Norris also struggles with depression and anxiety, and although similar these conditions and other similar ones aren’t learning disorders, they often coexist with them.
Many learning disabilities are accompanied by “co-occurring conditions,” which take place when a disability triggers another disorder. For Norris, it can be difficult to manage these different conditions all together.
“If I’m having a bad case of ADHD, I don’t get anything done,” Norris said. “Then I have a lot of anxiety about not being able to get that done, which leads me into a state of depression where I don’t want to do anything because I feel like I’m a failure.”
Logan’s situation is similar to hers. While he has known he has ADHD and Dysgraphia since the age of six, he was only recently diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
“As high school has gone on, Dysgraphia and ADHD hasn’t become as much of a problem,” Holden said. “That switches the focus to the depression and anxiety which have also greatly affected my grades before, because they do greatly affect my ability to learn.”
According to one of Enrichment Learning Therapy’s Speech Language Pathologists Suzanne Moore, one learning disability can lead to the progression of another and can further amplify the stress a student is feeling.
“If you already have trouble understanding what you’re reading because you have a hard time with comprehension of language and you have a hard time looking at the letters and the word and decoding what that actually means, it’s just a huge snowball effect,” Moore said.