You are not alone.
Why Gifted Children and Adults Need Help
The Myth of the Gifted...
To many, giftedness means a person has a higher level of intelligence, which somehow makes them better than others. The myth then continues, and accuses any program devoted to the development of the gifted as elitism, since it is expected that the gifted are able to take care of themselves. Any extra help for gifted individuals is just heaping unfair advantage onto those who already have an advantage.
Gifted people do have special needs. While a person may be brilliant in the area of their gifts, rarely is a person gifted across the board. Gifted people often have difficulties in school, relationships, work, and life in general. Everything about the gifted makes them more complex. Gifted people need help navigating and succeeding in that complex life.
Why do the gifted have special needs?
People take in experience at different rates. Gifted people take in and process more. Taking in so much more than those around makes one highly sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. The brain of gifted individuals is wired differently.
These extra-sensitivities are described by Dr. Kazimierz Dabrowski as overexcitabilities. Overexcitabilities are inborn intensities indicating a heightened ability to respond to stimuli, found to a greater degree in creative and gifted individuals, and are expressed in increased sensitivity and awareness. They represent a real difference in the fabric of life and quality of experience. Five overexcitabilities Dr. Dabrowski categorized are as follows...
Psychomotor - active, surplus of energy, rapid speech, zealous enthusiasm, need for action, intense drive, compulsively organized
Sensual - sensual pleasure from sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing, aesthetic pleasures such as in music, language, and art
Intellectual - need to understand truth, gain knowledge, analyze and synthesize, active mind, curious, avid readers, keen observers
Imaginational - heightened play of the imagination with rich association of images and impressions, frequent use of image and metaphor, facility for invention and fantasy, detailed visualization, elaborate dreams, create private worlds to escape boredom
Emotional - intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions, identification with others’ feelings, carry inner dialogs, practice self-judgment
How are consulting and parent groups able to help?
Talking with someone who understands the profound emotional needs, appetites, and frustrations that come with being gifted is something all gifted people need. Too often, people with intellectual, creative, physical, spiritual, or emotional gifts are misunderstood, disparaged or neglected. All people benefit from emotional support and good counsel. Yet the more exceptional an individual is, the less likely he or she has had a satisfactory life experience. Working with someone who specializes in consulting the gifted can help a gifted person or parent learn to appreciate and be comfortable with their gifts and limitations and breakthrough isolation.
SENG Gifted Individuals Don't Always "Have It Easy" - Dr. James T. Webb
SENG The Gifted At Risk for Depression - Dr. James T. Webb
Wisconsin Gifted Support exists to support gifted adults and children by providing education and insight into the emotional needs of the gifted. WGS provides parents of the gifted a safe environment, free from judgement, to discuss parenting topics and receive support. Gifted adults are socially and emotionally supported through groups and consulting. Welcome to a safe place where it is just fine to discuss you and your gifted child.