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  • misdiagnoses of the gifted - positive disintegration

    Mis-Diagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children:
    Gifted and LD, ADHD, OCD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    By James T. Webb, Ph.D.

    Many gifted and talented children (and adults) are being mis-diagnosed by psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other health care professionals.
    The most common mis-diagnoses are: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Mood Disorders such as Cyclothymic Disorder, Dysthyinic Disorder, Depression, and Bi-Polar Disorder.

    These common mis-diagnoses stem from an ignorance among professionals about specific social and emotional characteristics of gifted children which are then mistakenly assumed by these professionals to be signs of pathology.

    In some situations where gifted children have received a correct diagnosis, giftedness is still a factor that must be considered in treatment, and should really generate a dual diagnosis.

    For example, existential depression or learning disability, when present in gifted children or adults, requires a different approach because new dimensions are added by the giftedness component.
    Yet the giftedness component typically is overlooked due to the lack of training and understanding by health care professionals.

    Despite prevalent myths to the contrary, gifted children and adults are at particular psychological risk due to both internal characteristics and situational factors.
    These internal and situational factors can lead to interpersonal and psychological difficulties for gifted children, and subsequently to mis-diagnoses and inadequate treatment.

    Internal Factors

    First, let me mention the internal aspects. Historically, nearly all of the research on gifted individuals has focused on the intellectual aspects, particularly in an academic sense. Until recently, little attention has been given to personality factors which accompany high intellect and creativity.
    Even less attention has been given to the observation that these personality factors intensify and have greater life effects when intelligence level increases beyond JQ 130.

    Perhaps the most universal, yet most often overlooked, characteristic of gifted children and adults is their intensity (Silverman, 1993; Webb, 1993). One mother described it succinctly when she said, "My child's life motto is that anything worth doing is worth doing to excess."

    Gifted children -- and gifted adults-- often are extremely intense, whether in their emotional response, intellectual pursuits, sibling rivalry, or power struggles with an authority figure.

    Lack of understanding by parents, educators, and health professionals, combined with the problem situations (e.g., lack of appropriately differentiated education) leads to interpersonal problems which are then mis-labeled, and thus prompt the mis-diagnoses. The most common mis-diagnoses are as follows.

    Common Mis-Diagnoses

    ADHD and Gifted. Many gifted children are being mis-diagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The gifted child's characteristics of intensity, sensitivity, impatience, and high motor activity can easily be mistaken for ADHD.
    Some gifted children surely do suffer from ADHD, and thus have a dual diagnosis of gifted and ADHD; but in my opinion, most are not. Few health care professionals give sufficient attention to the words about ADHD in DSM-IV( 1994) that say "...inconsistent with developmental level...."
    The gifted child's developmental level is different (asynchronous) when compared to other children, and health care professionals need to ask whether the child's inattentiveness or impulsivity behaviors occur only in some situations but not in others (e.g., at school but not at home; at church, but not at scouts, etc.).
    If the problem behaviors are situational only, the child is likely not suffering from ADHD.

    To further complicate matters, my own clinical observation suggests that about three percent of highly gifted children suffer from a functional borderline hypoglycemic condition.
    Silverman (1993) has suggested that perhaps the same percentage also suffer from allergies of various kinds. Physical reactions in these conditions, when combined with the intensity and sensitivity, result in behaviors that can mimic ADHD.
    However, the ADHD-like symptoms in such cases will vary with the time of day, length of time since last meal, type of foods eaten, or exposure to other environmental agents.

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Gifted. The intensity, sensitivity, and idealism of gifted children often lead others to view them as "strong-willed."
    Power struggles with parents and teachers are common, particularly when these children receive criticism, as they often do, for some of the very characteristics that make them gifted (e.g., why are you so sensitive, always questioning me, trying to do things a different way, etc.).

    Bi-Polar and other Mood Disorders and Gifted. Recently, I encountered a parent whose highly gifted child had been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder. This intense child, whose parents were going through a bitter divorce, did indeed show extreme mood swings, but, in my view, the diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder was off the mark.
    In adolescence, or sometimes earlier, gifted children often do go through periods of depression related to their disappointed idealism, and their feelings of aloneness and alienation culminate in an existential depression. However, it is not at all clear that this kind of depression warrants such a major diagnosis.

