In my humanistic approach as a therapist, I’ve learned that finding the right level of self-disclosure is vital. Crafting content that reflects who I am, even through a website, matters. My personal aspects, like being queer, neurodivergent, and an immigrant of Muslim origin, carry significance, representing qualities like kindness, compassion and empathy for differences. While disclosing my lived experience benefits neurodivergent clients, effective therapy goes beyond experience alone, as emphasised in this BBC News story.
Adult Autism & ADHD
One of the realms that has captured my professional attention is the landscape of neurodivergence in adults. This refers to variations in how the brain and nervous system operate among individuals. Neurodiversity encompasses conditions like Autism and ADHD, as well as a range of other differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and learning difficulties.
Why Diagnosis Matters (Including Self-Diagnosis)
Contrary to common perception, the rise in autism and ADHD diagnoses doesn’t signify a fleeting trend. Instead, it reflects the advancement of thorough research, surpassing the constraints of biased past studies. Discovering an explanation for one’s experiences offers validation, relief, and fresh perspectives on past struggles, fostering self-acceptance and reducing self-blame. Embracing differences allows individuals to reframe their narratives, intertwining unique traits with identity. Navigating the diagnostic process can be overwhelming, making therapeutic support invaluable – an area where I can provide assistance.
The Impact of Masking
Masking, a coping mechanism developed to fit into social norms, can be exhausting for neurodivergent individuals. Constantly concealing one’s true self to conform to societal expectations takes an emotional toll, contributing to stress, anxiety, depression and neurodivergent burnout. By understanding the concept of masking and its purpose and implications, individuals can work towards embracing their authentic selves, leading to improved mental health and a sense of belonging.
Constructing a New Identity
The journey of constructing a new identity after learning about your differences is both empowering and challenging. It involves unearthing authentic aspects of oneself that were previously hidden due to societal pressures and masking. The process of self-discovery and accepting differences can lead to a stronger sense of self, healthier relationships, and improved self-esteem. It also opens the door to forging connections with others who share similar experiences.