In my role as a psychotherapist, I've observed a significant pattern among clients – approximately one in every three adolescents and adults who seek help for severe anxiety, depression, chronic low self-esteem, or addiction are also dealing with undiagnosed neurodevelopmental conditions.
These conditions include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Autism. These undiagnosed conditions often lead to emotionally traumatic experiences in various aspects of their lives.
The Impact of Undiagnosed Neurodevelopmental Conditions
Many of these individuals are exceptionally intelligent but find themselves on a challenging life journey, characterized by exclusion, bullying, and a lack of understanding from social, educational, and work environments.
These experiences understandably result in confusion, hurt, low trust, anger, panic, chronic low self-esteem, and a pervasive feeling of inadequacy that has persisted for most of their lives. In many cases, these unresolved issues have given rise to mental health problems, and tragically, some have even attempted suicide due to the isolation and confusion caused by their hyperactive, distracted, or rigid thought processes.
A Holistic Approach
As a therapist and supervisor, I firmly believe that simultaneously examining clients from both emotional and neurological perspectives is crucial for their understanding and self-awareness. This approach has enabled me to identify the necessary support systems to help them progress and has significantly contributed to their rapid recovery.
Equally important is helping clients recognize how their newfound awareness can benefit the next generation, particularly the "different" child within their own families. Armed with this knowledge, they can provide loving and practical social and educational support, sparing their children from the lonely struggle and shame endured by previous generations.
Early Detection and Support
I remain vigilant for signs of neurodiversity, particularly when clients present with anxiety or low self-esteem. If I suspect these conditions may be at play, I promptly arrange for a neuro-psychiatric assessment. I work with clients throughout and after diagnosis, helping them comprehend their brain and rebuild their self-esteem.
It's gratifying to have several adult clients in my records who, after receiving late-life diagnoses, have gone on to excel academically, change careers, or establish their own businesses.