I’ve had dyspraxia from birth but was only diagnosed aged 9.
Dyspraxia manifests itself in many different ways but I want to focus on the mental health side as today is #WorldMentalHealthDay
Mental Health is still a bit of a taboo like sex; politics and religion, but just like those three topics, it needs talking about and it needs addressing.
It is important to note that mental health issues are more a reaction than a symptom of Dyspraxia. But I have a tendency to be stressed; depressed or anxious about things; I have difficulty sleeping from time to time; I am prone to serious bouts of low self esteem; and I have a few phobias, although I’m training myself out of those gradually.
A prime example of anxiety occurs in my day job. Apart from being a Councillor and a school governor, my days are spent as a Team Coordinator in a large warehouse. Now I have run shifts of 30 people and reported to the duty senior leader [four pay grades above me] throughout a shift, no problem. But [I have had bad experiences with handing over to certain people] from 20:45 onwards I get terribly anxious wondering who I’m having to hand over to. This has made me hate PM shifts at work.
I hear you asking the question, how can A borough councillor with a majority of nearly 100 have low self esteem? The truth is that I will always be trying to prove myself. When I have managers criticising what I have done and what I’m handing over, I feel useless and therefore I get low self esteem which leads to anxiety and stress and loss of sleep, where most people would walk out at 22:00 and shrug it off.
I over think and over plan. I so determined to succeed, which is a trait of being dyspraxia, that that slightest set back becomes personal.
There are many positives to anyone with Dyspraxia though.
- Entrepreneurship and think outside of the box
- Hard work
- Good general knowledge
- Very methodical
- Very task driven
- Good long term memories
- Great problem solving skills
- Very logical
- Very creative and will usually take a high interest in the arts: music, painting, photography etc.
I think it’s important to talk about mental health issues. But have never opened up about how my Dyspraxia has brought on mental health issues.