'The Challenge' 's Amber Borzotra Reveals Autism Diagnosis at 34: 'It Feels Good to ... Be Myself'

"I had to figure out why I'm this person and why, my whole life, I've felt the way I've felt," the reality star said on Wednesday's The Challenge: Ride or Dies reunion

Amber Borzotra
Photo: MTV

Amber Borzotra feels relieved to have answers.

On Wednesday night's The Challenge: Ride or Dies reunion part two, Borzotra, 35, revealed she has been diagnosed with autism.

"I was diagnosed as autistic," the Big Brother alum, who's expecting her first baby with Ride or Dies partner Chauncey Palmer, said. "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."

She later added: "I wish I would've found out a lot sooner because I've struggled with my identity for 34 years."

While her costars assured the season 36 champion she shouldn't be ashamed of taking medicine for her mental health, Borzotra was emotional as she said she felt like "it was embarrassing for people to make it seem like it wasn't working, so it was something deeper."

After filming wrapped on The Challenge season 38, Borzotra sought more information about her health.

"I really needed help," she said. "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."

Recently we celebrated one whole year together and I couldn’t be more blessed to have this amazing human in my life 24/7.
Chauncey Palmer and Amber Borzotra. Amber Borzotra Instagram

Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio told Borzotra she has already has a community in her Challenge castmates. "I don't want you to think that you're on this stage alone," the seven-time Challenge winner, 40, 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."

Borzotra explained some of the behaviors that led to her diagnosis.

"This is a fairly new journey for me," she said. "I am still learning a lot about the diagnosis. Basically, I camouflage myself to fit in. 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."

Nany Gonzalez told Borzotra her "diagnosis does not define you. We've loved you before this and we'll continue to love you after this."

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Palmer, 24, appreciated that his girlfriend has a support system in her fellow Challengers. "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," he said.

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Borzotra said she wants to be a "good influence to other neurodivergent people."

"It feels good to, I don't know, be myself," she concluded. "And I just want you guys to know: this is me."

Borzotra will next be competing on The Challenge: World Championships, premiering Wednesday, March 8 on Paramount+. Additionally, MTV will air the premiere episode on Wednesday, March 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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