Autism and other Neurodiversities are not mental disorders. They are different neurotypes. It, therefore, cannot be self-destructive to discover and identify as autistic or neurodivergent. Since many of us have lived years of our lives assumed to be “neurotypical”.
I do not believe that you need an official diagnosis to identify as autistic or neurodivergent, enabling you to understand yourself better and advocate your needs. However, the potential danger with ‘self-diagnosis’ is that you may continue to suffer from undiagnosed mental health disorders.
Therefore, if someone thinks they are Autistic or Neurodivergent and suffers from lots of mental health problems, it would be important to see a psychiatrist to identify and address these mental health issues.
Only those of us on the spectrum can ask ourselves: Is it really possible that someone would discover autism, carry out extensive research into autism, identify themselves as autistic, and not be autistic? In my opinion, it’s unlikely. So surely there should be no problem in adopting Autism or Neurodivergence as your identity, should you wish to.
The need for an autism diagnosis, discovery or identification, is not something that every autistic person can relate to.
- Those with undiscovered neurodivergence, living in environments that accept them may not seek to discover their neurodivergence.
- Those who have discovered and identified with autism and neurodivergence may not feel the need for an official diagnosis.
- And, those who have struggled with mental health issues, or their identity may feel they need an official diagnosis.
Regardless of which one you are, those who are allowed to be themselves without question will be able to flourish and benefit the greater good of society.