Neurodiversity/Mental Health

What is AuDHD? It took me 25 years to get diagnosed

‘I never really fit in with people that just had ADHD or were just autistic. So for me to find other people that live with both was a real lifeline.’

Harry Rutter, 25, from Cambridgeshire, is one of the many people who, in recent years, have been diagnosed with ‘AuDHD’.

Otherwise known as co-occurring autism and ADHD, they’re both neurological conditions, and until 2010, you could only be diagnosed with one or the other.

While Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects the way people communicate,

Navigating love and relationships when neurodivergent - Reader's Digest

This Valentine's Day, writer Charlotte Colombo shares her experiences of navigating dating and relationships as a neurodivergent person.

“You see, there’s someone out there for everyone!”

In my personal experience, autistic peoples’ thinking patterns are frequently classified as "lesser". We have "less" emotional intelligence and maturity, and our confusion around these highly specific unspoken social rules makes us fall just that little bit short of being fully functioning adults. It’s honest

Are money problems an unexpected ADHD symptom? - Reader's Digest

What is the “ADHD tax”?

Like a magpie faced with tinfoil, I can never resist shiny things, especially if I feel like they can offer me a hit of dopamine. Dopamine, which is also known as one of our body’s “happy chemicals”, is the neurotransmitter responsible for controlling the “reward centre” of our brain. If your brain produces enough dopamine, you will feel things like pleasure, motivation and satisfaction.

But a little-known symptom of ADHD is that our brains seriously lack dopamine, leav

I cried daily when I started full-time work – that doesn’t make me a snowflake

When it comes to major life milestones, I don’t consider the occasion fully marked until I’ve had my mandatory Big Cry.

From the first day of primary school, to the first day of university, and even my first Saturday job flogging pencil cases, there has been no big transition in my life that has not featured salty tears. That includes my first full-time office job in London.

Recently, university graduate Brielle Asero committed the cardinal sin of being young and questioning the status quo. In

Mental Illness Can Be Gross Sometimes – And That's Okay

You could show symptoms of mental illness, sure. But they have to be the right symptoms – ones which don’t get in anyone’s way, fundamentally disrupt the status quo, or have any kind of impact in the way people want to see you.

But if it gets to the hundredth day and you’re still anxious, despite all the reassurance they’ve given otherwise, they become frustrated. Why don’t you just get over it? What do you mean you still don’t feel better?

When you get into that cycle of paralysing anxiety an

Opinion: Time’s up for the ‘manic pixie dream girl’ trope

I’m not like other girls. And no, I don’t mean that I prefer friendships with men because they’re “less drama,” that I’m “low maintenance” in a relationship, revel in being “the cool girl” or pair Converse trainers with formal dresses.

When I say I’m not like other girls, I’m referring to being autistic and ADHD – a diagnosis which is currently (and regularly) in the spotlight following the airing of the Panorama documentary: Private ADHD Clinics Exposed.

What ADHD means to me is that at 25 ye

After A Lifetime Of Guilt, Here's Why I'm Finally Embracing Autistic Joy

But every year, as the end of April rolls around, I’m left feeling hollow. Like an imposter. No, this isn’t because I’m faking autism (though a PIP assessor once accused me of such because I smiled at her), but because, as much as it embarrasses me to admit it, I’m still not 100% there with my own autism acceptance.

When you’re open about autism on social media, you find yourself posited as an authority on the subject. Maybe you wanted this at the time; perhaps you didn’t. But it will happen re

ADHD is a lot more than a TikTok trend, it can come with serious guilt, anxiety, and more than anything, shame

Recently, there’s been a slew of articles denying the existence and validity of ADHD. Some complained that the condition is ‘overdiagnosed;’ others claimed it was a result of being on your phone too much. My personal favourite? The article that somehow compared ADHD to the Ukraine war.

All of these feature were conveniently released in the run-up to a Parliamentary debate about ADHD funding, and of all the things they have in common, the most pertinent — and aggravating — misconception they all

Opinion: ADHD isn’t ‘overdiagnosed’ – quite the opposite, actually

Here’s an uncomfortable truth. Sometimes, when I tell people I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (otherwise known as ADHD), I feel embarrassed. This isn’t because I’m ashamed of ADHD, which as a neurological condition, impacts my executive functioning, impulsivity, and processing. Nor do I think that anyone else who has it has anything to be ashamed of, either.

But the thing that makes me a bad activist is that when I tell people I have ADHD, I know exactly what they must think. I s

The painful reality of rejection sensitive dysphoria

"Sorry, I can’t make it today. Next week?" It was just a text — a friend cancelling on me for plans we had later that day. But I kept reading and re-reading it; continually dismantling the message and putting it back together again, analysing every letter, comma, and emoji for the things left unsaid. Why did they suggest ‘next week,’ but not give a specific date? Was I being brushed off? Did they find a better offer for how to spend the day? Of course they did — they clearly couldn’t stand me. I

'They saved my life': People reveal impact of antidepressants

‘Ultimately, they saved my life’: People reveal the true impact of antidepressants

‘Ultimately, they saved my life’: People reveal the true impact of antidepressants

As the number of people using antidepressants in the UK soars amid the lingering mental health effects of lockdown, there is more scrutiny around their usage than ever.

