What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is a concept given life back in the 1990s by an Australian sociologist named Judy Singer. Therefor, the term is used to represent the different ways people think, behave, communicate, and more.

Neurodiversity is often associated with challenges an individual may face. For instance, people with neurodiverse traits may be diagnosed with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA) dyslexia, or autism. But the concept turns the traditional diagnoses on their heads. In addition, new science suggests that within the human genome there is a diversity we’ve yet to fully grasp.  Simply, conditions aren’t necessarily faults in the brain but rather a unique expression.

Neurodiversity and Mental Health

Extensive data points to the fact that there are greater rates of depression and anxiety co-occurring in individuals with diagnoses of autism, ADHD, and dyspraxia. Autism alone has been linked to higher rates of anxiety, eating disorders, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. In other words, this stems from the fact that individuals with autism tend to have low levels of dopamine.

But what about those individuals whose levels of dopamine are in the normal range? And for that matter, what about depression and anxiety in people who have not been diagnosed with any other cognitive condition?

For years, psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists have tried to understand the profound links between body, brain, and life experiences. Therefore, what we have learned is that narrow diagnostic categorization doesn’t allow us to recognize all of the diverse ways cognitive conditions express themselves in the human race.

Neurodiversity helps solve this. Simply, it embraces the complexity of the interconnectedness of the brain, body and life to help us get better patient outcomes. Clinicians need to move away from crude diagnoses and focus on personalized interventions and treatment plans to better serve clients.

In conclusion, if you would like additional information or would like to work with a therapist, please reach out to Denver Mental Health Collective. We would love to help!

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