Aggression Towards Neurodivergents – Ignored

Over the past few years, it’s become hard to ignore the aggressions toward myself and other Neurodivergent individuals.

So, it’s time that we talk about it.

For those who don’t know, Neurodivergent is a term used by those who have a non-typical condition or function neurologically. This can be anything from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder to Epilepsy, Autism, ADHD, Non-Epileptic Seizures, and Functional Neurological Disorder.

While I’ve been fighting aggression since I became an adult, the past five years have been the worst for me as an individual, and I’ve noticed that they’re getting worse for everyone else, too.

Starting with my boss telling me how mundane my CPTSD was. In the middle of the day, this happened while I was joking with a colleague about mental health. This was with someone who knew my struggles, and I knew theirs. And within a few minutes, my boss announced to the office that “[I] don’t have PTSD because [my] issues are mundane“. When asked to explain, he later followed up with – PTSD is shellshock, and you’ve never been through that.

Given that this wasn’t the first red flag I got from him – he was also the type of person to ignore medical issues experienced by women and put them down as emotional or dramatic. But also ignored doctor’s orders regarding mental health by overloading someone with OCD by putting them into a task that triggered their condition. This all happened within a few months in 2019, and I can confirm that I’m still insecure about my mundane CPTSD.

Fast forward to 2021, I was having severe issues with staying awake – because I was having chronic seizures, which I’m still having two years later – and was regularly ignored by my doctors and put down as depressed with migraines when I was describing my seizures. I’m not sure how describing being awake, alert, and fine to being unconscious, jerking, limp, and biting accurately describes a migraine, Depression, or both – but that’s the NHS for you.

I had a seizure back in 2022, January, which led me to go to hospital via ambulance. I was having issues moving my legs afterwards. It took hours for my leg movement to come back, and by the time I finally saw a doctor (4.5 hours after arriving, and 5.5 hours after the seizure had happened), I was back to being able to weight bear – all be it shakily. Which prompted the doctor to ask if “[I was] sure it happened” and if “[I was] sure it wasn’t all in [my] head”.

When I was speaking to a colleague at work last year about my polyamorous relationship – I was asked if “[I] can feel love as an Autistic person”. When I had a seizure in public and collapsed in the middle of the road, I was asked whether “[I] want to die”. I’ve been told that a business can’t hire me because they’ve “already got one like [me]”. I was talking to someone on a dating app, and after days of talking non-stop, I let them know that I have AuDHD and FND, only to get promptly shut down with, “I’m not really looking to be a carer” – I wasn’t asking them to take care of me… at all.

And these are just some of my experiences.

It’s so common for Autistic people to immediately receive hate from people they’ve only just met, simply because the unconscious part of a Neurotypicals brain has identified us as weird and then consciously acted on it. This is why charities like Autism Speaks still exist and why books by Autism Moms like To Siri with Love.

And, don’t worry, I will be going over both of those – eventually.

But discrimination and aggression against Neurodivergents doesn’t begin and end with Autistics.

If you’ve ever interacted with someone with Depression, you’ll have probably said “there are people who have it worse” at some point, and the sad fact that I can guarantee this is pathetic among many things.

We don’t just see Mental Health, as a topic, as Taboo – we see the people as Taboo as well. A person with Depression is whiny, a person with Anxiety is suspiciously fidgety, and a person with OCD is just a clean freak.

The idea that we must be shunned in order for us to get better is unbelievably common among Neurotypicals.

But of course, the ridicule doesn’t stop at in person discussions. Civil Servants taking mental health sick days has been blasted by News Anchors who think people using mental health sick days are “taking the mick!”

Mental Health is so frequently seen as a downfall. And while the opposite side of the coin isn’t great either – where people say that the best things are made by AuDHD people or that “suicidal” musicians are the best… Constantly being belittled for being neurodivergent in any way is not going to help anyone.

A bill is set to be put in place in the UK that will make it a legal requirement for companies to have a mental health first aider.

And while I think this is a good idea, to an extent, it’s not going to solve the issues people with mental health conditions and other neurodivergents in the workforce.

Offering a mental health first aider, that will be able to help with Autism meltdowns, anxiety attacks, and depressive episodes is pointless when the company refuses to hire Neurodivergents who’re Autistic, Anxious or Depressed. Since 69% of disabled people are unemployed, people with MDD are five times more likely to be unemployed than someone without, and only 22% of Autistic individuals are employed…

It’s like asking for ketchup to put on a cheeseburger that you don’t have.

On top of that, who is supposed to be a mental health first aider? How are they trained? 

Because, last time I checked, you need to go to school to become a counsellor or therapist. And anything less than that would be unacceptable for a mental health first aider, considering how we currently treat mental health conditions.

First aid puts a bandage on a small wound. A mental health first aider has to do the same but with words – and we all know that the wrong words can make the wound so much worse. 

There’s so much I could talk about, and I could probably write a book with a million words. But, instead, I will leave you with this:

Neurodivergent conditions and disorders have frequent comorbidities. If you have ADHD, you’re more likely to have Autism, Anxiety, and Depression (as examples) than someone without ADHD. But, a comorbidity that the government is currently looking at is Transgenderism. Neurodivergent individuals experience the world in a different way to Neurotypicals, so a large portion of the Non-Binary, Trans, and even just the Queer community as a whole are Neurodivergent.

As the genocide of Trans people progresses, it’s becoming more and more visible that they want to get rid of everyone who doesn’t fit into their boxes – including disabled and neurodivergent individuals.

So, please, if you’re Neurodivergent and able or an allie, I need you to fight. Not just for trans people, or queer people, but for yourself. Because soon enough, they’re going to come for you.

This isn’t going to stop with Trans people. It’s going to be Trans people and Neurodivergents, People of Colour and Gay people, and thrown into the mix will be any religion they deem wrong… Which is everything but Catholic and Christian in the West.

So, please, fight for everyone – because everyone includes you.

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