Sorry for the slow response. Blame Ajit Pai as my Internet keeps going out every minute (I am not kidding). I wasn’t criticizing you. I was responding to the author because a big misconception of the autism rights movements is that we support depathologization because autism creates “benefits”. That is not my thinking and it has never been. I have a right to live my life. I have a right to live my life by my rules, to have friends who accept me for who I actually am, to be affirmed in my female gender, to engage in the things I am passionate about, to stim, and to have my natural way of being NOT labeled as a medical condition that should be gotten rid of. I was pathologized when I was too young to understand anything. I don’t want to have the things I am interested in, my “rigidity” (standing up for my rights and not giving in to those in authority), my pleasant movements, or the social exclusion caused by other people not tolerating my existence labeled as a disorder and I also don’t like the idea that things are separate from me (see the godawful phrase “see the person, not the disorder”). So, to me, it is about the freedom to live my life and fighting back against the widespread social rejection of my existence (INB4 someone says, “why do care what other people think?” as if social rejection isn’t physically painful and can’t contribute to poor mental and physical health). I don’t feel like my existence needs to justified; in fact, that would contradict my beliefs. You are right that most people who experience extreme states don’t want to. That is why I think the approach of many autism rights activists have of expanding their ideas to the entire DSM isn’t good. Different needs, different communities. Depression and anxiety aren’t part of who a person is, they are things that prevent a person from being themselves. By definition, the obsessions of OCD are intrusive and unwanted and the mood episodes are outside the range of a person’s normal behaviour. People with mental health issues won’t accept the neurodiversity paradigm applied to their condition, but that isn’t to say it hasn’t affected the community. The demon child of the medical model and the neurodiversity paradigm is mental health identity politics, which says to autistic people that our existence is a disorder should be gotten rid of, but it also says that mental health issues are “chemical imbalances” that can’t be gotten rid of. Basically, it says a person should be “mentally healthy”, but they can’t, which is harmful to both communities. In fact, on Tumblr (terrible site, just upfront), I saw someone say their mental illness was preventing them from being autistic and I would agree with that. One of the great victories, in addition to removing the ASD dx, would be to allow autistic people to be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. The DSM-5 views social anxiety as a part of autism, which is victim-blamey and has real-world consquences. It ignores the role of marginalization in our symptoms, just viewing it as part of our social differences, and redirects the philosophy of treatment from “accept yourself” (social anxiety disorder) to “change yourself” (“ASD”). If I got a social anxiety disorder diagnosis from a doctor who never diagnosed me with “ASD”, I would feel so validated as it tells my pain is real and that I am worthy of acceptance for who I am.