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Anxiety and Apraxia

First thing's first:  There is hardly any scientific evidence to properly claim that kids with Apraxia are more likely to have anxiety.

There's still a long way in diagnosing each effectively and given that past generations were not properly diagnosing Apraxia nor Anxiety, it's an extremely difficult to study to put in place. Also, on a very basic analytical level, it is very difficult to say one causes the other. We can say that maybe Apraxia and Anxiety are correlated, meaning they are related somehow. But to say that Apraxia automatically causes Anxiety is an extremely bold statement.

With that in mind, my personal opinion on this concern is purely anecdotal.

I do strongly believe that there is a relationship between having Apraxia and anxiety. But, it's not the fact that you can't talk that gives you anxiety; it's the mentality that comes with it. When you're raised well-knowing that you are behind others intellectually, physically, and socially- It completely shapes your psyche.

Your first socialization and academic experiences are others telling and correcting you over everything-zippers, talking, running...everything. Whereas you see others who are not corrected as much as you, or told what to do, or how to do it. You grow up knowing that you are wrong and fail more times than you ever are right or succeed. It's a curse and a blessing all in one, it stinks being behind and different, but it's a blessing because you learn how to overcome failure quicker than most adults do.

I was never formally diagnosed with anxiety, but I do know that I had it along with panic attacks ever since I was a kid. It would arise just before an exam I had in school, especially with Math Tests. I hated written tests and I definitely hated math. I would spend the night before crying hysterically because I knew I was going to fail. As a child, I actually learned to keep my stress in check because I would break out in hives  and get physically sick-vomiting, the whole ordeal.

What I hated more though than taking an exam was when the tests were graded and returned to us. As a kid I probably couldn't even tell you why I hated it, but as an adult I know that I hated tests so much because it was visual proof just how much I had failed compared to the other kids. It was written, established proof that I was wrong, slower, or not as intelligent. It usually confirmed how teachers and aide's viewed me, but it was something I refused to believe.

I learned how to get over bits and pieces of this anxiety, it never fully goes away actually but I found methods to take the edge off. For example, for tests, I learned to have a sheet of scratch paper and write out everything I could possibly remember before even looking at the exam.  One time I basically re-wrote a book of equations and my teacher thought I cheated because it was identical to our study guide. It's tough describing to some people about how a photographic memory works sometimes, but that's how I overcame my testing anxiety.

Today, my anxiety is in form of an Underdog Complex, meaning in every single situation no matter how large or small, I automatically assume that people expect me to fail. This gives me a fantastic work ethic, but it can also burn me out very, very quickly. When you feel that you need to constantly prove yourself because (in your head) you think others around you expect you to fail and don't believe in you-you work extremely hard. Sometimes too hard. Now, in reality, I know that there's not a board room of people discussing how they expect me to fail. But in my head, there's a fancy wooden-everything, '70s themed conference room where everyone meets with a memo pad jotting out in marker every single way I can fail and how badly I'll fail.

Overactive imagination, right?

I can only assume this Underdog Complex of mine is due to the constant childhood desire to be normal, fit-in, and not be "special." I was a child that had to constantly prove herself and now as a "typical" adult, that mentality of still fighting to prove herself lingers. Sometimes it's even worse, because I am afraid of losing everything I've gained; the thought of losing how people see me as a normal, intelligent woman scares the daylights out of me. If I had to work so hard to get this, does that mean I have to work so hard to keep it?

Today, I know I am a successful, intelligent young woman. I know I can carry a conversation about 18th Century Catalonia politics (seriously, just did that on a recent date), I have a disgustingly awesome photographic memory, and love of English Literature that serves me well in pretentious cocktail parties. However, my intelligence and work ethic never lessens my need to prove myself to imaginary critics. To an extent they fuel and motivate me, and to the other extent they drive me insane and sometimes sick to the point I can't function.

Perhaps this is rather bold of me to say, especially given the fact that there's not a single scientific study to confirm this, but I believe the origin of anxiety in children with Apraxia is a result of that said child not wanting to be held behind or restrained from their full potential. I at least know that is where my personal anxiety is derived from.


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