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Gifted. Even as preschoolers, gifted children love to organize people and things into complex frameworks, and get quite upset when others don't follow their rules or don't understand their schema.
    Many gifted first graders are seen as perfectionist and "bossy" because they try to organize the other children, and sometimes even try to organize their family or the teacher. As they grow up, they continue to search intensely for the "rules of life" and for consistency.
    Their intellectualizing, sense of urgency, perfectionism, idealism, and intolerance for mistakes may be misunderstood to be signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
    In some sense, however, giftedness is a dual diagnosis with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder since intellectualization may be assumed to underlie many of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for this disorder.

    Dual Diagnoses

    Learning Disabilities and Giftedness. Giftedness is a coexisting factor, to be sure, in some diagnoses. One notable example is in diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities.
    Few psychologists are aware that inter-subscale scatter on the Wechsler intelligence tests increases as a child's overall IQ score exceeds 130. In children with a Full Scale IQ score or greater, it is not uncommon to find a difference of 20 or more points between Verbal IQ Performance IQ (Silverman, 1993; Webb & Kleme, 1993; Winner, 2000).
    Most clinical psychologists are taught that such a discrepancy is serious cause for concern regarding possible serious brain dysfunction, including learning disabilities.
    For highly gifted children, such discrepancy is far less likely to be an indication of pathological brain dysfunction, though it certainly would suggest an unusual learning style and perhaps a relative learning disability.

    Similarly, the difference between the highest and lowest scores on individual subscales within intelligence and achievement tests is often quite notable in gifted children.

    On the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -III, it is not uncommon to find subscale differences greater than seven scale score points for gifted children, particularly those who are highly gifted.

    These score discrepancies are taken by most psychologists to indicate learning disabilities, and in a functional sense they do represent that.

    That is, the levels of ability do vary dramatically, though the range may be "only" from Very Superior to Average level of functioning. In this sense, gifted children may not "qualify" for a diagnosis of learning disability, and indeed some schools seem to have a policy of "only one label allowed per student," and since this student is gifted, he/she can not also be considered learning disabled.

    However, it is important for psychologists to understand the concept of "asynchronous development" (Silverman, 1993), and to appreciate that most gifted children show such an appreciable, and often significant, scatter of abilities.

    Poor handwriting is often used as one indicator of learning disabilities. However, many and perhaps most gifted children will show poor handwriting.
    Usually this simply represents that their thoughts go so much faster than their hands can move, and that they see little sense in making writing an art form when its primary purpose is to communicate (Webb & Kleme, 1993; Winner, 2000).

    Psychologists must understand that, without intervention, self-esteem issues are almost a guarantee in gifted children with learning disabilities as well as those who simply have notable asynchronous development since they tend to evaluate themselves based more on what they cannot do rather than on what they are able to do.



    read the rest here:
    http://talentdevelop.com/articles/MADDOGC.html
    ************************************************** *******************

    Theory of Positive Disintegration as a Model of Personality Development For Exceptional Individuals
    http://talentdevelop.com/articles/TOPDAAM2.html

    http://www.holisticeducator.com/spiritualemergence.htm
    So-called 'Schizophrenia' as Intense Transpersonal or Spiritual Experience: Transformation Process, Spiritual Awakening or 'Spiritual Emergence

    http://talentdevelop.com/Dabrowski.html

    The propensity for changing one's internal environment and the ability to influence positively the external environment indicate the capacity of the individual to develop.

    Almost as a rule, these factors are related to increased mental excitability, depressions, dissatisfaction with oneself, feelings of inferiority and guilt, states of anxiety, inhibitions, and ambivalences - all symptoms which the psychiatrist tends to label psychoneurotic.

    Given a definition of mental health as the development of the personality, we can say that all individuals who present active development in the direction of a higher level of personality (including most psychoneurotic patients) are mentally healthy.

    Kazimierz Dabrowski -- in his book Positive Disintegration
    ************************************************** ***************

    Overexcitability (nervousness) - The tragic gift

    OE is a higher than average capacity for experiencing internal and external stimuli, based on a higher than average responsiveness of the nervous system. The prefix over attached to 'excitability' serves to indicate that the reactions of excitation are over and above average in intensity, duration and frequency. ...

