A researcher figured out acceptence mental health related

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 16,447
Location: Long Island, New York

14 Nov 2017, 2:56 am


Up to 70 per cent of autistic people experience mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, according to some research. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why autistic people are at a higher risk for mental health problems than non-autistic people. But one important factor is whether an individual’s autism is recognised and accepted by those around them. My colleagues and I recently published research that shows a lack of acceptance can significantly impact on the mental health of autistic adults.

While medical professionals have become much better at diagnosing autism, many people with the condition feel it is still not accepted as a potentially positive aspect of who they are.

For our research, we surveyed 111 cognitively able autistic adults about how their experiences of autism acceptance related to their mental health, and many commented on experiencing a negative reaction.

“Since being diagnosed I have found that mention of autism is met blankly or dismissed,” said one participant. Another explained how searching for acceptance from others could be incredibly draining: “As the years pass, I suffer increasing anxiety for lack of even casual acceptance by my species.”

For people who have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition, autism can be an integral part of who they are. This is why many prefer the term “autistic person” rather than “person with autism” (just as I prefer to be called a Scottish person rather than a person with Scottishness). But do other people accept autistic people for who they are? Recent research suggests not, and that first impressions of autistic people tend to be negative.

Our survey found that autistic people who felt less accepted by others were more likely to experience higher symptoms of depression and stress. Lower self-acceptance was also related to higher symptoms of depression. These findings suggest that simply feeling accepted plays a key role in a person’s mental health.

Another important aspect of our research was that we also asked participants to share any thoughts they had on their experiences of autism acceptance. Their answers revealed that many thought that they “camouflaged” or “masked” the fact they were autistic. In other words, in certain situations they tried to act “neurotypical” (non-autistic). As one participant said: “I mask so well that I am accepted, but not for being autistic”.

We found that the participants who said that they camouflaged also reported higher symptoms of depression. One participant explained that “[camouflaging] is incredibly exhausting and stressful and has ultimately led to mental and physical health problems”. Hopefully you can imagine how draining it must be to feel like you have to constantly hide a major part of yourself from others. We are just starting to learn about camouflaging in autism, and more research needs to be done to understand the impact it could have on autistic people’s lives.

It is amazing what happens when researchers talk to autistics(sarcasm)

Every idea is an incitement - Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Recovering from tongue cancer, somewhat verbal.
Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity


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Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 101,777
Location: Hanging out with my fellow Sweet Peas at Stalag 13

14 Nov 2017, 4:11 pm

It's about bloody time that researchers start talking to those of us who are on the spectrum. I hope that autism parents around the world read the article that you've just shared.