Neurodiversity and masking are two terms that have become increasingly more well-known in recent years. With growing awareness, many are finding themselves relating to the symptoms and experiences that come with being neurodiverse. For adults who have been diagnosed late or have yet to receive a diagnosis, the news can be overwhelming. However, the good news is that there are still steps you can take to improve your life and wellbeing. In this blog post, we’ll be diving into what it means to be neurodivergent and how you can unmask to live a more authentic life, even if you’ve been diagnosed late.
For those unfamiliar with the term, neurodiversity refers to the range of neurologies and neurological differences present in human beings. This includes conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and Tourette’s syndrome. If you’re an adult who has recently discovered that you are neurodiverse, it can be easy to feel like you’ve been living a lie for years. The concept of masking, where individuals attempt to hide their behaviors and traits to fit in with mainstream society, can be especially overwhelming to process. However, it’s important to give yourself permission to grieve and accept your diagnosis. Remember that being neurodivergent comes with unique strengths and has nothing to do with your intelligence or worth.
The next step towards living a more authentic life is to learn more about how neurodiversity presents itself in your life. Whether it’s through resources online or seeking professional help, understanding the root of your differences can be a crucial step towards living life unmasked. The same goes for those who have been masking their condition for years. Understand that unmasking is a process that takes time, and breaking down those walls of protection can be difficult. But with more knowledge and self-acceptance, transitioning to a more authentic version of yourself can become a reality.
Once you have a better grasp on your neurodiversity, consider seeking a support group or community that can offer you acceptance and understanding. The beauty in neurodiversity lies in its variety, and finding individuals who can relate to those differences can be incredibly empowering. Try researching online communities or seeking out local groups related to your condition. There, you may find that others have gone through similar experiences as you and can offer you guidance and support.
Another thing to keep in mind is self-care. Being neurodivergent can be incredibly challenging, and it’s essential to prioritize your mental health. Find activities that help you regulate your emotions, whether it’s a daily meditation session or simply making time for your hobbies. Additionally, be aware of your environment and how it can affect you—sensory overload, for example, can be a common experience for some neurodiverse individuals. Consider making changes to your environment, such as dimming the lights or using noise-cancelling headphones, to ease the stress of being overwhelmed.
In conclusion, being diagnosed late with neurodiversity and masking can be an overwhelming and challenging experience. However, remember that there are steps you can take towards living a more authentic and empowered life. Give yourself time to process the news, seek out knowledge about your condition, and join a community that can offer you support and understanding. Always prioritize your mental health and make changes to your environment that can ease the stress of being overwhelmed. Finally, remember that being neurodiverse is not something to be ashamed of; it’s a unique and beautiful aspect of who you are.