Neurodivergence encompasses differences in cognitive processing, social interaction, communication, and behavior which may be either diagnosed by a medical/mental health professional or self-identified.
Common examples of neurodivergence include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Tourette Syndrome, and Executive Function Disorder.
People may also identify as having a non-diagnosed neurodivergent condition, such as Sensory Processing Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, or Hyperlexia, due to differences in the way they experience their emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.
Others may identify as neurodivergent due to differences in their processing style, communication methods, or behavior that are outside of the norm. Generally, neurodivergent individuals differ from neurotypical individuals in the ways that they think and process information, experience emotions, and socialize.
How do I know if I’m neurodivergent?
If you believe you may be neurodivergent, it’s important to speak to a qualified medical professional. It is possible to self-diagnose or to look up symptoms online; however, a qualified medical doctor is best equipped to diagnose neurodivergence.
In addition to self-observation and research, your doctor may use neuropsychological, neurophysiological, and neurodevelopmental tests to assess your neurodivergence.
Some common signs of neurodivergence include difficulty with organizing and completing tasks, difficulty with executive function skills such as problem solving, difficulty with activities of daily living, difficulty communicating, social anxiety, and sensory hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s possible that you may be neurodivergent.
It’s important to keep in mind that neurodivergence is a spectrum, and you may not experience all the symptoms listed above. Ultimately, your doctor can help you determine whether or not you are neurodivergent.
Is anxiety considered neurodivergent?
Yes, anxiety is considered to be a type of neurodivergence. Neurodivergence is an umbrella term for neurological differences that are neurologically based and impact the way an individual experiences and interacts with the world.
Anxiety is an example of a neurologically based difference that affects an individual’s experience of and interaction with the world. Anxiety is associated with differences in brain functioning that can lead to heightened levels of stress and difficulty managing emotions.
Individuals experiencing anxiety may experience physical and psychological symptoms, such as a racing heart and mind, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions, with more than 20% of Americans suffering from some level of anxiety.
Therefore, it is considered a type of neurodivergence and can severely impact the lives of those living with it.
How common is it to be neurodivergent?
Neurodivergence is a concept that is quickly gaining more recognition, but it is difficult to say exactly how common it is. Estimates vary widely depending on which neurodivergence is being discussed.
For example, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is estimated to affect around 1 in 59 individuals in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is estimated to affect around 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
Dyslexia is estimated to affect between 5-17% of the population, according to the International Dyslexia Association. Trauma-related diagnoses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), are estimated to affect upwards of 6-9% of the population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
As is evident, neurodiversity is widespread in our society and is more common than many people realize. It is important that we recognize and support individuals and communities on the autism spectrum, as well as those experiencing PTSD and other mental health issues, in order to create a more inclusive world for everyone.
Can you be neurodivergent without having ADHD?
Yes, it is possible to be neurodivergent without having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neurodivergence is a term that generally covers a wide range of conditions including, but not limited to, autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD.
Neurodivergent people usually experience the world differently than most people, often due to differences in the way their brain processes information and/or how they think and act. These differences may even be an advantage, providing people with a different perspective or creative solutions to problems.
ADHD is only one of many forms of neurodivergence, and someone can be neurodivergent without having ADHD.
Do neurodivergent people know they are neurodivergent?
It depends on the individual. Some people can recognize their own neurodiversity without much difficulty, while others may need an assessment to help them understand their unique neurology. Additionally, some neurologically-diverse people may not be aware that a diagnosis exists to describe their particular way of functioning and thinking until someone else introduces them to the idea.
While it is likely that some neurodivergent people are familiar with their way of being, there are likely many more who are unaware of the concept of “neurodiversity”.
Are 1 in 7 people neurodivergent?
No, the statistic that 1 in 7 people are neurodivergent is incorrect. The correct statistic is that 1 in 5 people across the world have a mental health disorder or neurological condition at some point in their life.
However, the exact proportion of neurodivergent people in the population is unknown as not everyone is diagnosed or discloses their neurodivergent status. Neurodivergence is also a broad term that includes a variety of conditions and disorders, and the prevalence of each disorder varies widely.
As of now, available statistics suggest that rates of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and ADHD are likely between 1-2% each in the general population, but this data is still being researched and is not definitive.
