Are neurodiverse & mental health conditions taken as seriously as other health issues? I know we have a number of awareness weeks/days etc but I feel there needs to be more changes made at a higher level to really make a difference.

I have a notes app on my phone which I update daily & it helps me process my thoughts as well as a reminder of things I intend to do. I have grouped together some notes that I feel relate to the above topic below…

If a cancer patient told you their symptoms & you could relate to some of them to some degree, would you laugh and say ‘maybe I have cancer as well?’. I have had this many times when I explain some of my symptoms to people, I find comments like these to be very dismissive.

Asking a GP practice what is their policy on autism awareness & the official response from the GP Partner is that it is not mandatory to teach staff ‘but they are happy to consider it’ – would someone in a wheelchair get the same response & is this adequate? Should it be mandatory? Should a senior partner in charge of mental health need prompting to use their initiative and seek training for staff at the practice?
With an estimated 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK – approximately 1% of the population – most people probably know someone who is autistic. In addition, there are an estimated 3 million family members and carers of autistic people in the UK (National Autistic Society) 21 Jul 2021

After explaining to people in depth how speaking to someone in a sensory meltdown doesn’t help me & can make it worse to then get the reply ‘I’m here if you want to talk’. Would you feel this person listened? Unfortunately I have come across this all to often.

To articulate your words clearly so someone understands you, to a person who is in charge of children with similar conditions and explain how certain things can help you – Then these conditions that were explained aren’t listened to and are ignored. What chance do children who struggle to communicate their feelings/thoughts have?

If you have a diagnosis of a neurodiverse & mental health condition but they are both treated separate as if they do not interact (but they clearly do and proven to) & the people who are treating you do not communicate, how can you ever get the best treatment? 

If you had a long term health condition & was having treatment for years & you went to your doctor treating you & they said to you ‘you have been with us for years, you’ve had every combination of medication, what do you want us to do?’ how would you feel?

Do people understand that neurodiverse & mental health conditions are different & therefore treatment is different? Suggesting the same generic mental health advice doesn’t work & can actually make life more difficult. 

All of the above I have experienced & far more. Some one offs, some repeatedly by the same people over & over. Without having a condition these would affect the strongest of people, so to have a condition or multiple conditions and having to deal with this does not make life easier. This is why I feel autism (as well as other neurodiverse conditions) awareness training should be Introduced as mandatory for not only general practitioners & their staff (which I feel should be a given) but also into school curriculums & in general places of work across the board.

Surely if having a neurodiverse condition is labelled as a disability in cases, then we as a society have a duty to help understand this more & make adaptations as you would if someone was in a wheelchair. 

Would you want this treatment for your son, daughter, mother, father, friend if they had any of these conditions? Is the treatment I have spoken about satisfactory? Mine is not an isolated case!! There aren’t enough voices out there who fight for change at a higher level – fighting your condition daily is hard enough so I can imagine why people accept things, but things need to change. This is by far a ‘pity me’ nor a negative message. This is a ‘what are we going to do about it’, proactive, something needs to be done message. 

What are your thoughts?