    Psychomotor OE - an excess of energy manifesting in rapid talk, restlessness, preference for violent games, sports, pressure for action, or delinquent behavior.

    It may either be a "pure" manifestation of the excess of energy, or it may result from the transfer of emotional tension to psychomotor forms of expression such as those mentioned above (tics and self-mutilation).

    > Related pages:......intensity / sensitivity........cutting / self-injury

    .> related page : ..existential dread .


    http://highability.org/537/excitabil...n-daniels-phd/

    Misdiagnosis of the Gifted by Lynne Azpeitia and Mary Rocamora


    Overexcitabilities in Gifted Children - By Lesley Sword
    Overexcitabilities are an abundance of physical, sensual, creative, intellectual and emotional energy that can result in creative endeavours as well as advanced emotional and ethical development in adulthood. Overexcitabilities feed, enrich, empower and amplify talent.


    Overexcitability and the Gifted by Sharon Lind
    A small amount of definitive research and a great deal of naturalistic observation have led to the belief that intensity, sensitivity and overexcitability are primary characteristics of the highly gifted. These observations are supported by parents and teachers who notice distinct behavioral and constitutional differences between highly gifted children and their peers. The work of Kazimierz Dabrowski, (1902-1980), provides an excellent framework with which to understand these characteristics.


    On Primary Integration, psychopathy and average person - by Elizabeth Mika
    The concept of integration in psychology has predominantly positive connotations, usually describing a state conducive to coherent, predictable and effective functioning of an individual in the world. Disintegration, on the other hand, is typically considered a negative and undesirable aspect of human existence, characterized by lack of coherence, chaos and general ineffectiveness. Dabrowski's aim was to show that both concepts as descriptions of psychological states can have either positive or negative meaning, depending on their role in individual development.


    Last edited by leila; 04-10-2012, 01:01 PM.
    ~many hands make the work light~

  • #2
    i like that people are talking about being "giftarded" is how i have seen myself.
    i have always been considered called "gifted" in school and by people....my IQ is extremely high in tests.
    yet!!! yet in so many ways i am really pretty stupid, i think this is somewhat common in "gifted" individuals.

    its kinda weird, the contradiction. i think people in the 100-130 range of IQ are actually what generally most people see as being really intelligent , and gifted. the people who do go above that, in whatever kinds of IQ or related tests, in my experience anyway, tend to be also somewhat dysfunctional in other ways....lacking in common sense, or any way of applying themselves and their bright wild minds =)

    a clear example- misspelling the title of this thread =) which i just realized i cant edit =)

    ah just another day being giftarded =)


    ~many hands make the work light~

    Comment


    • #3
      The real problem with the diagnoses that are made is that the person who makes them usually is looking up information that is mixed up for example in ocd symptoms of ocpd and adhd are also mixed in on some informative websites about ocd. Ocd and ocpd are psychologically completely opposite illnesses. Most mental health psychology seems to be mixed up like major psychotic depression is essentially schizophrenia, take a 20 year old schizophrenic and add 40-50 years to his age and it becomes alzheimers dementia, put a person in a really bad situation and it looks like they have depression when actually they are just reacting normally to their environment trying to adapt. Most mental health problems have alot of crossover and similar symptoms they need to start making it more clearer.

      Psychomotor retardation to some degree occurs in nearly all mental health problems. Clumsy, find it hard to do tasks, need to check things, memory problems. Which mental health problem am I describing ocd, depression, schizophrenia, alzheimers, autism, post traumatic stress? It could be any.
      Museatlantis is awakening

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Museatlantis View Post
        The real problem with the diagnoses that are made is that the person who makes them usually is looking up information that is mixed up for example in ocd symptoms of ocpd and adhd are also mixed in on some informative websites about ocd. Ocd and ocpd are psychologically completely opposite illnesses. Most mental health psychology seems to be mixed up like major psychotic depression is essentially schizophrenia, take a 20 year old schizophrenic and add 40-50 years to his age and it becomes alzheimers dementia, put a person in a really bad situation and it looks like they have depression when actually they are just reacting normally to their environment trying to adapt. Most mental health problems have alot of crossover and similar symptoms they need to start making it more clearer.

