Throughout most of her life, the 52-year-old Scottish singer — who rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 — was considered “brain damaged” by doctors, was called “Susie Simple” as a child and was bullied for her “different” behavior.
“It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid,” she said in an interview with the Observer. “I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.”
Boyle said her struggles played a part in her determination to succeed but says some scars linger.
“You don’t fight without some resentment,” she said.
Boyle sought a specialist last year because she could no longer function with the unnamed affliction that left her depressed and moody.
“I went to seek a diagnosis from a Scottish specialist,” she says. “Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn’t function properly.”
Initially Boyle was very nervous about seeing the doctor. But the results provided a sense of relief and she learned that she wasn’t the simple-minded girl she believed herself to be.
“I was told my IQ was above average,” she said.
The singer has since learned the best thing she can do for herself is to rely on those around her who will support and help her.
“I am not strong on my own,” she admits. “When I have the support of people around me I am fine. I have a great team.”
She doesn’t believe the Asperger’s diagnosis will interfere with her life. Indeed, she feels it may make it much better.
“It will not make any difference to my life. It’s just a condition that I have to live with and work through,” she said. “I think people will treat me better because they will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.”
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