
hypothesis advanced here is that receptive language disorder in schizophrenia represents a learning
disorder that involves a neurodevelopmental etiology. It is argued that receptive language disorder may
involve a preexisting developmental reading disorder for a subgroup of schizophrenia patients. Whether the
language disorder of schizophrenia is equivalent,phenotypically and etiologically, to the language
disorder of dyslexia is an open question. Although schizophrenia and dyslexia are separate clinical
disorders, independent lines of evidence are suggestive of parallels between their hallmark features,
cognitive dysfunction, and potential pathophysiology.
I created a petition to stop the misdiagnosing of neurodivergents and prevent the unnecessary medicating which can cause serious damage on an emotional and physical level. This would involving having psychiatrists to have their patients undergo psychological and neurological testing and not just go by observations. You can’t judge a book by its cover.
member of International Dyslexia Association,Learning Disability Association,The Dyslexia Foundation, National Association for the Education of African American Children with Learning Disabilities and donate to National Center of Learning Disabilities,Hello Friend/Ennis Cosby Foundation and The National Center for Learning Disabilities