#Brain Zone

What Does it Mean to be Neurospicy?

In the mental health world we might have just found a new description for our spicy brain. Neurospicy might not tick everyone's boxes, but I dig it.


Artistic illustration of a person with their head on fire

As a person of the AD4K (ADHD with better screen resolution) persuasion, I absolutely love wordplay and creative analogies. That’s why I’m not surprised that my neurodivergent peers have coined a new term to call ourselves: Neurospicy.

illustration of a red chili pepper with cute face with a green background
I'm just a cute widdle ADHD chili pepper

What is Neurodivergence?

Neurodivergence is an umbrella term for brains that function differently from what’s considered typical or normal. It includes conditions like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, OCD, and Tourette’s Syndrome, among others.

Now, before you say, “What is normal even?”, let me stop you. Normal is defined by the standard functioning of the majority of the population. Every person may deviate on some level from the neurologic baselines on some level or another, but the level of deviation from the average baseline that individuals with neurodivergent conditions experience is at a greater scale than what’s typical and can cause extreme difficulties integrating with a society focused around the neurological baseline.

captain america keychain attached to a carkey in a pile of grass
Clap your hands if you were late to work, again, because you dropped your keys in a field, again.

This concept gave birth to the neurodiversity movement, which champions acceptance and understanding neurological differences and recognizing the unique perspectives we offer. The goal is to reduce social stigma around mental differences and embrace the idea of mental wellness that benefits people of all brain types.

The Challenge of Labels

The challenge here partially falls on the labeling. For example, terms like “neurodivergent” as compared to “neurotypical” (often shortened to ND and NT respectively) while more accurate, can be quite divisive. They evoke a hard line between one category or another potentially mislabeling undiagnosed individuals or those with lower support needs. The truth is that the spectrum of neurological differences is not a hard line and can’t be defined with an ‘us vs them’ approach.

Well... now who am I going to fight?

It’s important to note at this point, we can’t erase the differences that exist or the struggles that people who diverge from societal norms face. Acceptance of those differences and ranges of support needs are important to acknowledge, which is why labeling still serves the purpose of communicating our differences and needs without having to write a book about it. The key is identifying labeling that doesn’t isolate us or create conflict, but still respects our differences.

To that end, many labels have been thought up in our ND think tanks and communities online, but very few catch on or make it mainstream. When they do catch on, we make no short effort of chasing the dopamine high of raving about the new term and dumping it into everything we do until it loses its flavor. Speaking of flavors, the latest trend happens to play on that very premise and I’m here for it.

Neurospicy: More Flavor, Less Conflict

Enter “neurospicy”: a playful way to say our brains are a little extra zesty and unique. This may not be the term of the century that ends mental health stigma, uniting us all under one banner, but it’s fun and quirky and people love it.

Just like capsaicin makes peppers spicy, my lack of dopamine makes me pretty zesty.

A bland dish is food where all the flavors taste the same. By adding spices and other flavors to the dish, you can change a boring plate of food into a work of art. This is the same for society where various “brain flavors” blend together to make a more vibrant masterpiece of art and flavor.

No alt provided.
All this talk of brain flavor's got me hungry.

However you feel about the term neurospicy, I have a feeling it’s going to stick around. I have mixed feelings about using it personally, as it seems a little too playful for my style. That said, I do enjoy spicy food and I know we can expect to continue seeing this term pop up throughout social media for the foreseeable future.


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