“January is Mental Wellness Month, and I think it’s the perfect time to talk about Neurodiversity. Simply said, neurodiversity is the difference among all of our brains, like fingerprints…no two are alike. Neurodivergency includes specific differences, such as autism, ADHD, anxiety or tic disorders (like Tourette’s).
While neurodivergency is not a mental health or mental wellness issue, being neurodivergent is related to significantly higher incidences of depression and suicide, particularly in the female population.
We don’t know exactly why this is the case, though of course, there are often concurrent conditions (e.g., depression, bipolar, etc.) that can be present for someone who is neurodivergent. However…the reason for this is not necessarily because a neurodivergent brain is pre-wired to be depressed or suicidal. Research and experience tell a different story…basically, people who are neurodivergent (particularly autistic) mask their symptoms, meaning they try and hide them by acting how society expects a neurotypical person to act…and this hiding can cause anxiety and depression. Additionally, people who are late identified as neurodivergent often lack proper support, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.”