Antidepressants come in three major forms: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricycli

Using ADHD as an excuse for poor behaviour harms people like me

When I was at university, I ran a student paper. There were two ‘rival’ student papers and, as fate would have it, the editor of the rival newspaper was neurodivergent, like me. I thought that we’d end up being close friends, and tried numerous times to make that happen, but what I got instead was a year of relentless bullying, gossiping behind my back, false accusations about cheating my way to awards and trying to get me ‘fired’ from a voluntary position.

Of course, I tried to call them out o

I'm Autistic but I Don't Need to be "Cured"

When my parents told me I had autism spectrum disorder, it was just a formality. All of my brothers had already been diagnosed, and given that I spent more time at school in my own head than I did interacting with the people around me, it was pretty damn obvious.

I remember shrugging, even laughing, at the news, then tucking back into whichever Jacqueline Wilson book I was hyperfixated on at the time.

Words like ‘autism’ and ‘Asperger’s’ were thrown around as frequently in my house as phrases

Medical misogyny is causing a mental health crisis among autistic women

“How did you get diagnosed, then? Through an internet quiz?”

On the surface, he was asking a question. But the airiness of it, and the smirk that somehow radiated through the phone made it clear to me that he thought he already knew the answer. I didn’t expect the validity of my autism diagnosis to be questioned by a doctor, of all people, during an occupational health appointment — but looking back, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. After all, since when have women ever been taken seriously

Opinion | Calling out Lizzo's slur in 'Grrrls' was not 'cancel culture'

I can palpably remember every time I was called a "spaz." Sometimes it was in gym class, with classmates screaming in my face because I missed catching the ball for the fifth time because my brain wouldn’t let me coordinate my hands. Other times, it would be uttered and whispered behind my back, with a raised eyebrow or two, when I struggled to cut my food during Home Ec lessons or found myself tripping over nothing for the third time that day.

Worst of all was when I was in my own world, forge

The New Year's Resolutions the UK Government needs to Make for Disabled People

The last two years haven’t been fantastic for anyone — but they’ve been awful for disabled people.

On January 2, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared a tweet that is dripping in irony, one global pandemic and two variants of concern later. “This is going to be a fantastic year for Britain,” he writes, giving his best Churchill impression to the camera as he sticks his thumbs up as if to represent some kind of universal reassurance to the nation.

Two months later, the country went into a n

How a TikTok subculture helped me realize I have ADHD

• On TikTok, creators are sharing symptoms of ADHD in a subculture called "ADHDTok."
• Without these videos, I would never have known to seek out a doctor for an ADHD assessment.
• Women are less likely to be given ADHD diagnoses.

When it comes to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the images that pop culture provides us are hyperactive children like Bart Simpson and Jay from "Big Mouth."

While their portrayals are at least partially accurate, research shows that ADHD in girls p

What Happens if You’re too Broken for the NHS?

By all accounts, a lot of the stigma that once existed around mental health has been eroded. Studies show that people’s knowledge of and attitude towards mental health issues has significantly improved in the past decade, with a Time to Change survey reporting that since 2007, 4.1 million people have improved attitudes towards mental health. So, these days, it is a lot easier to open up about your mental health.

But it’s not enough.

We’re sold this story of everything getting better if we only

Britney Spears’ conservatorship battle shows how women's mental health is used against them

As she spoke up for the first time amid her lengthy court battle to get her father removed as her conservator, Britney Spears revealed why it took until now for her to break her silence: “I honestly didn’t think anyone would believe me.”

Given that she is one of the wealthiest women in the world, some might find this statement puzzling. But the truth is, Britney’s story is hardly shocking. She was right to think that nobody would believe her. After all, women with mental health issues being gas

My OCD is always telling me I'm a bad person - I've decided to stop listening

“You’re too fussy, Charlotte.” That’s what my Maths teacher said to me one day in primary school as as I aggressively scrubbed out and rewrote the answer on my worksheet over and over again, wanting to make sure that the numbers looked just right. I didn’t realise it at the time, but that was the first time my perfectionism really started to cross over into something pathological.

My OCD likes to wear a lot of hats, and one of its favourites is moral scrupulosity. Moral scrupulosity OCD is what

As an Autistic Person, I’m Tired of Autism Awareness Day

Every year, as April approaches, I always find myself feeling a bit off-colour. My mood dips, my anxiety spikes and I have a much shorter fuse than I usually do. For a long time, I never really understood why the month bothered me so much. Then, as March drew to a close, it hit me. Autism Awareness Day was coming. And I couldn’t be less enthusiastic for it if I tried.

As someone who is open about being autistic and writes in depth about neurodiversity, it doesn’t make sense, right? Surely, this

OCD has given me a pathological fear of becoming pregnant

The weirdest thing about writing this article is even though I can articulate all of these causes and symptoms of my phobia so well, I am still by no means completely ‘cured’. I know deep down that the spectre of my phobia is still looming, getting ready to rear its ugly head when I inevitably try and embark on a sexual relationship again.

For most of university, I lied about having sex and losing my virginity because, truth be told, I was ashamed of my phobia. Shame is a funny thing: I saw my

The do not resuscitate notice given to people with learning disabilities is proof that our lives don’t matter

As someone who lives with a learning disability, the do not resuscitate (DNR) notice gives a clear and unambiguous message: the government wants people like me dead.

I feel sick to my stomach writing this. But what hurts the most about this situation isn’t even the DNR notice itself. Given that people with learning disabilities are often considered to be at best, a burden; and at worse, a drain on society – the implementation of a notice like this was less of a matter of ‘if’ and more of a matt
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