Whilst it may sound like something out of a Marvel comic book, Fragile X syndrome is a challenge that manifests in children. It impacts on language, emotion, behaviour and attention making social interactions extremely challenging.
It’s also the most common inherited learning disability in the world and there’s a very good chance you’ve never heard of it.
Fragile X Syndrome is caused by the lengthening of the FMR1 gene on the X chromosome which stops production of a key protein in brain development. The more this mutation repeats the greater the chance of a child being born with the condition.
For most their experience of eating disorders is limited to what they see on weekday soap operas which does nothing to communicate not just the complexities of living with an eating disorder or the range of disorders individuals struggle with.
In reality there are over 725,000 people in the UK with eating disorders.
You know someone who has or has had mental health issues. Guaranteed.
It could be a work colleague, a friend or a family member.
You may not have realised it. In some cases they might not realise it. But you will have a close relationship with someone with a history of mental health issues.
With 14 million adults a year experiencing some form of mental health condition it is hardly news and not uncommon so why do we keep it a secret?
Asperger’s Syndrome is one of the most widely known about disabilities but one of the most commonly misunderstood.
Usually the person in the office who can be a little OCD or who doesn’t get the work ‘banter’ is branded as ‘on the scale’. Which is usually thoroughly unhelpful not only for the individual (especially if they do have some challenges) but because it furthers a wildly inaccurate stereotype.
Roughly 1 in 200 people have Asperger’s syndrome, which is roughly 350,000 people in the UK alone. So there’s a strong chance you know someone with Asperger’s Syndrome even if they don’t have a diagnosis.
We British are terribly fond of euphemisms.
We go out of our way to come up with ways of saying what we mean without saying what we mean. It’s a skill few other nations can match.
However, the language of Shakespeare occasionally gets it dead on.
Challenging behaviour, as a term, is incredibly broad and covers a great many things that prove difficult to an individual be they a parent, carer, teacher, sibling or anyone else in a carer role.
Learning disabilities, as a term, is something of a velvet curtain that hides the hugely complex nature of what having a learning disability actually means.
It also conceals the different kinds of learning disabilities and what the different challenges the condition represents to the individual.
Williams -Beuren Syndrome is one such diagnosis.
One in four adults in the UK experience mental health problems each year.
That’s approximately 14million people, every year, struggling with a diagnosable mental health issue.
Admittedly the term mental health issue is very much catch-all and covers those experiencing anxiety attacks all the way through to enduring and complex mental health conditions who require ongoing support or treatment.
Of these 14million adults, 10.8million of them are of an employable age. With 5.5 million businesses in the UK with multiple employees, that’s roughly 2 employees per business with mental health issues.
One of the great constants, despite what you read in the media is love.
We’re remarkably good at it.
Whether it’s building communities, supporting friends and neighbours or people running towards the danger when things go wrong, we are driven by an unceasing well of love and compassion for one another.
If you suffer from anxiety you’ll know that an attack can come at any time for seemingly no reason at all.
Triggers vary from person to person and the severity of the attack can be just as hard to pin down.
It also gets worse with stress.
From the moment our children enter the world they become (more or less) our top priority.
Even when they’re fully grown and have children of their own, most parents never truly stop worrying about them.
That worry only gets worse when we see our children struggling with low mood or anxiety.
The challenge for parents is that, as time goes on, we know less and less about our children. They naturally become more independent and begin to keep secrets. It’s not malicious; it’s just part of growing up.