However, it is clear that neurodiversity is a common human experience that deserves respect, inclusion, and equal rights.
How many people have neurodiversity in the world?
It is currently impossible to accurately estimate the exact number of people in the world with neurodiversity due to the wide range of conditions it encompasses. Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological differences including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Tourette Syndrome, and many more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15% of the world’s population currently lives with a disability, though this number includes physical, mental, and neurological conditions. It is believed that individuals with neurodiversity make up a significant portion of this 15%.
Additionally, the number of diagnoses of neurological conditions is increasing. As more countries begin to recognize and diagnose neurodiverse individuals, this number will likely continue to grow. It is estimated that 1 in 8 people have ADHD, 1 in 68 people have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and between 9 and 17% of people have Dyslexia.
It is important to note that those estimates may not factor in individuals who are undiagnosed or untreated.
In conclusion, there is no accurate way to estimate the exact number of people in the world who have neurodiversity, but it is likely that it is a significant portion of the population.
Is having anxiety a disability?
The answer to this question really depends on the specific context in which it is asked. Anxiety itself is generally not considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and anxiety typically does not rise to the level of a disability under this definition.
However, in certain situations, anxiety can be considered a disability. For example, if an individual has an anxiety disorder that substantially limits their ability to work, care for themselves, or participate in an activity, it could be considered a disability.
Also, anxiety can be considered a disability if it meets the legal definition of an “impairment-related disability” which includes any physical or mental conditions that impose a substantial limitation on the individual’s ability to perform certain tasks or day-to-day activities.
Ultimately, it is important to note that each person’s situation is unique and that whether or not anxiety is considered a disability can depend on the severity of the impairment, its effect on the individual’s life activities, and the applicable legal or regulatory definitions.
Is anxiety a neurological disorder?
Yes, anxiety can be classified as a neurological disorder. Anxiety refers to a feeling of fear, unease, or worry, and it is the body’s natural response to stressful situations. Anxiety can arise from both psychological and physical causes, and it has been linked to neurological processes.
Studies have shown that anxiety has a strong neurological basis, involving changes in hormone balance and neurotransmitter levels. Anxiety is often associated with certain brain structures, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex, which play a role in emotion processing and memory.
People with anxiety may experience physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and sweating, which are all signs that the body is under stress. People with anxiety may also have difficulty sleeping, concentrating, and remembering information.
Treatments for anxiety typically involve a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes, and medication.
Can you tell if someone is neurodivergent?
No, it’s not possible to tell if someone is neurodivergent just by looking at them or knowing them superficially. A neurodivergent person is someone who has a neurological development that is different than the majority of the population.
It could include diagnoses such as Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia, but also includes many others and can present itself in different ways for each individual. It is important to note that being neurodivergent does not necessarily mean having a disability as well.
While people may have challenges related to their neurology, they may also have great strengths due to it as well. A person can only be diagnosed as neurodivergent by a competent healthcare provider.
It requires understanding the individual’s behavior, strengths and challenges with much careful evaluation and assessment.
Is depression a type of neurodivergent?
No, depression is not a type of neurodivergence. Neurodivergence is an umbrella term used to describe neurological differences that exist within the neurotypical population, and includes conditions such as autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia and ADHD.
Depression, on the other hand, is a mental health condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their neurological background. While depression can be linked to neurology, it does not fall under the umbrella of neurodivergence.
Similarly, conditions like anxiety, bipolar disorder, and OCD are not considered to be neurodivergent.
Are people with mood disorders neurodivergent?
Yes, people with mood disorders are considered to be neurodivergent. Neurodiversity is a concept that recognizes that each individual’s brain is wired differently, resulting in different tendencies for how we think and interact with the world.
Mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety are lifelong health conditions that affect the way people think, feel, and interact with others. People with mood disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions, have intense mood swings, or exhibit signs of withdrawal and isolation.
Neurodivergence encompasses a range of different diagnoses, including mood disorders, and can also be interpreted to include people with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and Tourette syndrome. It is important to recognize each individual’s unique strengths and challenges, and to provide the necessary support and accommodations that allow each individual to thrive.