Anxiety, Depression and Dyspraxia – do they go together?

Why do so many people with Dyspraxia go to their GP with anxiety and depression?

Is it innate to Dyspraxia?

The World Health Organisation (ICD10) and the America Psychiatric Association (DSMIV) define Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) as a physical condition caused by developmental delays in the neural (brain) system which “significantly interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living”.

It is not a psychiatric illness and does not affect intelligence.

Anyone can become depressed or anxious at times in their life.

For children and adults with DCD (Dyspraxia) the risk of this is reduced if the diagnosis is made early (around the age of 5) and the family, school and the individual understand the challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. For example -using a key board is a great help to speeding up writing.

Sadly for so many children Dyspraxia is missed at school, especially if their behaviour is good and they try hard – however many will be performing well below their real ability level, especially in exams which require fast writing.

Some children are labelled as slow, lazy or stupid by teachers and class mates. They may be bullied by other children , or humiliated in lessons. This sows the seeds of low self confidence and anxiety about performance in children which, unless reversed, will continue into adult life.

Hypersensitivity is very common in children and adults with Dyspraxia. This means they may experience loud noise , bright lights, certain touch or food textures as very distressing so will avoid them or get into a stress reaction of “fight, flight or freeze “ resulting in temper tantrums or panic attacks often loosely called “behaviour problems “.

Combined with difficulties in work, it’s not difficult to see why so many children and adults with Dyspraxia (DCD) are struggling to stay on an even keel with their mental health.

This is a secondary effect of the condition. It is not innate, and not inevitable.

It can be helped a lot by having a detailed assessment of the DCD /Dyspraxia by a specialist children’s team or, for adults, by a specialist Occupational Therapist.

We have many testimonials saying people have reduced their medication and changed their lives around after being assessed and advised.

The Dyspraxia Action charity has been set up to help people on low incomes that have been turned down by their GP for funding, to get diagnostic and therapeutic assessments.

Contact us for impartial, experienced advice.

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