The deep emotional ties between depression and autism

Auteur: Cheryl Platzman Weinstock
Datum: 31 juli 2019

The deep emotional ties between depression and autism

Autistic people are four times as likely to experience depression over the course of their lives as their neurotypical peers. Yet researchers know little about why, or how best to help.

In June, Nicholas Lyons graduated from a private special-education high school in Maryland. Like many of his classmates, he is unsure what he is going to do next. His mother, Kelly Lyons, is worried, too — but more about his health than his plans: At 18, Nicholas has already endured several bouts of depression, one of which drove him to contemplate suicide.

Nicholas was diagnosed with autism at age 9. By 12, the socially awkward, bright boy was in therapy for depression, too. “He was made fun of because he was different. He was smart enough to know that,” his mother says. “It posed a real problem.”

At 13, Nicholas’ mood plummeted further. He disengaged from everyday activities, such as talking with his family at dinner and playing video games, and he began sleeping a lot — common signs of depression. His mother increased his therapy sessions from once to twice a week. Meanwhile, his social problems only grew worse. “The autism caused me to take insults a lot. The insults were harsh,” Nicholas says. “Sometimes the kids made me angry. Sometimes it really annoyed me. The insults made me sad sometimes.”

The bullying got so bad…

Van: Spectrumnews. Lees hier meer

The deep emotional ties between depression and autism