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  • Casadie Morris

Unmasking Autism: The impact of Masking

Updated: Apr 17

For Neurotypical individuals, it is important to prioritize mental health.

So what does that mean for Neurodivergent individuals, who live in a world that is not always inclusive or accepting and does not always provide adequate accommodations?

According to Autism Research Institiute , "The prevalence of mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, AD/HD, OCD, and suicidality is significantly higher among autistic individuals than in the non-autistic population."

Why is that?

A large part of the reason this occurs is due to Masking.

What is Masking?

According to Psychology Today  , “Masking” refers to when individuals repress or hide signs of a mental health condition to blend in or adapt to the neurotypical world.

Why is this relevant to the issue of mental health and autism?

Studies have shown that for individuals with ASD, Masking is incredibly mentally and physically taxing. Due to having to suppress or "control" their true behaviors.

Psychology Today states, "While this technique can be advantageous in some ways, by creating greater integration in settings such as education or employment, it can come with heavy psychological costs, such as stress, exhaustion, burnout, and loss of identity.

In summary, with this small glimpse into the lives on individuals with ASD we can better understand how to ensure we are inclusive and understanding towards needs and accommodations.

As a therapy clinic, we are continually doing research to learn the true experiences of this community. Through social media we have a wider array of voices to hear and we will forever continue spreading awareness so ALL of our patients can feel sufficiently accommodated.

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