What It’s Like to be Neurodivergent

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

**Trigger warning: talk of mental illness**

At the age of two, my life unknowingly changed. I mean who diagnoses a two-year-old with Mood Disorder, Oppositional Defiance, and ADHD. Until recently I never knew what those words meant, I just knew growing up knowing something was different about me. Oppositional Defiance is defined as a disorder marked by defiant and disobedient behavior, of course, I wasn’t a perfect angel growing up, but defiant, how do you determine if a child as young as I was is defiant or just going through an extra-long terrible twos phase. When I was growing up my mom and dad were always trying to find new things for me to try to help us cope. Ballet never worked because my teacher couldn’t be patient with me. One thing We did find that worked was martial arts, taekwondo more specifically. This was the only thing that kept me engaged and helped me better express my emotions. But not all good things last, my taekwondo studio went out of business when I was six. Of course, that’s not the only way that we coped, from the age of about four or five I took a whole pharmacy full of medications and I saw a psychiatrist until I was seven and I couldn’t anymore.


My larger battle of the brain came around the age of twelve. While my peers were watching Disney channel and playing outside, I spent days on end laying in bed sleeping and when I wasn’t sleeping I was miserable. I was constantly sad for just about no reason other than my existence. While this sounds typical of your average emo preteen, it was more for me. I went days without eating and I struggled motivating myself to get up once a day much less going to school. I eventually went to the hospital where I talked to a social worker and doctor who’s only concern was that I didn’t kill myself, which I hadn’t planned on. From there I went to see a psychiatrist less than a week later because I was considered a top priority. That psychiatrist, the same one I see every 3-6 months to this day, she helped me come to the understanding that I was depressed and had anxiety. These were both things I had never thought of myself of, twelve-year-old me only knew what I had seen on TV. I didn’t understand why I was depressed, I mean I had never made an attempt on my life or anything. Before then I never really acknowledged that I was different but that diagnosis truly changed me. I started to see a therapist once a month, but soon after I was assigned to her, she switched agencies. The next one was just the same, she left soon after I first saw her. But then I was assigned someone who understood, she never told me what I was doing wrong or made me feel any less than normal. She taught me how my brain worked and how I can control how it works, and I started to see a difference. Even during the pandemic when we couldn’t meet she still made an effort to text or call me to make sure I was ok. Over the last three or so years I’ve learned that I’m no different than anybody else, my brain is but I’m not.


If you feel as though you are unsafe or need help, don’t be afraid to reach out.

National Suicide hotline:

1-(800)-273-8255

The Trevor Project hotline:

1-(866)-488-7383


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Brooke Decker

Cabot High School Sophomore

@_decker711


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