Are people with Aspergers more likely to commit suicide?

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24 Oct 2009, 6:53 am

I hope not. I have thought about it, but after having kids, i could never do that to them. That would be selfish of me to do that. My son is almost 11 and so far no signs of depression. I know as he becomes a teen, it is mre likely to show up then. I am very in tune to him, so i watch him like a hawk for any signs. I guess i am more intrusive then i should be, but if needed, it will pay off.


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24 Oct 2009, 9:08 am

Without scientific data, I really can't say for sure. Someone mentioned that it is co-morbid with AS, so there is a chance that a person may also have depression. But there is no way for me to say as to the likelihood.

I worked with kids with AS and HFA for about a year after I graduated from college. I would say that the majority of children at that time were not being treated for depression. That doesn't hold much water in the scientific community, but that was my experience.

The one little boy that was depressed was what I would call, a "pleaser"--he will do anything, even if it hurts him, to make you happy. I honestly think this part of his personality (along with his social issues) contributed to his depression. I was trying to get him to open up about what was going on in school regarding bullying and I decided to tell him that I was bullied as a child. Instead of opening up, he assured me that "he would be my friend". This made me teary.

But I don't think it's necessarily only due to the AS, but maybe the combination of AS with certain personality trait and environment? I'm only speculating though.

Sorry if I told too much of a story. :oops:



visagrunt
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24 Oct 2009, 9:48 am

I have never been clinically depressed (to my knowledge), and I have a shopping list of signs to watch for. That leads me to speculate: what comes first, the depression, or the personal circumstances that appear to be linked to it.

I am lonely --> I am sad about that --> I am depressed, therefore I am depressed because I am lonely. This suffers from the fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc.

What if, on the other hand, depression is a latent biochemical circumstance, which is lying dormant waiting for a trigger? The loneliness doesn't cause the depression, but rather 'flips the switch' in the brain. So if it wasn't one thing, it would just as likely be another.

Such a pathology might account for some comorbidity, and would also support the expectation that if you have been depressed before you are at greater risk for being depressed again.


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24 Oct 2009, 10:42 am

visagrunt wrote:
I have never been clinically depressed (to my knowledge), and I have a shopping list of signs to watch for. That leads me to speculate: what comes first, the depression, or the personal circumstances that appear to be linked to it.

I am lonely --> I am sad about that --> I am depressed, therefore I am depressed because I am lonely. This suffers from the fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc.

What if, on the other hand, depression is a latent biochemical circumstance, which is lying dormant waiting for a trigger? The loneliness doesn't cause the depression, but rather 'flips the switch' in the brain. So if it wasn't one thing, it would just as likely be another.

Such a pathology might account for some comorbidity, and would also support the expectation that if you have been depressed before you are at greater risk for being depressed again.


Is the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" similar to "correlation does not imply causation"? I like logic, but it takes some thinking on my part. :)

Your theory regarding the "latent biochemical circumstance" is interesting and similar to a theory that I heard in college. It's referred to as the "Stress diathesis model". You might of already heard of it, but it basically states that there are biological predispositions that when exposed to critical stress, provide the right combination to produce depression...or another mental illness. This was also proposed for Schizophrenia.



gramirez
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24 Oct 2009, 1:39 pm

I never committed suicide. :?


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24 Oct 2009, 1:52 pm

Probably, due to several factors:
1) An awful lot of aspies are depressed
2) There are a lot of aspie qualities that are also risk factors for suicide, particularly for successful suicide. I've you're socially isolated, meticulous, and obsessive, you're a lot more likely to actually do it.
3) The male:female ratio. Males are more likely to successfully kill themselves, so it makes sense that if there are more male than female aspies, the rate of successful suicide would be higher than in the general population.



Elmo82
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24 Oct 2009, 2:24 pm

I can totally identify with being aspie and suicidal. Especially i think because i have ADD too. I think if you have Aspergers alone it is easier to get absorbed in your interests and this kind of salves the feelings of loneliness and isolation to an extent but with ADD too you find it difficult to concentrate on stuff and become 'engaged'. I don't know...perhaps i'm talking mince.

