There is an area of mental health that disappointingly goes unaddressed, but has extensive correlation with the quality of one’s emotional and perceptual state. These important matters are faced by those with learning disabilities. It is a common misconception that learning disabilities are entirely an education-centered concern, when in fact, these issues pour into the daily personal lives of sufferers. Some of the symptoms experienced in these cases mimic those of many common mental disorders - with no clear indication of their origin for the sufferer.
An alarming number of adults have learning disabilities. Unfortunately, many of them not only deal with the challenges that are directly related to their concerns with learning, but experience psychological stress as well. Here are a 3 major mental health difficulties that you may be experiencing, but are unaware of the connection they have with your learning disability:
1. Impulse Dysregulation: having difficulty thinking and reasoning before speaking and reacting to daily life situations. These behaviors can be identified as irrational outbursts, unpredictable/inconsistent ways of handling problems, and interruptive communication styles.
2. A loss of emotional control: feeling like you have no authority over your emotions, having trouble understanding, explaining and coping with emotions and feelings. This symptom can lead to becoming excessively engrossed with certain feelings to the extent that anxiety and depression become more apparent. This can be seen in one’s proneness to be easily agitated, intolerable of criticism and having difficultly relaxing.
3. Difficulty with social skills: struggling to find a fit in social situations, friendships and relationships. This can be recognized when one has difficulty identifying and understanding non-verbal communication, or receives recurrent complaints about their inappropriate talk with no awareness of why. Additionally, sufferers may have trouble making a connection between another’s body language and feelings, and may frequently struggle with distinguishing communication styles like sarcasm and literalness. This can lead to a breakdown in personal relationships, and cause complete isolation from social situations - which in turn may heighten depressive symptoms.
Far too often people with learning disabilities silently endure feelings of embarrassment and frustration surrounding their disorder, causing them to hide it or shy away from receiving the help they desire and need. There are many suffering with the same issue - you are not alone, and you don’t have to fight this on your own!
If you are a person who faces difficulty with a learning disability, but are unsure about the impact that it may have on your mental health, please sign-up to speak with an Elttila Counselor to gain an understanding, and to learn healthy ways of managing these potential issues. We get it. Let us prescribe you a journey of hope that will help ease the weight of your struggles.
Written by Brianna Colbert, MA, LLPC.