Gifted and LD, ADHD, OCD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder
By James T. Webb, Ph.D.
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.
Despite prevalent myths to the contrary, gifted children and adults are at particular psychological risk due to both internal characteristics and situational 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.
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."
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.
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...."
To further complicate matters, my own clinical observation suggests that about three percent of highly gifted children suffer from a functional borderline hypoglycemic condition.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Gifted. The intensity, sensitivity, and idealism of gifted children often lead others to view them as "strong-willed."
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.
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.
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.
Similarly, the difference between the highest and lowest scores on individual subscales within intelligence and achievement tests is often quite notable in gifted children.
Poor handwriting is often used as one indicator of learning disabilities. However, many and perhaps most gifted children will show poor handwriting.
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:
Theory of Positive Disintegration as a Model of Personality Development For Exceptional Individuals
So-called 'Schizophrenia' as Intense Transpersonal or Spiritual Experience: Transformation Process, Spiritual Awakening or 'Spiritual Emergence
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 .
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.