Today I’d like to give you a view of my personal experience with the diagnosis of low latent inhibition. And to be perfectly clear, the reason why I’ve not stated the name of the professional who diagnosed me as a child is because she has not given me her explicit consent for me to do so.
I was referred to a therapist by my school authorities because I was having what they called social adjustment issues. For instance: I only responded to rewards, never punishment. I had serious problems with authority, and I constantly challenged them because they were irrational and illogical in a lot of their behaviors and decisions. I had no interest in interacting with or connecting with my peers, and the school work was so easy that I could basically yawn and, you know, get a couple months’ worth done in a day. And it just wasn’t engaging enough.
My therapist initially thought I was a good candidtate for PTSD or Complex-PTSD because I had a rocky childhood, although she didn’t know the details. And my mother at that time was not present in my life, so we started going over all of the details of my upbringing from the ages of three to seven: um, all of the meaningful events that I had been through, and what I thought and felt about them. And she ended up diagnosing me with Complex-PTSD.
Over the course of the first few visits, she started to notice that I was very meticulous, that I was pretty hyper-active, even though I came across to most people as mellow, and that I was extremely hyper-aware. That it wasn’t just hyper-vigilance that she saw in relation to the Complex-PTSD diagnosis. So she started to explore that more with me, asking me questions about how I perceived the world, how I analyzed everything and its parts, microcosmically, and also macrocosmically. How I basically learn better if I can see an entire system working rather than being taught how each individual part works, then being taught how it all comes together.
So after a few sessions of discussing some family issues I won’t go into here, um, we also started to delve more into the details of my hyper-awareness, and she started to suspect something, but didn’t say anything to me. So she wanted to rule out a couple of other possible conditions first, including autism and schizophrenia. We started having conversations about my ideas of people and society in general, whether or not I was seeing or hearing things that weren’t there, how paranoid I was, and whether or not I had any delusions.
So she let me know that I had come out pretty, well, above average, really. But normal in terms of not being autistic and not being schizophrenic. And she told me that a diagnosis of OCD was probably a good idea at that point because it could help people to understand my meticulous nature and how I’m sort of almost compelled to make things very orderly, whereas most people would ignore those details. Then she segued into testing my aptitude and my intelligence levels. We started with the Weschler test, in which I got very high scores in verbal and performance IQ. Then she administered the Woodcock-Johnson test, which is basically an aptitude test which can also determine what your learning style is. Uh, although that’s probably something that will shift a lot from the age of eight into adulthood. And my lowest score, I think, was in name memory, which is definitely still true.
It was at this point that we started having more personal conversations. It had come to the point where we could really speak like peers, although I was still learning the vocabulary and how to articulate with a professional. And she administered the Rorschach test, which I scored 4 out of 10 doing. And at the time I had no idea that that’s actually an indication of a disturbed personality. I didn’t learn that until years later; she didn’t say anything in our session.
It was during the next session when she asked me if I had ever heard of latent inhibition. And she described, basically, that it’s a cognitive filter of sorts, as best she could to an eight-year-old who had no idea what some of the terminology meant. Of course, you know, she knew that I would go and research it later. And she asked me to imagine what the differences would be between somebody who had a high level of that, and someone who had a very low level. And she said that although an LLI diagnosis was not something that I would every likely hear of for probably many, many years, that she felt that it would give me some peace of mind, and give me a way to put all of the puzzle pieces together. Because she knew that I was the type of person who had to take things apart and analyze all of those little pieces and how they fit together to understand the bigger system; including with my own mind and how I interact with the world.
It was at the end of this session, when she told me about LLI and that I had it, and that she hoped that it would help me to understand myself and navigate the world a little bit better, that she also told me that she was leaving her practice to go back to college. I was absolutely devastated because this was the first person besides my father I had really, truly related to on such an intellectual level. And it was exactly what I needed in my life. That was what I was lacking in school, with my peers; with most of my family. And I didn’t have any friends, you know, who were on that level. She was the only one. And when we said goodbye, you know, for the last time, I told her that one day I would find her again, and actually, that is something that I am planning on still doing.
I went to several other professionals over the years, for various reasons, from childhood through my early twenties. And none of them ever related to me on the level that she did. They were just very judgmental; very closed-minded. They decided that they didn’t know what LLI was, so I stopped mentioning it, as I hadn’t been able to research a whole lot on it aside from its link to autism and schizophrenia back then. And it always got to the point with these other professionals, after just a couple of sessions, where I would become their therapist. And when I fully realized and accepted that I knew more about psychology than most of the professionals that I was paying to see, and the human psyche in general, I finally decided to stop looking to others for that expertise, and to make my own way.
So, everyone who’s looking for an LLI diagnosis, there is something that I’d like you to keep in mind that’s extremely important: The professionals can give you a lot of information that you can analyze, you know, sort of point you in the right direction, but you’re the one who has to take those steps. You’re the one who has to analyze and accept who and what you are, and how you became that way. All they can do is give you the details. You have to put them together. You have to make that mosaic, or that puzzle. You have to complete it. No one else can do that for you, whether it’s in an LLI group on Facebook, or the more renowned psychologist on the planet. So, take this information however you’d like. This is my personal experience, and I’m sharing it with you not because I consider myself to be an expert in psychology, but because I have been there, and I have taken those steps, and I’ve helped other people along that journey.
Thank you for watching yet again! Please subscribe, and let me know what you’d like to see in my next video. I do have a whole list of them queued up; I’m just working down the checklist. But, as always, I am open to suggestions and critiques, and any other input you’d like to give.