        Psychomotor retardation to some degree occurs in nearly all mental health problems. Clumsy, find it hard to do tasks, need to check things, memory problems. Which mental health problem am I describing ocd, depression, schizophrenia, alzheimers, autism, post traumatic stress? It could be any.
        well you seem to be thinking these are very real diagnosis, and perhaps they are in a sense, certainly describing SOMETHING.
        these writings are also coming more from that perspective, i tend to disagree that they are this set in stone, clear "illness".

        i'm going more with...they are each describing SOMETHING, but i dont think we've really even begun to understand what exactly that SOMETHING is...and theres certainly a lot of overlap. i tend to think most mental illness is misdiagnosed , if not all, being a combonation of malnutrition, toxic exposure, the stress and general dysfunction of the modern world, and some of it being more of a "spiritual" sickness.....

        but yes, that is pretty much what these writers are saying...in relation to "gifted" and "learning disabilities", "mental illness".....
        theres a lot of overlap, and that it is isnt being seen properly at all. i can appreciate that perspective too...i think alot of it is misdiagnosis, and more of it is that...trying to describe SOMETHING, not "illness".

        neuro divergence, aspergers, ADHD, savants, "gifted" "mentally ill"...i think theres a lot of misperceptions around these things. different doesnt mean "sick"
        ~many hands make the work light~

        Comment


        • #5
          i can edit your thread title leila. but i think 'diagnoses' is the plural of 'diagnosis' so its ok.

          i think of my intelligence as lumpy-- all piled up in some places, missing in others.
          !soil first! every garden is an experiment no experiment is a failure
          ------------------------------------** eat lots of salad! **-----------------------------------

          Comment


          • #6
            ah excellent! thats even funnier. i actually did mean to write diagnosis, and mispelled it, accidentally incorrectly correct =)
            tempted to look it up, but not curious enough.....
            this also just made me realize that gnosis is a part of diagnosis

            cause its the noses that threw me off and made it look incorrect.....when i looked at it =)
            ~many hands make the work light~

            Comment


            • #7
              i caught the gnosis too, but not the noses.
              !soil first! every garden is an experiment no experiment is a failure
              ------------------------------------** eat lots of salad! **-----------------------------------

              Comment


              • #8
                http://talentdevelop.com/articles/TOPDAAM1.html
                Gifted Minds in Search of a Theory


                For some time now, experts in the field of giftedness have been searching for and creating theoretical models of development, which could be applied to the gifted population.
                Unfortunately, such models often suffer from artificially imposed exclusivity.
                As Ellen Winner writes,
                “Psychology should have theories that account for the development of the atypical as well as the typical. We should not have entirely separate theories to explain learning and development in ordinary, retarded, autistic, learning-disabled and gifted children. Too often we have researchers devoted to one of these populations, with the result that we have separate explanatory accounts of each population.

                "Ultimately, psychological theory must account for all of the various ways in which the mind and brain develop. We need universal theories of development, but these theories must be able to incorporate special populations, whether these are special because of pathology, giftedness, or both.” (Winner, 1996, p. 313)


                The theory, formulated almost a half a century ago, focuses on positive aspects of mental health and the essential role of positive values in guiding human development, and as such it can be considered a precursor of positive psychology.

                What is unique about the TPD approach, however, is that, through combining both biological and humanistic perspectives, it articulates a positive view of many forms of so-called psychopathology and human suffering in general – a perspective that is conspicuously missing from the positive psychology’s exclusive focus on the good, virtuous and happy.

                http://talentdevelop.com/articles/TOPDAAM1.html

                ******************

                Overexcitability (OE)

                This component of developmental potential deserves special consideration as it is frequently observed in gifted individuals, but perhaps equally frequently misunderstood.

                According to Dabrowski, overexcitability is a higher than average capacity for experiencing inner and external stimuli and it is based on a higher than average responsiveness of the nervous system.

                In overexcitability, “responses to a variety of stimuli may markedly exceed the value of an average response, they may last significantly longer (although this is not a necessary attribute of overexcitability), and they may occur with greater frequency.”

                Although his interests in nervousness in children date back to the very beginning of his clinical career, Dabrowski first used the term “wzmozona pobudliwosc psychiczna” (increased psychic excitability, or overexcitability) in 1938 to describe certain characteristics and behaviors suggesting nervousness, which he observed in many gifted and talented children.

