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How do social networks help people diagnosed with neurodiversity?

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Few people know the meaning of the term neurodiversity; however, with the support of social networks such as Clubhouse, Twitter, TikTok, among others, they have generated knowledge in millions and above all, those who suffer from it can expose their neurological differences.

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Thanks to the virtuality generated by the pandemic of COVID-19these individuals have managed to find communities or people to talk about it.

What is?

For Lawrence Fangdirector of the neurodiversity project of the Stanford University (United States)defines neurodiversity as “A way of describing that brains are different, and like any human being, they won’t be good at everything”.

Neurodivergent people suffer from cognitive variations such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia or dyspraxia.

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In relation to ADHD, there are three main types and their effects can be different in any individual. In childhood it is the stage where it is most diagnosed, but various adults have experienced this type of neurodivergence.

Individuals with neurodiversity present varied experiences such as:

  • Sensitivity
  • process information differently
  • Not reading facial expressions
  • Difficulty identifying numbers and words

neurodivergent movement

In the 1990s, there was a movement whose purpose was to generate knowledge about neurodiversity, and support people who suffered from a neurodivergent variation.

Currently, neurodiversity has been identified as a social justice movement and has gained greater awareness in every human.

According to the Stanford University Neurodiversity at Work program, between 15% and 20% of the world population is considered neurodiverse.

Difficulties in diagnosis

Despite the movement that has generated greater knowledge, most people do not receive adequate support and struggle to be diagnosed.

rose thomas33 years old and resides in Berlin Germany), was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, she decided to be a tutor and provide support to other individuals like her.

“For three decades, I literally thought I was like a total Martian. I thought no one else was like me. I was seeing my psychiatrist, who said that all of these things that I was struggling with were depression symptoms. I knew she wasn’t depressed and now I know they were examples of executive dysfunction,” He spoke to the BBC.

Executive dysfunction is the range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral difficulties that occur in a person after an injury to the frontal lobes of the brain.

Rosie says she watched a video on TikTok of a user who suffered from ADHD and described the same symptoms she felt. Given this, she conducted a search on this disorder in adult women and was amazed when she discovered that the character traits described were similar to her own.

From there, he self-diagnosed as having ADHD.

Fang explains that to obtain a formal diagnosis in relation to neurodiversity depends on the nation, and its economic cost can be high, which is why most people do not have access to it. However, the specialist recommends receiving help from a professional for greater security.

The importance of social networks

The vast majority of individuals have turned to social networks to find support in the face of the various difficulties of traditional medical service.

Lyric Holmans, 35, from Texas, has autism and says he discovered it through social communities on the internet. Moreover, she points out that in these social media she makes it easier for neurodivergents to find other users with similar traits.

“You post a question and then followers start interacting with each other, sharing things and helping each other to ask for help”he maintains.

Rare diagnoses in women

Females are unlikely to be diagnosed as neurodivergent, since doctors and mental health professionals are unable to identify traits or attitudes in women compared to men, who present stereotypical and repetitive behavior.

Fang specifies that in his investigation he found more “camouflages” by women because they use strategies to hide the characteristics of an autistic person.

Source: Gestion

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