The relationship between Aspergers and depression
Sadly, depression is part of life for those living with Asperger’s syndrome. Yet it appears to be an often-ignored part of the condition.
According to research carried out in the University of Gothenburg up to 70% of young Adults with Aspergers Syndrome suffer from depression. This is in stark contrast to the 18% depression rate in the general population.
Even though individuals with autism are more likely to become depressed, they are less likely to pursue treatment because they may rather internalize the pain they are feeling than seek outside assistance. It also possible that they may be unable to articulate what exactly it is they are feeling. Difficulty in reading the facial expressions and body language of people who are on the autistic spectrum also means that depression is not easily observable from the outside.
Whether the depression is a result of social stigmatization, low self-worth or other causes, the end result is the same: a deep feeling of isolation, loss of motivation, immense sadness, and deeply impaired quality of life. In addition to the regular symptoms of depression, people with autism may experience a worsening of communication skills, repetitive movements, compulsions, isolation and changes in time perception.
There are two main causes of depression, the first is where past traumas and emotional buildup cause one to get depressed. The other is a chemical inbalance in the brain that causes a lack of serotonin (the happy chemical) to be produced.
While the chemical imbalance seems to be an easy explanation in the majority of cases, it is often not directly the case with adults with aspergers. Living with autism and aspergers, there is often a daily struggle that takes place involving obsessive behavior, alienation and coordination problems. An inability to communicate or express the feelings that get raised from these circumstances often brings on the onset of depression. When one thinks about the word itself: depression, it is actually the opposite of expression.
Regardless of the exact causes, the fact remains that this problem clearly exists and needs to be dealt with on a larger scale than has been previously done by the medical and social professions.
The most effective ways to combat both anxiety and depression are always exercise and meditation. These flagship treatments are repeated so often that one may believe that they are simply hearsay from people who do not know what they are talking about. Especially in a depressive state, this may seem like a reasonable and acceptable explanation. It is not. This is absolutely not the case. The most common cause of depression in any individual is lack of exercise or the inability to control intrusive thoughts, which are both effectively remedied by exercise and meditation.
Because both exercise and meditation release helpful neurotransmitters and jumpstart the brain’s regenerative capabilities, they should absolutely be the core of any treatment plan.
Too many people do not deal with depression until it actually occurs, but where is the harm in trying to prevent it? Staying active and mindful is a great asset to anyone, depressed or not. Especially in autism it is crucial to be wary of depression, since it quickly becomes progressively harder to treat.
If regular exercise and meditation is not enough, one could try to search for a fulfilling hobby that can provide immersion to stop becoming engrossed in obsessive thoughts. This would provide a healthy distraction and possibly a way out of the initial stages of depression. Staying preoccupied is a coping strategy that works for a lot of people, but this highly depends on the individual.
Another common issue is the aversion to certain foods due to texture, color and taste. This hypersensitivity to certain sensory aspects of food leads the individual to avoid them. What is often not taken into consideration is that this can result in numerous nutritional deficiencies that significantly worsen depression. A lack of zinc, vitamin B6, B12, or D in the daily diet is an extremely common cause of depression.
It is important to notice the signs and symptoms of depression at their onset, and catch them while they are easily malleable and not yet internalized. This is necessary because the symptoms of autism, such as obsessive ruminations, can solidify a negative mindset and make it difficult to escape. One could argue that autism does not predispose to depression itself, but rather to preserving it once even a small episode occurs. The key here would be to focus more on reframing one’s own perspectives with the intent of prevention, rather than waiting to deal with something until it becomes too much of a burden. Therefore individuals with autism should realize the urgency of treatment, whether through therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
We would love to hear about your experiences with depression. Please leave us a comment in the box below.
All my life I knew something was ‘off’ and I considered Aspergers when I heard about it but I didn’t think I had all or enough symptoms. When my nephew started telling me that his dad – my brother – likely has Aspergers so now I am giving this a lot more thought. I have a share some of the difficulties we also have a narrow range of outside interests. One of the big common denominators is lack of friendships and social awkwardness. Neither of us have been diagnosed. I’m 53 and recent changes at work make me feel that my problem is more obvious to others. I have a history of depression but I did well from 2009 until a recent relapse. Now I feel I should try to get my condition diagnosed in hope that I can request reasonable accommodations at work so I don’t lose my job. Recent changes at work seem to have ‘flared’ my condition and have caused increased anxiety and difficulties adjusting to changes. My supervisor seems to be a narcissistic personality and I always have the feeling that I am ‘poking the bear’ whenever I make the slightest error – even a timesheet seems to make her lash out at me. Then she is critical and calls me overly sensitive when she calls attention to my errors. I see my doctor tomorrow and my psychologist for counseling next week. I’m not sure how to ask for a diagnosis.
My boyfriend is 53 and I suspect he has Apergers also. He is different and has told me he has always been that way. He is extremely kind, thoughtful, gentlemanly, well brought up but lacks sexual desire. He is pure and sweet and eager to please me often to his detriment. Like you changes seems to have sent him into a depression. And he is super sensitive too. We are taking time apart and he wants me to find someone else who can give me what I want. He says its not fair to me that he is the way he is and can not change it. He needs a lot of time alone and is very close to God.
I don’t think he has considered Aspergers and like you he doesn’t fit all the symptoms but has enough of them. His condition is very mild but from the get go I noticed that he wasn’t quite normal. I just chalked it up to being a special person and I embraced it. I have a lot of idiosyncrasies and he accepted me so I felt the same about him.
