Neurodivergent or neurodivergence refer to people who think, process information, and experience the world differently from what is considered “typical.'” ADHD, dyslexia, LD, and autism are all considered to be a form of neurodivergence. ND does not refer to someone’s intelligence. In fact, many people who are neurodivergent are incredibly creative, out of the box thinkers, who can focus for long periods of time on topics of interest, have strong observational skills and attention to detail.
Often, people who are ND find that they face uniquely similar challenges such as having trouble starting a task even when they want to get it done, following and remembering instructions, staying focused, being able to organize their thoughts, following conversation, and difficulty with executive functioning and working memory. It is not uncommon for people who are ND to experience anxiety and depression. Sometimes they might worry about why certain things are so hard for them but seem so easy to others. They might feel like something is wrong with them and feel different than those around them.
There is a gender bias issue in the field of medicine and within the field of ADHD and neurodivergence women often get overlooked. Misdiagnosed as anxious, depressed, or simply “sensitive,” many women don’t learn about their neurological differences until they are adults. Because women and girls are socialized from a young age to prioritize picking up on social cues, many women blend in or “mask.”
As a neurodiversity-affirming therapist, I specialize in working with neurodivergent women with ADHD, anxiety and high-functioning depression who are feeling worried, overwhelmed or stuck. Therapy can provide you with a safe space to talk about what’s going on without fear of judgement.
Often, clients who work with me have described the following experiences in their life:
- Have learned to camouflage behaviors and mask your innate tendencies around others.
- Social interactions are difficult, tiring and take a great deal of effort.
- Often feel as though they can “feel what other people are feeling” and feel overwhelmed
when in social settings.
- Have more sensitivity to sounds, textures, temperatures, smells and sights.
Therapy can be a place to process these changes and work together to build the life that you want to lead.