Serious bias of omission: ASD teenage depression sites

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Do you think bullying is a major cause of teenage ASD depression?
yes 88%  88%  [ 23 ]
no 12%  12%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 26

B19
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06 Nov 2014, 9:58 pm

While my cat remains in critical care, I am filling the anxious days by doing some research. Today I reviewed 15 websites offering information on the causes of teenage depression for young people on the ASD spectrum.

I chose this topic because I am acutely aware that the bullying rates for ASD teens are more than 5 times that of normocentric peers. And bullying - especially when recurrent and ignored by adults - is a very well known cause of depression.

So: how many of the websites made that link or even considered bullying as a contributory factor? Answer: NONE.

If you think about it, this is shocking, appalling, ignorant and callous (consciously or not). The websites were all written by normocentrics.

Because of this appalling ignorance, the depressive response is likely to be misdiagnosed as endogenous (caused by something inside the teen) rather than reactive (caused as a response to external circumstances and events). Anti-depressants are targeted at the endogenous; they have a fairly poor record of alleviating depression in ASD people at any time, and (I would guess) even more so when important factors like bullying are ignored, and the medicated teen is sent back to school to be bullied some more.

How do we overcome this appalling ignorance? I believe we can't just go on saying "this is terrible". It is terrible, and it is perfectly clear to me that if we leave it to normocentrics, things will never change for ASD school children and teenagers at school. (Not that bullying only occurs there, but it is probably the primary site of the activity.

PS The cat is very slightly better, though the outlook is still bleak :(



andrethemoogle
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06 Nov 2014, 10:08 pm

Bullies need to be punished more strictly I would say.

When I was in high school my parents had to phone the police on a few bullies because it was getting to the point of threats. People are just dickheads it seems and they like to make fun of someone who isn't "normal". Hell, most of the people who were bullies in high school probably still are from what I've seen.



Lukecash12
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06 Nov 2014, 10:09 pm

I think "bullying" is a childish term that people can't really take seriously, because they don't even know what "bullying" involves.


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B19
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06 Nov 2014, 10:11 pm

I think bullying is serious, and I certainly know what it means.



Sweetleaf
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06 Nov 2014, 10:18 pm

Well technically speaking I do not think bullying alone necessarily causes depression, but I think it can be a major contributing factor for sure. I know its a major factor in my Depression issues.


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kraftiekortie
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06 Nov 2014, 10:23 pm

I believe bullying causes depression, no matter the neurological status of the person being bullied.

I hope your cat gets better, B19.



B19
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06 Nov 2014, 10:35 pm

Thank you Kraftie.

Since opening this thread, I have written to one NZ agency which represents the concerns of children with ASD and their families (they ignore bullying on their website) outlining the failure to recognise the issue, its higher incidence, and why this issue needs to given urgent attention. I will continue to write to every organisation in my own country which 1) represents ASD in some way and 2) ignores the issue.

I really want to do something constructive to raise awareness of this. So am going by the old maxim: think globally, act locally. It's a start...



olympiadis
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07 Nov 2014, 12:54 am

Bullying is a pattern of aggression that children and adults engage in more often than not at varying degrees.
The outward appearances of this aggression varies greatly, but the source of the behaviors is the same.
It's something that's engaged in by individuals, groups, and systematically by social structures.

It is a component of almost all of our systems.



CockneyRebel
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07 Nov 2014, 1:15 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I believe bullying causes depression, no matter the neurological status of the person being bullied.

I hope your cat gets better, B19.


That's my belief as well. It seems that people bully autistics more than they bully NTs.


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seaturtleisland
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07 Nov 2014, 2:21 am

Lukecash12 wrote:
I think "bullying" is a childish term that people can't really take seriously, because they don't even know what "bullying" involves.


Maybe bullying is really just the term used for abuse when it's perpetuated by children. If people heard the word abuse they'd take it seriously. Crimes committed by children are taken less seriously in general. Bullying is really just abuse.



LookingLost
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07 Nov 2014, 6:09 am

Lukecash12 wrote:
I think "bullying" is a childish term that people can't really take seriously, because they don't even know what "bullying" involves.


^ This, in the sense that if what happened in schools happened on the street it would be considered assault or hate crime and so a criminal offence. Can't speak for whether people don't know what 'bullying' involves though.

Hope your cat recovers, and soon.


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nerdygirl
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07 Nov 2014, 6:37 am

I was only truly "bullied" in 6th grade, and I would not say that contributed to depression.

However, I have always felt extremely lonely and THAT has contributed to depression. Not so much from bullying, but from feeling ostracized or not fitting in/feeling off from the group. People were not outright mean to me most of my life. Instead, I was more forgotten about.



kraftiekortie
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07 Nov 2014, 7:01 am

Bullying is very common across the neurological spectrum.



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07 Nov 2014, 8:59 am

I was bullied since pre-school till the 2nd grade of middle school but I don't think it was the main reason of my teenage depression. Sure. I was crying a lot and I was afraid of school because of bullying but what was making me really sad and willing to end my life was lack of friends. Bullying is OK as long as you know there is at least 1 person who accepts you and understands your problem.

My depression stopped once I stopped relying on acceptance of other people and decided I am worth a lot no matter what their opinion about me is. Bullying continued for some time after but it was not so hard to deal with anymore. I could "let the dogs bark" but when they were doing something especially dangerous or pissing me off I would suddenly, without any warning hit their face using a single, well aimed hit. It took only 3 situations like that and the whole bullying issue stopped. They learned that they are going to met a sudden right hook if they mess with me.



kraftiekortie
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07 Nov 2014, 9:11 am

I was definitely depressed because I was bullied--a DIRECT CORRELATION!! !