What i'm thinking is no matter how low we feel there's always hope .....if only for these times times when you feel a glimmer of joy, love, connectedness in the midst of the pain.... personally i believe in the 'big man upstairs' so i cling on for dear life that He can use my life as a blessing to some in some way at some time....



zer0netgain
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25 Oct 2009, 1:53 am

From experience....

Suicide is the product of losing all hope that things can be better than they now are. Depression is common, but not the reason why someone will actually try to take their life.

AS doesn't make you depressed unless being different depresses you. My reasons for wanting to end my life stemmed from the cruelty others showed me and the loneliness I struggled with. However, I held on to faith that things had to get better, and overall, they improved enough that I kept finding ways to keep moving forward.



JohnnyD017
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25 Oct 2009, 7:30 am

Hell, I'm not even 100% that I have it but I've been depressed most of my life since I heard about the diagnosis. OH and theres a lot of self hate sometimes. There's periods of my life where I would punch myself hard in the face or cut myself whenever I fulfilled one of the AS stereotype traits, telling myself it was the only way id learn. I still do that now and then.

I have a few friends and get along with people alright, I can work ok and I like social contact, but there's that nagging feeling that there's so many things I'll never be able to do like get married and have a family, or gain someone's respect, or have people interested in my opinions on a subject. I also get that feeling that maybe I was acting all along and I must still be acting out of habit and not even know it, and if that's the case then I'm not even myself so I have no business being here.

I haven't thought seriously about suicide but it has crossed my mind a lot. But I can't put my family through that right now. I reckon if I get to 30-35 and nothing's changed in my life and I'm still depressed, I'm outta here! :?

I should mentioned that about a month I started thinking that I didnt have AS cos i found a bunch of things suggesting i didnt have it and my confidence suddenly grew a lot for a few weeks i felt normal and was more outgoing. Then i realised that i might have it afterall and went back to depression again. (where i am now) So just the thought of it can be enough.



BLK95TA
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15 Feb 2010, 6:11 pm

I know this is an old thread but i actually found it via googlling "aspergers suicide" and not looking through the forum. I can honestly say at age 30, if i knew my life would turn out the way it has, i probably would not be here now. I have never made an attempt but i was very suicidal during high school and everyone kept saying life gets better after high chool and now some 12 years later i just don't see it. I am self diagnosed AS so i can't say for sure whether or not i have AS or depression for sure but i probably have both.



AceOfSpades
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16 Feb 2010, 1:12 pm

Yes. There are many types of things in life you can struggle with, but social difficulties are amongst the hardest to struggle with. Being socially inept is a huge stigma that people don't understand and aren't willing to understand.



Topcat16
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13 Apr 2010, 8:34 pm

after i left school, i found my free holidays and time in between university largely listless, i've got 4 and a half months coming up as well, i've only had 2 lots of three weeks previously, if i don;t get a part time or seasonal job i reckon i'll be bored s**tless and probably pick up worse habits than i already have in terms of i really don;t see where my life is going, i'm fairly sure i won;t be getting a girlfriend anytime soon and yeh same old same old cept pretty much just me and 3 other guys who are the only people i keep in touch from school anymore



dalekaspie
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14 Apr 2010, 12:48 pm

yes must be careful not to listen to james blunt or coldpaly lol


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15 Apr 2010, 1:09 am

There's an awful lot of relatable stuff being said here.

I can't help wondering: we tend to be logical people, yes? At least that's the cliché. So then, perhaps the unanimity is a sign that these feelings are logical? And if they are logical, then doesn't it follow that we should act on these feelings? It's increasingly difficult to see why not.



PulaskiTheLastGuy
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29 Apr 2010, 7:02 pm

More than likely, yes, though most aspies would probably be too scared to actually attempt it.



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30 Apr 2010, 1:58 am

In Tony Atwood's book he did say something about aspies being more likely to commit suicide.

If his data was reliable the answer is yes.


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