                He distinguished two forms of OE – global and narrow; and five types: psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual and emotional.
                The last three types are crucial for the type of advanced personality development that Dabrowski postulated as characteristic for many gifted individuals, particularly for those whose achievement, while not necessarily rewarding them with fame and eminence, was to attain the highest level of emotional and moral growth.

                Psychomotor overexcitability is a manifestation of a heightened energy level, and can be observed in restlessness, rapid and pressured speech, predilection for violent games and sports, pressure for action, or delinquent behavior.

                In its ‘pure’ form, it is a manifestation of the excess of energy; but it may also result from the transfer of emotional tension to psychomotor forms of expression such as those mentioned above. Cases of tics and self-mutilation, for example, suggest psychomotor OE, which originates in emotional tension.

                Dabrowski was keenly interested in self-mutilation as a phenomenon suggestive of higher than average sensitivity and DP. His Ph.D. dissertation on “Psychological basis of self-mutilation,” first published in 1934 and printed in English three years later, showed the co-existence of self-mutilatory tendencies, creativity and strong developmental strivings in a select group of creative individuals (Dabrowski, 1937).

                As Dabrowski observed, in people with psychomotor OE, the slightest stimulus evokes a strong reaction. Being accidentally touched in a crowd, being opposed in a discussion, cut off in traffic - any and all minimal frustrations can cause irritation or angry outbursts.

                These individuals are internally and unconsciously motivated to seek higher than average stimulation, because when their internal tension becomes too low, they experience it as a state of anxiety and inner discomfort.

                A person with psychomotor OE experiencing such a state of “nervous deprivation” will seek appropriate – and sometimes not so appropriate – stimulation to increase the inner tension and then to release it.
                As Dabrowski writes,
                "The real difficulties (for children with psychomotor overexcitability) start with the beginning of formal education. The greatest numbers of children who obtain bad grades for behavior come from this group. These are children who fidget in their chairs, disrupt their peers' work, play with pens and notebooks, have thousands of excuses to leave the classroom, and show severe fluctuations in attention. After school, and even during school, they start and lead fights and other physical escapades.

                "Boys, who excel in independence and exhibit tendencies to rebellion at school, are most frequently individuals with psychomotor OE. Their difficulties are particularly strong in adolescence, but they are also abundant in other periods. During adolescence, psychomotor OE takes on the form of truancy and wandering. Among children hanging from the back of a tram, among those who sell newspapers (on the streets), tramps or those who travel without a ticket, we meet primarily these types. In schoolwork and adult employment these individuals are characterized by unevenness or breaks in the work patterns.

                "They have periods of great intensity at work; in some, we find shorter or longer weakening of ability to work. These individuals are incapable of sustained effort, and are explosive at their workplace. Their work interests diverge in many different directions, and we often see frequent changes from one job or subject to another. In youth, we see tendencies to change schools, in young adults - jobs." (Dabrowski, 1964, p.76, trans. E. Mika)


                It is easy to see that Dabrowski’s description of manifestations of psychomotor OE is remarkably similar to symptoms of the condition known today as ADHD. Indeed, Dabrowski’s views on possible origins of psychomotor OE as well as management strategies for its manifestations are not at all different from contemporary views on etiology and treatment of ADHD (Dabrowski, 1964).

                Unfortunately, this facet of Dabrowski’s work is less known in the U.S. and this has resulted in a belief prevalent in the field of gifted education -- a belief unsupported by facts -- that gifted children with psychomotor OE tend to be “misdiagnosed” with ADHD.

                Sensual overexcitability is a manifestation of a heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli, particularly to sensory pleasure. In the narrow form of sensual overexcitability, the unusual intensity of reactions is limited to one sensual sphere (visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory); the global form, on the other hand, encompasses the whole character structure and all senses equally.

                Children with global sensual overexcitability have an increased need to touch and be touched, hugged, and kissed; they frequently exhibit early signs of sexual interests and development; and like to flirt and behave seductively as they get older.

                Most either like to eat and/or are picky eaters, are interested in food preparation, and like to smell their food (and often everything else).
                As Dabrowski observed, they like to be the center of attention, approach others without hesitation and start conversations easily; and are prone to self-adoration, confabulations, and drama in their everyday life. They usually exhibit strong aesthetic interests and are drawn to artistic professions and pursuits.

