The Challenge's Amber Borzotra Reveals Autism Diagnosis at 34: 'This Is Me'
Getting candid. During The Challenge: Ride or Dies reunion, Amber Borzotra revealed she has been diagnosed with autism.
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“I was diagnosed as autistic,” the reality star, 35, shared with her costars during the second part of the special, which aired on Wednesday, March 1. “I struggle in social settings, and this pressure has been so much on me. And I’ve taken meds for depression and anxiety in this game, and I’ve told people I haven’t because it was embarrassing.”
Borzotra, who is pregnant and expecting her first child with boyfriend Chauncey Palmer, noted that she didn’t expect to receive a diagnosis at this point in her life.
“I wish I would’ve found out a lot sooner because I’ve struggled with my identity for 34 years,” she added after explaining that she found out the information after filming wrapped on The Challenge season 38.
During the reunion, the Big Brother alum recalled how ups and downs with her mental health medicine led to the search for more answers.
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“It was embarrassing for people to make it seem like it wasn’t working, so it was something deeper,” she shared. “I really needed help. It’s been so hard, and I had to figure out why I’m this person and why, my whole life, I’ve felt the way I’ve felt and I am this way. I’m trying to find my own community of people that understand that.”
As Borzotra got emotional on screen, she received support from her costars.
“I don’t want you to think that you’re on this stage alone,” Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio said. “I don’t want you to think that you’re in this world alone. We really do care about you. We really do support you, even though it may not come across like that sometimes.”
Later in the special, the Germany native broke down some of her behavior that offered context to her diagnosis.
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“This is a fairly new journey for me. I am still learning a lot about the diagnosis. Basically, I camouflage myself to fit in,” she continued. “So, if I see someone hugging someone, like doing something, I feel I have to mirror that. Like, I stim a lot. I don’t know if you guys know, I rub my hands a lot, I bite my lip or twirl my hair. I don’t know. It’s difficult at my age, finding out later also in life.”
Borzotra concluded by discussing her hopes to be a “good influence to other neurodivergent” people. “It feels good to, I don’t know, be myself,” she said. “And I just want you guys to know this is me.”
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The MTV personality’s boyfriend also weighed in on her revelation. “I’m just glad and happy that she’s able to do it with all you guys and so you guys could see her for her,” Palmer, 24, added on Wednesday.
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