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  • Divergent Mind

  • Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed For You
  • Written by: Jenara Nerenberg
  • Narrated by: Tegan Ashton Cohan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (123 ratings)

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Divergent Mind

Written by: Jenara Nerenberg
Narrated by: Tegan Ashton Cohan
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Publisher's Summary

A paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women - those with ADHD, autism, synesthesia, high sensitivity, and sensory processing disorder - exploring why these traits are overlooked in women and how society benefits from allowing their unique strengths to flourish.

As a successful Harvard and Berkeley-educated writer, entrepreneur, and devoted mother, Jenara Nerenberg was shocked to discover that her "symptoms" - only ever labeled as anxiety - were considered autistic and ADHD. Being a journalist, she dove into the research and uncovered neurodiversity - a framework that moves away from pathologizing "abnormal" versus "normal" brains and instead recognizes the vast diversity of our mental makeups. 

When it comes to women, sensory processing differences are often overlooked, masked, or mistaken for something else entirely. Between a flawed system that focuses on diagnosing younger, male populations, and the fact that girls are conditioned from a young age to blend in and conform to gender expectations, women often don't learn about their neurological differences until they are adults, if at all. As a result, potentially millions live with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed neurodivergences, and the misidentification leads to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and shame. Meanwhile, we all miss out on the gifts their neurodivergent minds have to offer.

Divergent Mind is a long-overdue, much-needed answer for women who have a deep sense that they are "different". Sharing real stories from women with high sensitivity, ADHD, autism, misophonia, dyslexia, SPD, and more, Nerenberg explores how these brain variances present differently in women and dispels widely-held misconceptions (for example, it's not that autistic people lack sensitivity and empathy, they have an overwhelming excess of it).

Nerenberg also offers us a path forward, describing practical changes in how we communicate, how we design our surroundings, and how we can better support divergent minds. When we allow our wide variety of brain makeups to flourish, we create a better tomorrow for us all.

©2020 Jenara Nerenberg (P)2020 HarperAudio

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Beautiful

I needed this book so badly. I cried when it came to the end. Not in a bad way, but because I felt I had truly been seen. Ladies, if you suspect or have known for most of your life that you have something different about you, then get thee this book!

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9 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

loved it! Thank you for all the research and connections made. This book will serve those who are neurodivergant, and those who want to have a better understanding of diversity in our world.

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3 people found this helpful

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Interesting contents, dull narrator

The main strength of this book is that it focuses primarily on neurodivergent women, a population that is usually overlooked. Aiming to cover all of neurodivergence in one single, fairly short book is rather ambitious, so this book will be most interesting to people who know little about neurodivergence or some of its aspects, like HSP or SPD. The weakness of the audiobook is the voice of the narrator, who speaks in a really dull, robotic AI manner, which makes it a bit challenging to really get hooked into the otherwise interesting contents of the book.

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2 people found this helpful

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Informative and life changing

Literally broke down in tears during parts of this book because I finally have words for my experience in the world. This information would have changed my life if I had have found it sooner. Since exploring this book I have found a new understanding with myself and with my partner. Highly recommend!

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2 people found this helpful

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Pivotal

I'm finding difficulty putting in to words the value of this book... It has provided me with an entirely new perspective. If you're on the fence about whether or not to listen, go for it! If you don't like it you can always return it, no questions asked.
On the other hand, it might just change the way you view the world and yourself in it.

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  • 2021-05-29

Validating and Refreshing

Writing is informative, assertive and aspirational. Liked how narrator subtly differentiates voices of individuals interviewed.

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1 person found this helpful

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Truly great

Never felt so seen before, cried through the indoctrination. This book is a game changer!

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Deeply affirming

I just keep seeing myself in this book, in ways I never expected. I am only half way through, and know I’ll be listening to it again. I imagine it’s one I’ll recommend my loved ones as well, when I decide to talk to them about my own neuro-divergence.

As a health care provider, counsellor, and researcher - as well as on a deeply personal level - I am SO GRATEFUL for this book. 🙏🏼

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Inclusive, diverse, great journalism on neurodivergent women

Great journalism reaching out to inclusivity, women of diversity communities. I really enjoyed the narrative voice as well. Non judgmental. I recommend the book read or listen for those interested or and identifying in sensory sensitivities and sensory first thinking processes.

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Best book on ND lived experience.

This book provided the best examples of what being ND is including things I had not realized were ND masking behaviours. I have a deeper understanding and better words to explain the experience

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