                On the negative side, people endowed with dominant sensual OE may lack the ability for reflection, planning and systematic effort – they tend to live “here and now,” dislike serious thought and intellectual analysis.

                Their interpersonal relationships are often characterized by excessive sociability, an inability to tolerate being alone, a superficial attitude toward loss and death, little interest in lives of others, lack of responsibility, and a tendency to externalize problems and blame others.
                “As with the psychomotor form, (sensual OE) also may, but need not be, a manifestation of a transfer of emotional tension to sensual forms of expression of which the most common examples are overeating and excessive sexual stimulation.” (Dabrowski, 1996, p.72)

                Imaginational overexcitability is an imbalance in information processing that is skewed toward internal, image-based mode, with a relative exclusion of sensual, affective and psychomotor spheres. For individuals with a dominant imaginational OE, external stimuli matter usually as fodder for their imagination, rather than on their own merit.

                Children with high imaginational overexcitability are less able than others to distinguish facts from fiction, are prone to illusions and daydreams, loose associations, lucid dreams, hypnotic trances, sometimes even hallucinations.

                A child with a particularly strong and unbalanced imaginational OE may consider his fantasy world to be more real than his external reality. As Dabrowski notes, these children have a difficult time in schools, especially in areas that do not interest them – they may react with sadness, lack of appetite, or depression to school requirements; and are often considered odd, distractible and sickly by others.

                Children with imaginational OE mature slowly and even in adulthood show symptoms of immaturity (so-called positive infantilism). The period of fantasy and magical thinking in their development is typically prolonged, and flirtation and sexual experimentation are very weak, or absent.
                Their first sexual attachment is often a failure, since they are not very skilled in choosing appropriate partners. However, their love failures, even though intense, do not leave major wounds since they are compensated for in their imagination.

                Frequently, persons with strong imaginational OE seek relationships with older and mature partners who can provide for their necessary daily living needs as well as offer protection and security.

                Children (and adults) with this type of OE frequently show aesthetic interests in art, poetry and music. They like to spend time alone or in very small groups of select peers and relatives. They do not like games and sports, but love to read and think.

                Sometimes they lose the distinction between their dreams and reality. Imaginational OE combined with emotional OE intensifies the tendency to prospection and retrospection, as well as maladjustment to external reality, often leading to positive disintegration.

                Intellectual overexcitability is the rarest type of OE and one with the least clinical implications. In this type of OE, a person’s receiving and processing information as well as decision-making are localized in the cognitive sphere.

                Children with the dominant intellectual OE ponder intellectual problems earlier and longer; show high perceptiveness; tend to develop good skills in logical analysis and are less prone to magical thinking; and early on become critical and independent thinkers.
                This type of overexcitability is most frequently associated with exceptional intellectual and academic abilities in children (Dabrowski, 1964; Mika, 2002).
                Its presence usually does not create any special developmental/clinical challenges and difficulties, apart from a possible developmental imbalance skewed toward a theoretical (vs. practical) approach to life, and possible disharmony between intellectual and other forms of maturity. Intellectual OE is often associated with certain socio-emotional immaturity (positive infantilism).

                Global form of intellectual OE is frequently found in individuals of mixed introversion/extraversion type. When combined with emotional and imaginational OE, global intellectual overexcitability aids the development of a rich mental structure with multiple talents and great self-awareness.

                A narrow form of intellectual OE is often encountered in schizoid and strongly introverted types, and it is characterized by one-sided development of specific abilities. As Dabrowski notes, such development usually leads to life difficulties that may end in negative disintegration, or stunted mental growth.

                Emotional overexcitability is a function of experiencing emotional relationships. The relationships can manifest themselves as strong attachment to persons, living things, or places.
                “From the developmental point of view, intensity of feelings and display of emotions alone are not developmentally significant unless the experiential aspect of relationship is present.” (Dabrowski, 1996, p.72)

                This distinction is of crucial importance, because only through learning based of reciprocal relationships, a child can develop the capacity for experiencing higher level emotions and multilevel dynamisms such as guilt and shame, empathy, compassion, subject-object in oneself.

