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What is Neurodiversity?

what is neurodiversity

The Neurodiversity Movement has received media attention, especially after Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes was published. Most notably, there are portrayals of the movement in The Good Doctor and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

 

In The Good Doctor, Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is hired by a children’s hospital despite his autism. The show doesn’t shy away from portraying Shaun’s shortcomings, but at the same time, it makes him endearing in his uniqueness. He has many strengths that make him an asset to his colleagues—and they recognize that.

 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a show about a housewife turned stand-up comedian in the late 1950s, has an episode where Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) decides to perform at an open mic night. She must overcome her stage fright and freeze out hecklers. The punchline: it’s so much easier than dealing with people who don’t understand her.

 

Midge doesn’t succumb to the pressure and performs despite the heckling and naysayers. It was written as a joke for those who don’t understand what it’s like to be neurodiverse, but also as an homage to those who face bullying daily. While it’s meant to be humorous, the message is clear: embrace difference, not conformity.

 

The two shows are getting attention because they are hitting home for many people in the neurodiversity community—and beyond. They give viewers a chance to see parts of their lives reflected on screen in ways that weren’t seen before. The two TV shows are just the tip of the iceberg, however. Neurodiversity has been viewed in comic books for over thirty years.

 

Back in the ’80s, few characters identified as neurodivergent—if any. Characters with mental illnesses were often villains or played for laughs. The silver age Flash discovered that Professor Zoom was faking schizophrenia—and that he had tricked the doctors into believing he was ill. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow introduced a time aberration in the form of Dr. Nate Heywood (Nate Torrance)—a man whose autism and savantism made him an outcast, but also gifted him with genius-level intelligence and incredible abilities.

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Are Mental Health Disorders Considered Neurodivergent?

Mental health disorders can affect your cognition, and they certainly impact the way you think and see the world. As there’s no standardized definition of neurodivergence, it’s a complex question. Some articles about neurodiversity and neurodivergence include disorders like anxiety, schizophrenia, and PTSD; others don’t. Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day. PTSD is a mental health disorder that can be caused by traumatic stress, including sexual assault and natural disasters. 

 

It involves symptoms like reliving the traumatic events, avoiding situations that remind you of the traumatic event, and hypervigilance (feeling on edge). When some people talk about mental health disorders, they mean neurological difference. By that definition, mental health disorders like PTSD would be considered neurodivergent. However, others talking about mental health use it to refer to things like anxiety and depression — which is what we’re going to discuss here. While some mental health disorders can be neurodivergent, anxiety and depression aren’t considered as such.

 

 There are many misconceptions about anxiety and depression, including that they aren’t real problems or they’re something people should be able to “just get over.” But the reality is very different — millions of people struggle with these issues every day, and stigma and lack of understanding make it difficult for them to speak up. It may not seem like it sometimes, but by speaking up you’re helping those who feel alone find their voice – even if what they say makes you uncomfortable at times.

Conversation Starter: Have you known anyone personally (or yourself) that has struggled with either anxiety or depression?

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If you’ve found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family on social media. Together we can work to improve the lives of those struggling with mental health disorders by simply understanding how they think! One way is that instead of telling someone who’s going through a rough time “just be positive”, try asking them what would help them feel better. You might just have the answer they need without even realizing it. Anxiety and depression are real problems, but they’re not insurmountable as long as people know there’s support out there for those in need. To learn more about anxiety or depression – or any other mental health disorder – visit our site where we provide resources specific to each condition so that no one has to suffer

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