The below text has been taken from this website: http://www.lisaerickson.net/giftedness.html
Understanding the counseling needs of gifted people is important. Being gifted and talented is about more than grades and high IQ. It affects emotions, sensations, energy level, concentration, and imagination as well as other attributes. Most importantly, giftedness does not disappear with childhood. Gifted and talented children grow up to be gifted and talented adults, and sometimes, they need psychotherapy.
A common way to understand the challenges associated with being gifted is to think about a physical equivalent. If you were a gifted and talented athlete, you would be treated with high regard, encouraged to train with others of equal skill, given accolades and encouragement. People would ask about your accomplishments and pat you on the back. Your trophies would be proudly displayed. No one would look at you oddly, or think you were weird. People would be glad to know you.
If you are intellectually gifted, the opposite can be true. You may be thought of as weird or geeky. You may be admonished to fit in and not draw attention to yourself. You may be criticized for alienating others or be perceived as elitist. Your intellectual peers are hard to find, because there isn’t a cultural mechanism to support or celebrate you. You may find yourself feeling lonely and isolated.
Women who place high value on community may fear being socially ostracized. Many gifted people, and women in particular, simply don’t know they are gifted! Or they may have forgotten due to the demands of parenting and partnering, believing that they left their gifted qualities behind in school. If you add being a person of color on top of that, things get even more complicated.
If you answer yes to many of the below, then you might be gifted:
- Have you been told you are “too sensitive” or “too intense”?
- Are you a perfectionist with yourself and/or others?
- Are you easily bored when not mentally stimulated?
- Do you question rules and authority? Do others think you are a “pain”?
- Are you curious and perceptive? Do you notice things other people don’t?
- Is it hard to stay focused on just one thing?
- Do you have a lot of energy?
- Do you have an off-beat sense of humor?
- Is it easier to be alone than be with others? Are you an introvert?
- Can you entertain yourself easily?
- Do you feel exhausted or irritated around other people sometimes for no apparent reason?
- Do you compare yourself to other smart people and decide that you are not as smart as them?
- Do you have strong feelings about ethics, justice and human suffering?
- Do you feel different? Do others think you are weird or quirky?
- Do you like games, puzzles, words, complexity, and/or mathematics?
- Do you value precision and exactness in work, life and language?
- Are you sometimes deeply moved, even to tears, by nature or by works of art or music?
- Do you have a child, parent, or partner who is gifted?
I am very close to someone who is ‘Gifted’ and I am very much aware of the difficulties he faces in his day to day life. It is important for people to be more aware of the down side of being gifted too.
Giftedness may be misdiagnosed as narcissism, bipolar disorder, OCD, ADD, or other diagnoses. Gifted people may get depressed given their heightened sensitivity, awareness of injustice, and sense of isolation stemming from a lack of peers and tendency towards introversion. Experience with giftedness can lead to an accurate diagnosis or the removal of an inaccurate one. What if you discovered that there wasn’t anything wrong with you, but rather there was something quite right about you?