top of page

Mental Health Explained: What Does Neurodivergence Mean?

Have you ever heard the term "neurodivergence" and wondered what it means?

Let's take a moment to explore this concept together. Neurodivergence refers to the idea that there are many different ways that brains can function and process information. Just as we all have unique fingerprints, our brains are also unique. Some people's brains are neurodivergent, meaning they think, learn, and perceive the world differently from what is considered "typical." This includes people with conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others. Some would even consider those with conditions like depression and PTSD to be neurodivergent.

But here's an important thing to remember: even neurotypical brains, those without a specific diagnosis, are all different from each other. No two brains are exactly the same. You might find that you have some traits that are often associated with neurodivergent conditions, even if you don’t have a formal diagnosis. For example, you might sometimes struggle with focus like someone with ADHD or struggle socially sometimes like someone with autism. This is perfectly okay and completely normal.

Let's get neuro-nerdy for a sec (skip this paragraph If you want). Conditions like Autism and ADHD are multiply determined, meaning many differences in the brain contribute to their symptoms. The different parts of our brains develop differently just like we each have different legs, arms, etc. I could have very strong legs and not-so-strong arms. Similarly, I could have a not-so-developed frontal lobe (which helps with planning, organizing, etc) but well-developed basal ganglia (which helps with inter-brain communication). Click here to ADDitude's article on the neuroscience of ADHD, if you're interested.

Each way of thinking brings its own strengths and challenges. By recognizing and valuing these differences, we can create a more inclusive world where everyone feels seen and respected.

If you ever feel out of place or worry that you don't fit the "normal" mold, remember that normal is just a setting on a washing machine. Your brain is beautifully yours, and it contributes to the incredible diversity of human thought and creativity. Embracing neurodivergence means celebrating all the different ways we experience and understand the world.

So, let's cherish our unique minds and those of others. After all, it's our differences that make life so wonderfully varied and interesting. You are part of what makes the world a vibrant, diverse, and fascinating place.



bottom of page