You’ve come to the right place — step one: don’t panic!
If it turns out that you’re Neurodivergent (ND) then nothing has changed except your understanding of yourself. There’s nothing to be scared about - you’re taking the first steps towards better caring for your own unique needs. The order of the day is slow, gentle introspection. There’s no rush here, and you can sit with any anxiety you feel until it calms down.
So: let’s get down to it. You have been hearing this word “Neurodiversity” floating around and each time you hear it it feels like it’s a little bit closer. You’ve finally decided to figure out what THAT’S all about, and so here you are — great! Welcome!
The TLDR is that brains are weird and work in a lot of different ways. Most people are what we call “Neurotypical” — that is to say, their brains all work more or less the same way. They process the same sensory inputs at the same speed, they come to the same conclusions from the same premises, they model the same complex systems in the same way, etc. Some people liken this to an operating system — Neurotypical people are all running the same operating system.
Neurodivergent people, on the other hand, are each running a unique operating system. Sometimes our operating systems have things in common, and we lump those people together and label it with a diagnosis like “Autism” and “ADHD” — but it’s important to understand that there’s as much variation within these categories as there is between of them.
Discovering that you’re Neurodivergent can be overwhelming, because it comes with the sudden understanding that you’ve been navigating the wrong operating system all this time. That’s why the keyboard shortcuts didn’t work and that’s why every time you try to get advice they tell you to do things that don’t make sense — you’re simply running a different configuration of brain software.
This site exists because often Neurodivergent people can go years — their whole lives, even — without realizing that they’re different, or without fully appreciating the ways in which they’re different. This leads to all sorts of mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, because there’s a constant mismatch between what you’re capable of and what you and those around you expect from you. My goal is to provide some windows into the Neurodivergent experience that are relatable and safe; I’ve spent a long time working on myself and healing my damage, which has meant coming to terms with Neurodiversity in my own life. Let me share some of my insights with you!
If you’d like a high level overview of terms used in this space, I’d recommend taking a look at the