Throughout my life I’ve always been a very sensitive person and found life very overwhelming, not just because of my dypraxia but just who I am. Dyspraxia is a hidden specific learning difficulty which affects balance, co-ordination, fine motor skills, spatial awareness and emotional sensitivity. It is still relatively misunderstood compared to other more well-known learning differences such as: dyslexia, especially so is the link between dyspraxia and mental health.
My sensitivity means that as a child I used to have quite a lot of anxious melt downs, I struggled to cope in the environment around me, and it was literally like walking on egg shells for my family and those close to me. Being so sensitive means I deeply care about a lot of issues and have a strong sense of justice, I can’t bear to see any unnecessary pain or suffering and can’t understand why somebody would hurt another person or an animal. As a person it means I can struggle to regulate my emotions, be a very literal thinker and take things to heart.
Having dyspraxia frequently goes alongside anxiety, depression and lacking self esteem and confidence. As understanding why you are different from your peers can be difficult to understand and for you accept, growing up I experienced a lot of bullying which lead to me struggling with self-harm and depression.
Emotional problems are common with some dyspraxics because firstly a lack of awareness and understanding of what dyspraxia is in general, if we have an issue in public people a lot of people will not automatically think “oh it could be dyspraxia” I know for me that’s always something which has made me self-conscious and pressures from people who may not understand. A lot of my emotional meltdowns as a child and growing up were also out of frustration, frustration at my body and brain not deciding to do what it was told to do. also I am a very sensitive to sensory issues such as: noise and heat. We can also find it hard to adapt to new or unpredictable situations and have fear of the unknown. I’m a very visual thinker and like to plan situations or rehearse them out in my head, I plan every eventuality which could happen, sometimes ending up catastrophizing them. I can also rehearse conversations too, to make some social situations easier for me as I can find some social situations overwhelming and not easy. I used to be so insecure about being so sensitive, I was surrounded by really assertive people, and my good nature and literal thinking was often manipulated by others and it lead to me experiencing bullying.
Things changed slightly when I accessed talking therapies to help me with my anxiety, I could have done with this a lot earlier in life which is why it’s so important mental health is talked about. to help me manage my emotions in a more positive way and develop my confidence. I also got taught some skills for assertiveness and being able to say no. For me this is an ongoing process and I hope over time I will be able control my anxieties and not let them control me.
I’ve also realised that over time my emotional sensitivity has been turned into emotional resilience which shows that sensitivity isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and that being sensitive can have some positives in life too such as being very empathetic to others and have a natural understanding when they might be struggling with life, I find I’m very good at working out when someone isn’t ok and needs a bit of support, also it makes us have non-judgemental and seeing the bigger picture both of people and situations , in world sometimes filled with so much bitterness and cruelty that can be such a good thing. Never struggle in silence.
Rosie Edmondson @marvelousmollie