I'd like to discuss, briefly, to what extent neurodiverse conditions affect conceptions of identity. For those of you familiar with the “Neurodiversity” movement, you'll be aware of the debate that self-advocacy has stirred in the world of mental well-being. The movement takes its origin from the development of an online community through which some autists began advocating on behalf of themselves for recognition of their conditions as natural variations or ways of being, rather than deficits or impairments.
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Over tea, Dan recalled the young woman I had been at nineteen, long before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at thirty-seven. He mentioned that, sure, I seemed moody at times, but he noted that my moods didn’t swing to either extreme. While Dan isn’t a psychiatrist, I took his opinions as seriously as if they were the opinions belonging to a physician.
First of all, before I take off with my diatribe, if you happen to have bipolar and you use the wording I'm about to discuss, please do not take offense. That is the very last thing I want to do in this blog. I merely wish to play devil's advocate. I am writing this as a catharsis, which is defined as the "discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition."