Neurodivergence is a way to describe people who have differences in the way their brains work. These differences can be related to medical disorders, learning disabilities or other conditions.
A neurodivergent person may have strengths and challenges that are unique to their situation. They can use their strengths to make them more successful.
What is neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence is a term that refers to people with brains that work differently than what’s considered “neurotypical” or “average.” No two brains are exactly alike, and it’s a fact that everyone’s unique ways of thinking, communicating and perceiving the world affect how their brains function.
The term was coined by sociologist Judy Singer in 1997. She argues that differences in brain function can be strengths rather than weaknesses.
Although there is no medical definition of what is referred to as neurodivergence, it is a broad term that encompasses several different kinds of mental health conditions and differences in how the brain works. Specifically, it encompasses mental health conditions such as autism, ADHD and dyslexia, as well as various forms of learning and intellectual disabilities.
Some mental health conditions are more prevalent in individuals with a neurodivergent condition, including anxiety and depression. This is because these mental health conditions often involve a neurological disorder that impacts the brain, which causes changes in thought patterns, behaviors and learning styles.
Many mental health conditions can be treated, and in some cases, they can improve significantly with proper support. However, some diagnoses are more long-term and cannot be improved by treatments, such as autism and learning disabilities.
A person with a neurodivergent condition can be a strong advocate for themselves and others. This is a valuable skill in the workplace, and it can help them feel more confident about their abilities and accomplishments.
It can also make it easier for them to adapt and succeed when they are in the workforce, a skill that’s especially important for those with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If someone with ADHD can learn to use their natural talents and strengths to improve their job performance and increase their earning potential, that’s a win for everyone involved.
The same is true for those with autism and learning disabilities. It’s crucial for these individuals to be able to access services and support that will enable them to succeed in the workplace.
Because of the wide range of characteristics, skills and abilities that neurodivergent individuals have, it can be challenging for them to find employment. This can lead to difficulties during job interviews and during the hiring process, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t get a job if the employer is willing to accommodate their needs.
Symptoms of neurodivergence
A neurodivergent person is one who experiences differences in their brain and body that cause them to function differently than a typical individual. This can be seen in a wide range of areas, such as learning styles, sensory processing and communication.
People with neurodivergence may also experience mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. They may have a different understanding of their condition, and a unique approach to treatment.
There are a number of signs that a person could be neurodivergent, including a change in behavior or a heightened sensitivity to stimuli. For example, a person may experience sensory overload if they are around loud noises or bright lights, and they might need extra time to adjust to changes in temperature.
Another common sign of neurodivergence is a lack of eye contact. Many people with neurodivergence struggle to maintain eye contact during conversations, and this can be a real challenge for them.
Fortunately, this is usually something that can be overcome through practice. However, if it is an issue for a child or young adult, it’s important to take steps to address it as early as possible.
A mental health professional can help identify the causes of the symptoms and provide treatments that are right for the individual. For example, a psychologist might suggest cognitive behavioral therapy to help a person with anxiety learn how to manage their symptoms.
Some people with neurodivergence may develop other mental health problems, such as social anxiety. These conditions can be incredibly stressful and impact their quality of life.
If a person is experiencing anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. These disorders are very treatable, but can also have serious consequences if left untreated.
As with any mental health condition, a neurodivergent person needs to be treated for anxiety at an early stage in order to prevent it from becoming severe. Some common signs that a person may be suffering from anxiety include increased irritability, avoiding certain people or situations, difficulty concentrating, and changes in sleep or eating patterns.
Diagnosis of neurodivergence
Neurodivergence is a term that refers to people whose brains function differently than those of neurotypical people. It is most often used to describe a variety of neurological conditions and clinical mental health diagnoses, such as autism and ADHD, but it can also be applied to the different ways that individuals respond to information.
While many people who have these conditions are diagnosed early, others may not be until they are older. This can make it difficult for them to understand what they are going through and how they feel about their condition, says Mandell.
If you suspect you have a neurodivergent disorder, it is important to find out more about it. There are many resources available online to help you learn more about it, including quizzes and support organisations. You can also seek out content like TedTalks and university research, which can give you a better understanding of the condition or disorders that you might be struggling with.
The symptoms of these disorders vary depending on the person, but you might notice things such as trouble concentrating, impulsivity, or difficulty following directions. These symptoms can be very difficult for someone to manage without help from a mental health professional.
Typically, children with these disorders have difficulties at school but it is possible for adults to experience them as well. Some adults are diagnosed with ADHD as adults and this can lead to significant challenges in their work life, relationships, and social activities.
There are many ways to diagnose neurodivergence, but it is important to get a diagnosis from a medical professional. This will ensure that you have a correct diagnosis and that it is tailored to your unique circumstances.
It is a good idea to try and learn more about the specific disorders you think you have before seeking a diagnosis, so that you can present a clearer picture to your mental health professional when they do make a diagnosis. The more you know about these disorders, the easier it will be for you to explain them to others and show your strengths and strengths.
Treatment of neurodivergence
Those who have neurodivergent traits may be able to benefit from various forms of therapy. This includes counseling, yoga and meditation. These treatments can be helpful in treating stress, anxiety and depression. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find resources online or talk to a therapist about it.
Some neurodivergent people will also seek an official diagnosis from a doctor or other medical professional. This can be beneficial for those who want a more precise diagnosis and for allies. The diagnosis may help you understand the nature of your condition and how to best support you.
However, many experts recommend that neurodivergent people avoid value-based labels because they can have negative connotations. Instead, it’s important to focus on the differences in how neurodiverse individuals think and feel.
This way, you can help them navigate their challenges and thrive in the world. Moreover, this will help you feel more compassionate and understanding toward them.
You can also encourage your loved ones to get a diagnosis and learn more about their specific neurotype. This can be especially useful if you have a loved one with autism who needs support and care.
Some of these people may be hesitant to ask for a diagnosis because they are worried that it will stigmatize them or prevent them from getting help. But this is a misconception, according to experts.
In fact, autism is just one type of neurodivergence. Others include ADHD, dyslexia and other types of learning disabilities.
If you’re not sure if your loved one is neurodivergent, it’s a good idea to have them fill out a neurodivergence test. This can help you understand their unique needs and help them find the right treatment for them.
You can also reach out to a local music therapist who specializes in helping people with neurodivergence. They can work with you to identify triggers and develop strategies for dealing with them.
Another option for those with neurodivergence is EMDR, which can help you overcome your feelings of shame and self-blame. This process helps you reconnect with your body and learn how to unmask in a safe space.