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25th July, 2023

How to Thrive in a High-Stress Job When You’re Neurodivergent

With Matthew Bellringer

Photo of Matthew Bellringer

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On this episode

In the words of today’s podcast guest, “Everyone can benefit from neurodiversity”. But how much do you understand about the way it impacts you and your colleagues?

Neurodiversity can be a real strength in high-stress roles like medicine. Different ways of thinking can allow us to cope with high pressure situations, handle complex information, and perform brilliantly in ways that others couldn’t.

But it also offers us challenges, both when it comes to managing our own needs but also in supporting those around us. A great example is “masking”, where people try to hide elements of themselves in order to “fit in” with those around them. It takes a huge amount of energy, and can take a significant toll on our mental and physical wellbeing.

You might have a diagnosis of something like ADHD, ASD, or dyslexia, or know a colleague or family member who does. But even if you don’t, all of us benefit from understanding more about different ways of thinking and seeing the world, and knowing how to support each other better using our unique strengths and talents.

In this conversation, we hear from neurodivergence coach and facilitator Matthew Bellringer who unpacks the terminology in a brilliantly clear way. He shares how you can make the most of the advantages of neurodivergence in you and your team, as well as dealing more effectively with the challenges it brings so we can support each other better.

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About the guests

Matthew Bellringer photo

Reasons to listen

  • Understand the terminology of neurodiversity and how it can benefit individuals, society, and organisations
  • Learn about the unique strengths and challenges that come with neurodivergence, and how to capitalise on those strengths while mitigating the costs
  • Discover how masking and camouflaging can take a toll on the mental and physical wellbeing of neurodivergent individuals, and how to work towards expressing oneself and one’s experiences

Episode highlights

00:03:25

Neurodiversity and neurodivergence

00:06:59

Twice-exceptional people

00:10:55

Neurodivergence and empathy

00:12:32

Superpowers vs mutant powers

00:15:51

Hyperempathy

00:18:42

Masking

00:21:13

Themes that show up for neurodivergent people

00:27:20

Neurodivergence, health, and lifestyle

00:30:07

Addiction and compulsion

00:33:00

Helpful coping mechanisms

00:35:10

When your zone of genius is outside of your role

00:38:00

How neurotypical people can help the neurodivergent

00:41:23

Get curious about your needs

00:42:32

Neurodivergence and leadership

00:43:22

Advocating for yourself

00:44:27

Seeking diagnosis and support

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] Rachel: People don’t come with instruction manuals, yet most people manage to navigate social situations relatively easily. At least it seems that way. And if your neurodivergent, especially, if you are on the autistic spectrum, it can feel like everyone else got a copy of the manual and you never did. [00:00:19] Rachel: Neurodiversity is something we’re only still getting to grips with, and it doesn’t begin and end with autism. More and more people are wandering about seeking a diagnosis. For example, I was diagnosed with ADHD a couple of years ago and it’s helped me get a…

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