When we think about how humans develop, the word “different” may come to mind. There are those who develop in more typical ways and those who develop in other ways. In “Divergent Mind,” journalist Jenara Nerenberg discusses many different “inner words,” such as Autism, ADHD, Synesthesia, and Sensory Processing “Disorder.”
Much of the book stems from Jenara Nerenberg’s struggles with depression, anxiety, symptoms of ADHD, and her subsequent research on the neurodivergent mind.
She defines neurodiversity as recognizing and celebrating the diversity of brain psyches instead of regarding some as “normal” and others as “abnormal.”
In the book’s early pages, we get a great analysis of the term sensitive. The term tends to imply a heightened reaction to external stimuli. Although sensitivity is a more common experience for many women, any gender can experience varying degrees of sensitivity. Furthermore, depending on the degree of sensitivity, it can be a distinct feature of Asperger’s, ADHD, HSP, and other traits.
During her research on neurodiversity, Jenara came across several autistic authors, including Samantha Craft. Samantha offers a long list of terms regarding autism that could help those who are wondering if they have autistic traits. The main point here is that knowledge is power. The better we understand ourselves, the easier it will be for us to thrive in the world. Knowledge can also help mitigate anxiety for those who don’t understand why they react negatively to certain stimuli.
Although it is important to note that there isn’t just one treatment or wellness plan for all neurodivergencies, Jenara offers some great tips based on her own experiences. For example, we can try different techniques and take what works from each. It is important to avoid putting pressure on ourselves to do things a certain way. Another idea is to write down what works for you. Writing can be very therapeutic in and of itself but can also help in the future if you ever want to share your ideas or approaches.
“Divergent Mind” is an excellent exploration of our differences that can create challenges and provide our greatest strengths as well.
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