During the Ride or Dies reunion on Wednesday, the reality star expressed her journey of self-discovery, noting that she has struggled with understanding her identity for her entire life. Amber Borzotra, a Big Brother alum, revealed on the second part of The Challenge: Ride or Dies reunion that she has been diagnosed with autism at 35 years old.
Borzotra divulged that she has difficulties in social settings and has been taking medication for depression and anxiety, which she previously lied about due to feeling embarrassed. She expressed her relief in finally receiving a diagnosis, wishing she had found out earlier, as she has been struggling with her identity for 34 years.
Although her costars encouraged her not to feel ashamed about taking medication for her mental health, Borzotra was emotional, feeling embarrassed that people might think the medication is not working when it’s something deeper. After finishing the filming for The Challenge season 38, Borzotra sought further information about her health, stating that she really needed help.
She is now trying to connect with a community of people who can understand her experience and is grateful for the support system she has found among the Challengers. Her journey highlights the challenges that people with autism face, particularly when it comes to understanding their identity and finding a supportive community.
During the reunion, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio assured Borzotra that she is not alone and has the support of her fellow Challengers. Devenanzio, a seven-time Challenge winner, emphasized that they care about her and support her, even though it may not always seem like it.
Borzotra discussed some of the behaviors that led to her diagnosis, revealing that she camouflaged herself to fit in and mirrored the actions of others. She also explained that she stims, engaging in repetitive behaviors such as hand-rubbing or hair-twirling. It is challenging for her to navigate her diagnosis at her age and after discovering it later in life.
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Nancy Gonzalez reassured Borzotra that her diagnosis does not define her, and they have loved her before and will continue to love her after her diagnosis. Borzotra’s partner, Palmer, expressed his gratitude for her support system among the Challengers and was glad that they could see her for who she truly is.
Borzotra hopes to be a positive influence on other neurodivergent people and expressed her relief in finally being able to be herself. She concluded by saying, “this is me,” and she is excited to compete in The Challenge: World Championships, which premieres on March 8th on Paramount+. The premiere episode will also air on MTV on the same day at 8 p.m. ET/PT.