What is the value in getting a diagnosis for neurodivergence?
13 Mar 2023
Sep 8, 2023
If you think you are neurodivergent, you may be wondering if seeking a diagnosis could be helpful. Getting a diagnosis can have many benefits, including easier access to support and better understanding of yourself. Understandably, some people might not want a diagnosis as they don’t want to be ‘labelled’ or have other reservations. This article looks at the benefits and limitations of getting a diagnosis to help you decide whether a diagnosis is right for you.
What are the benefits of getting a diagnosis?
When you have a diagnosis, it might be easier to access any support you need. The level and type of support you receive is determined by your individual needs, which are often evaluated by a needs assessment. Different types of support offered might include coaching, workplace accommodations, occupational therapy, or even financial support. Have a look through our library to find out what support is available for different neurodivergences.
Understanding yourself 🧠
Receiving a diagnosis might give you a sense of self-understanding as it can often explain why you might’ve found some things more challenging than neurotypical people. Often people feel a sense of relief after receiving a diagnosis as it can explain certain feelings or experiences they’ve had.
Access to medication 💊
Neurodivergence just describes a difference in how someone's brain works, so many neurodivergences do not have medication treatment. However, some people with ADHD choose to go on medication to help manage aspects of ADHD that they find more difficult. If you think you might want medication to help with ADHD symptoms, getting a diagnosis opens up the possibility of seeking out medication through your doctor.
Advocating for yourself 🗣
A diagnosis might help you understand your needs and empower you to advocate for support. It may also help other people understand your experience better and be more accepting of any accommodations and support you need.
Connect with others 🔗
By better understanding yourself and the experiences you have had, a diagnosis might encourage you to connect with other neurodivergent people. There are lots of forums and online communities, such as Noetic’s community, that you can access to meet and speak to people who have similar experiences to you, although you don’t need a formal diagnosis for this.
Why might some people not want a diagnosis?
Some people choose not to get a diagnosis because they worry about the stigma attached to it and don’t want to be given a label. These are understandable concerns, but as awareness about neurodiversity spreads the stereotypes and misconceptions around it are constantly being challenged. At Noetic, we believe in embracing our neuro-differences and celebrating them. We want to help erase that stigma through education and promoting inclusion!
Other people may not find a diagnosis valuable. They may already have access to all the support they need or have developed their own strategies to overcome any struggles they face. They may also worry that a diagnosis could lead to medication. It’s important to remember that taking medication is a personal choice, and some people choose to take it while others do not.
Getting a formal diagnosis for some neurodivergences can also have some implications on travel, immigration and insurance. For example, an autism diagnosis might limit someone's ability to immigrate to certain countries if they are considered to have high support needs such as this New Zealand case. You must also declare your autism, ADHD or dyspraxia diagnosis on any health or travel insurance, which might increase the insurance cost and change some of the conditions of your insurance since these are considered pre-existing health conditions.
Finally, people might not want to get a diagnosis due to the time and cost sometimes involved. Getting a diagnosis on the NHS can involve long waiting lists, although there is often more support available while waiting for a diagnosis. Diagnosis of some neurodivergences, such as dyslexia, are not covered on the NHS so can be expensive when diagnosed privately. Have a look at our library to look at the diagnosis options for different neurodivergences.
So should I get a diagnosis?
Getting a diagnosis is a personal choice. Think about why you may or may not want one, whether you have access to the support you need, and if you are willing to go through the diagnosis process. It might be helpful to talk to your family or friends to get their support with the decision you make either way. You can also talk to one of Noetic’s experts to help you decide whether a diagnosis is right for you.