                Children with high emotional OE show an early development of a strong affective life. These are the children who cry easily, are easily frightened and anxious, exhibit strong attachments to people, places and objects; as well as strong envy and anger.

                Their intense emotional reactions are frequently signs of a higher than average need for security and safety. Other signs of emotional OE include excessive inhibition and excitation, strong affective memory, concern and preoccupations with death; “depressions, feelings of loneliness, need for security, concern for others, exclusive relationships, difficulties of adjustment in new environments (insomnia, irritability and lack of appetite), etc.” (Dabrowski, 1996).

                Teenagers with the dominant emotional OE are often perceived as infantile, nave, lost, shy, non-competitive and immature. On the one hand, they are prone to experiencing shame and guilt; on the other, they tend to be overly open and trusting toward others – a combination, which, unfortunately, predisposes them to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.

                People with dominant emotional OE develop relationships of friendship and love usually with very few or only one person. Because such close and exclusive relationships are the source of meaning in their lives, any losses and betrayals have a lasting, and sometimes devastating, effect on them.

                Their sensitivity often increases as a result of difficult life experiences, and may lead to extreme self-analysis, and tendencies to meditation and isolation.

                As Dabrowski observed, in some individuals with dominant emotional OE, chronic anxiety related to shyness may become a dominating personality trait that leads to excessive self-criticism, distrust and sensitivity to rejection.

                Another danger for high emotional OE person is a tendency toward overidentification with others to the point of losing oneself in the emotional world of another, to the detriment of one’s own well-being and growth.

                However, when endowed with equally strong imaginational and intellectual OE, individuals with strong emotional OE can, and often do, sublimate and transform the pain and suffering that result from their excessive emotional sensitivity into creative and humanitarian efforts.
                ~many hands make the work light~

                Comment


                • #9
                  aah some more, then time for rest
                  i've been reading quite abit about this subject lately.....

                  Dabrowski's concepts of overexcitabilities / excitabilities

                  by Stephanie Tolan

                  "The original Polish word can be translated more literally as "superstimulatabilities."

                  It's a stimulus-response difference from the norms. It means that in these 5 areas a person reacts more strongly than normal for a longer period than normal to a stimulus that may be very small.

                  It involves not just psychological factors but central nervous system sensitivity.

                  PSYCHOMOTOR -- this is often thought to mean that the person needs lots of movement and athletic activity, but it can also refer to the issue mentioned on the loop of having trouble smoothing out the mind's activities for sleeping. Lots of physical energy and movement, fast talking, lots of gestures, sometimes nervous tics.

                  SENSUAL -- here's the "cut the label out of the shirt" demand, the child who limps as if with a broken leg when a sock seam is twisted.

                  Also a love for sensory things -- textures, smells, tastes etc. or a powerful reaction to negative sensory input (bad smells, loud sounds, etc.) The kids tend to be sensitive to bright lights (squinting in all the family photographs, etc.), harsh sounds.

                  A baby who cries when the wind blows in his face, for instance; a toddler who cries at the feel of grass on bare legs and feet. Another important aspect of this is aesthetic awareness -- the child who is awed to breathlessness at the sight of a beautiful sunset or cries hearing Mozart, etc.


                  IMAGINATIONAL -- these are the dreamers, poets, "space cadets" who are strong visual thinkers, use lots of metaphorical speech. They day dream, remember their dreams at night and often react strongly to them, believe in magic (take a long time to "grow out of" Santa, the tooth fairy, elves and fairies, etc.).


                  INTELLECTUAL -- here's the usual definition of "giftedness." Kids with a strong "logical imperative," who love brain teasers and puzzles, enjoy following a line of complex reasoning, figuring things out. A love of things academic, new information, cognitive games, etc.


                  EMOTIONAL -- this includes being "happier when happy, sadder when sad, angrier when angry," etc. Intensity of emotion. But also a very broad range of emotions. Also a need for deep connections with other people or animals.

                  Unable to find close and deep friends (Damon and Pythias variety) they invent imaginary friends, make do with pets or stuffed animals, etc.

                  Empathy and compassion. A child who needs a committed relationship will think herself "betrayed" by a child who plays with one child today and another tomorrow and refers to both as "friends." This is also the OE that makes the kids susceptible to depression.

