Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Do I Have A Mental Condition?


When I was around 6 years old my parents took me to a mental health clinic to see if I had a mental disorder because I was so ‘naughty’ in class. These meetings we had are some of my earliest memories. I remember a few tests they did on me such as asking me to draw a picture and putting this strange helmet on me to observe brain activity. I also remember my mother crying a lot which was quite traumatic for a 6 year old boy. In the end I wasn’t diagnosed with anything so they concluded that I was just very naughty!

I was speaking to my Dad the other day and he said he did not want any ‘labels’ for his son (he told that to the doctor at the time), I have always wondered if I do have a mental condition and it just wasn’t diagnosed because of this.

Today I wouldn’t describe myself as normal. My main problem is processing language. I find it hard to process thoughts into words and vice versa. This can be annoying when in conversation, one person says something, it takes time for me to figure out what the words mean, then I come up with a response, and it takes time to think of the appropriate words to express this response. It is hard to perceive myself from others point of view, and so it is hard to imagine how different I am. Maybe I come across as obviously mentally challenged, maybe I come across as just a little eccentric. There was an apparently separate issue when I was aged 11-15. I believe I had, or at least had some symptoms of avoidant personality disorder.

Does the rejection of people and socialising at this age affect the development of communication skills? Thanks

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

There is a very big difference between mental conditions and learning disorders. From what you state in your E.Mail, it’s entirely possible that you have some type of learning disorder for which you never got any help. In other words, you father may have stopped the process during you childhood because he did not like labels. That’s too bad because it was not helpful to you. It’s not too late.

Of course, it is understandable that you would feel self conscious about socializing with people when it’s hard for you to process incoming information and then respond. That would be less a personality disorder rather than a wanting to avoid a situation that makes you feel self conscious.

It’s not too late for you. I urge you to have yourself tested, this time on your own and without parental interference. There are many school psychologists, in private practice, or in college if you are there, who can do the testing and come up with an accurate diagnosis. The purpose of doing this would be to get the training you need to overcome this problem.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand