Neurodiverge is an online magazine and community for people who identify as neurodivergent, mentally ill, or mentally disabled. We welcome contributions exploring any of these identities or related topics. Think of us as a smaller scale version of Huffposts ‘The Mighty.’
What is our mission?
Our mission is to celebrate neurodivergent, mentally ill and mentally disabled people. We aim to develop a neurodiverse community to develop collective resilience, and inspire a new future for neurodivergent people . In the words of Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant: “Collective resilience requires more than shared hope – it is also fuelled by shared experience, shared narratives, and shared power.” We hope that celebrating neurodivergent and mentally ill people can help smash the stigma surrounding mental conditions, and encourage people to seek help, build support networks, and have a better life.
What don’t we do?
This website does not provide medical information. Our aim is to encourage people to seek the help they need from their support networks and professionals. We provide links to medical information from reputable sources in a section of our ‘Resources’ page.
Where does the name ‘Neurodiverge’ come from? What is neurodivergence?
The term ‘neurodivergence’ comes from the neurodiversity movement, which posits that mental conditions are not illnesses that need to be eliminated from society, but natural points of difference. Instead of identifying as mentally ill, disabled or disordered, the neurodiversity movement calls for recognition of neurodivergence. Autistic advocate Nick Walker best defined neurodivergence on his blog, Neurocosmopolitanism:
Neurodivergence (the state of being neurodivergent) can be largely or entirely genetic and innate, or it can be largely or entirely produced by brain-altering experience, or some combination of the two (autism and dyslexia are examples of innate forms of neurodivergence, while alterations in brain functioning caused by such things as trauma, long-term meditation practice, or heavy usage of psychedelic drugs are examples of forms of neurodivergence produced through experience).
Following this logic, a ‘mental illness’ is just a neurotype that differs from the dominant norm. This places mental conditions on par with other social categories like gender, race, sex, class, and sexuality. A mental condition or ‘neurotype’ is not to foreign to someone’s identity, but an essential part of it. Unfortunately, with neurodivergence comes with adversity – both from the external (i.e. society) and internal (i.e. brain and body) spheres of life.
Does ‘neurodiversity’ completely reject the concept of mental illness?
No! There is not a clear consensus on the meaning of mental ‘illness’ in the neurodiversity movement.
The editor of this site believes that current labels of ‘mental illness’ are actually neurotypes or forms of disability (social model) which predispose people to types of mental illness. For example, ‘bipolar’ is a neurotype, while mania and depression may be experienced as illnesses. This definition moves the focus of discussions of mental conditions outside the boundaries of medicine, and emphasises the role of social structures in the oppression of neurodivergent people.
Of course, this website is open to different interpretations of neurodiversity and mental illness. Neurodiverge welcomes contributions from those who identify as mentally ill, mentally disabled, or neurodivergent. We aim to celebrate difference, rather than elimination of our identities. Our persistence is resistance.