Apr 15, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Dyslexia and Depression

I can certainly see the possible link between dyslexia and depression.

Samuel T. Orton, M.D. was one of the first researchers who talked about emotional problems connected to dyslexia, including depression disorder, especially among children and teenagers.

What usually happens is that before school and before learning to read these children have relatively happy life. As soon as the learning starts and they realize that they can’t read as well as other children and the distance between them and their friends is getting bigger, the stress, depression and anxieties build up and their self-esteem plummets.

Interestingly enough, girls tend to succumb to depression more, while boys practice aggression and denial.

It’s very important to recognize very early that your child or pupil is dyslexic and to treat them differently. A lot of parents and teachers would think that the child is very bright but call him or her lazy and inattentive not even realizing how hard the child is trying.

I’ve got a friend who is suffering from bipolar disorder, and who’s been getting depression therapy for quite a long time. His therapist came to a conclusion looking back at his childhood that a lot of his mental problems started in dyslexia.

People don’t exactly realize how many problems and insecurities you can develop at an early age if you are dyslexic. Let’s see:

– Problems with social interactions as other children think you are not smart enough;

– Fear of making a mistake. You are likely to become a perfectionist and feel unhappy unless everything is up to your very high standards;

– Problems with oral language which doesn’t help your self-esteem especially in your teenage years;

– Difficulties with remembering right sequence of events or words in a sentence, consequently when such children remember what happened and talk about it, they may tell the story differently every time and are called pathological liars.

– Dyslexic performance varies from good days to bad days, some tasks they will do perfectly well and some they can not accomplish.

These are just some of the “perks” of this condition.

It is with a certainty you can say that depression, anxiety and anger are constant features in life of a dyslexic.

That’s why it is very important from an early age:

1. To detect the dyslexia.

2. To help your child to understand the condition and what they are good or not good at.

3. To help them to achieve real goals not perfection that they are striving for.

4. If they are good at something, encourage them to teach it to other youngsters. It does marvels for their self-esteem.

5. And keep listening and encouraging them to express their feelings.

As usual I’m very interested to learn of your experiences, so please, share and take care, guys!

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