                  Dabrowski believed emotional OE to be central -- the energy center from which the whole constellation of OE's is generated.

                  Highly gifted people tend to have all 5 of these, but different people lead with different OE's. The engineer types lead with Intellectual, the poets with emotional and imaginational, etc.

                  These five describe the unusual intensity of the gifted as well as the many ways in which they look and behave "oddly" when compared to norms.
                  http://talentdevelop.com/Dabrowski.html
                  **********************************************

                  http://positivedisintegration.com/

                  Suffering, aloneness, self-doubt, sadness, inner conflict; these are our feelings that we have not learned to live with, that we have failed to appreciate, that we reject as destructive and completely negative, but in fact they are symptoms of an expanding consciousness.

                  Dr. Kazimierz Dabrowski has spent 45 years piecing together the complete picture of the growth of the human psyche from primitive integration at birth; the person with potential for development will experience growth as a loosening of the stable psychic structure accompanied by symptoms of psychoneuroses.

                  Reality becomes multileveled, the choices between higher and lower realms of behavior occupy our thought and mark us as human. Dabrowski called this process positive disintegration, he declares that psychoneurosis is not an illness and he insists that development does not come through psychotherapy but that psychotherapy is automatic when the person is conscious of his development.

                  To Dabrowski, real therapy is autopsychotherapy; it is the self being aware of the self through a long inner investigation; a mapping of the inner environment. There are no techniques to eliminate symptoms because the symptoms constitute the very psychic richness from which grow an increasing awareness of body, mind, humanity and cosmos. Dabrowski gives birth to that process if he can.

                  Without intense and painful introspection and reflection, development is unlikely. Psychoneurotic symptoms should be embraced and transformed into anxieties about human problems of an ever higher order. If psychoneuroses continue to be classified as mental illness, then perhaps it is a sickness better than health.
                  ~many hands make the work light~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leila View Post
                    i like that people are talking about being "giftarded" is how i have seen myself.
                    i have always been considered called "gifted" in school and by people....my IQ is extremely high in tests.
                    yet!!! yet in so many ways i am really pretty stupid, i think this is somewhat common in "gifted" individuals.

                    its kinda weird, the contradiction. i think people in the 100-130 range of IQ are actually what generally most people see as being really intelligent , and gifted. the people who do go above that, in whatever kinds of IQ or related tests, in my experience anyway, tend to be also somewhat dysfunctional in other ways....lacking in common sense, or any way of applying themselves and their bright wild minds =)

                    a clear example- misspelling the title of this thread =) which i just realized i cant edit =)

                    ah just another day being giftarded =)



                    I have to say something. Leila, please don't call yourself giftarded or stupid. You are neither. I think you're brilliant. Please love yourself for who you are. Yes, life can be hell because we're gifted. That doesn't mean to take other people's stupid perceptions into yourself. I guess that makes me defiant of something. I defy your idea that despite testing high IQ, you feel dumb. Don't.

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                    • #11
                      please don't feel dumb, just act it, and all will be well, carry on.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think it's probably because IQ falls on a bell curve. The 100-130 is the slice in the middle. Once you start moving out to each end of the curve where the populations get smaller, I've noticed both sides have more difficulties with things. On the low side, people with intellectual disabilities (75 ish and below) have deficits that require additional supports. On the high end, I find the same things...lack of common sense, lack of ability to focus on things that aren't "fact" based, and also issues with socialization/making friends, etc (guilty lol).

                        But, IQ doesn't take into account each persons adaptive abilities no matter where they fall intellectually, which is why you see the stories of people with no education becoming successes and really intelligent people ending up strung out on drugs and homeless.

                        So, basically, labels suck and everyone in the world needs some type of support with something regardless of what a stupid test says you should be

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IQ does change...!!
                          When i was in high school my IQ was 148, two years later my IQ was 92 T_T

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            she's just joking around i think alc.

                            i can relate to what she says: despite all my brilliance, i've struggled all my life with absent-mindedness, which i think might somehow run in the family, and certain types of confusion and bafflement.

                            there's nothing wrong with a bit of humility thrown into the mix...
                            !soil first! every garden is an experiment no experiment is a failure
                            ------------------------------------** eat lots of salad! **-----------------------------------

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is there any article like these exclusively about depression?

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