Anyways, please let me know how you are doing now if you get this message.
Best Of Luck
because of the sensitivity of those on the autistic spectrum to criticism, especially in a work situation, it is important to educate companies to train supervisors to act with humanity towards employees,,too many managers use their position to feed their ego’s at the expense of possible vulnerable people.
As your article points out,exercise and concentrating on a hobby is important to combat depression but,the ‘stigma ‘of being vulnerable is exploited by people and is relentless,to treat people with contempt is used by people with low self esteem to boost their ego and is very prevalent in British society,,I cannot stress too highly the importance of assertiveness classes run by the CMHT,these classes teach the psychology of oneself and of others and at the end of a three month course you will come out as a person in your own right and with a right to exist and be the person you want to be whilst respecting yourself and the rights of others,,every company should run these courses as a compulsory agenda for supervisors,,then and only then it may be that management will realise the untold damage done to their employees and to the detriment of the good of the company.
I’m 28 and think I may have Asperger’s as well. I’ve had a set of depressive/anxiety-related symptoms my entire life until my late teens, when some manic-type behavior started occurring, but still no therapist I saw could say what kind of bi-polar disorder I had or what was the deal with the panic attacks or why I had OCD tendencies. This, combined with my relative difficulty making/maintaining relationships (in the broad sense) has led me to believe I may have Aspberger’s. Also, I spoke with my biological dad recently who, having been adopted and having looked up his biological family, found “all” (as he put it) the brothers having some form of autism. He said he thought he has Asperger’s and it somehow all made sense. I just thought I was descended from chronically-depressed, anti-social, singularly-obsessed kinda folks. You know, except for my mom.
I am getting a lot of information from these articals
I was recently diagnosed by my psychologist with AS. One of the first things I told her was that I didnt like how I can literally sleep for days when deeply troubled, overstimulated, having conflicts with husband or whatever. I told her that I never abuse substances which I don’t. But I run, I’m training for a marathon and doing this just flips me out of depression! I pray and listen to my favorite music when running so I actually am meditating every time I run, and I was so amazed by this article! I’ve been doing the interventions listed for depression for years! Also, i really do have a limited palate for food and I have IBS. My psychologist told me to take a multi vitamin, St Johns Wart and fish oil daily. I have been doing this plus taking a super B vit complex (which i was already taking about 3 times a week). This has become an obsession in a good way! I have only had 1 episode of sleeping for 2 days since I started this regimen. Also I have synesthesia and the senses are directly linked to my limbic system so sometimes when I’m depressed all I need is to have synestetic experiences (which are enhanced when I’m emotional). Caffeine has also been a reliable source of help. I love coca cola (since i can’t drink coffee, hurts my stomach) and this bumps me out of “funks” as i call them. I’m just amazed at how well these articles address my issues…which makes sense since I have AS!
I like these topics
I just took the test and scored 36. I have serious depressive episodes which I internalize. Also I cannot make friends very well. I’m 24 and never had a girlfriend. Ok enough ranting, I was wondering if there was a connection to child abuse, as I was beaten and hurt sexually, in both cases I remember internalizing it. My grandparents brought me up for a year and i spoke French at 2-3 years and then they left for France so I forgot my French. So I was raised by 2 sets of parents. Im definitely a routine person, I try to break out once in a while and then I keep falling back. I go to the same nightclub over and over just so I can dance by myself. I have intense sound recognition. My parents criticize me for not dancing with a partner. Thanks mom and dad for being so supportive.
All my life I have felt somehow different from other people but could never put my finger on the reason why. I do know what happiness and joy is but I can’t remember the last time I ever experienced it. While others seemed to be enjoying their lives in the fast lane in an uninhibited way, I , on the other hand have found life very hard going.
When I go to the pub which I sometimes do, I am always on my own and find socialising very difficult. I have however developed some limited skills over the years that has helped me when talking with other people but generally I find my interests seem so different from all theirs and what they like to talk about. I could never start up a conversation with a women and its this fact alone that contributes significantly to my depression. I still have not got a girl friend and I am now in my 50’s. This makes me feel quite sick when I think of the time I have lost and how sorry an individual I must appear to so many including you reading this. People have told me sometime later that, “she was interested in you- did you not see it?” But, I never saw any indication of it! As a male I would be expected to make the advance towards a women; however, it’s not a case of positive thinking or overcoming shyness, there is some other obstacle I simply am unable to overcome. I’ve been called many things over the years including, “Billy no mates”. I don’t know if it’s at all possible, but I think that I have become so used to being depressed that I now consider this low level of existence normal and no longer depression anymore (if that makes sense). All my pursuits are generally solitary as I find thing less confrontation or stress if I do things on my own. I once went through a traumatic emotional experience and wrote over 50 pages detailing the experience in chronological order. To my surprise and quite unexpectedly, it helped me a great deal at the time. I did the Aspergers test and I came out borderline on the test so I’m still not sure about the result for me but a lot of it did seem to make sense to me although other aspects do not appear to apply. Having said that, I did catch myself developing a habit of repeatedly going in and out of the kitchen checking all the electrical plugs were out of the sockets before leaving the house. It started to get so bad it was taking several trips to the kitchen and 20 mins before leaving the house until I put a stop to it.
Writing like this helps me express my ideas and helps clarify things for me. I do like writing and sorting out things.
Robert, you could be talking about myself over the years,,I too am ‘high borderline’,I recommend to you to go on an assertiveness course run by the CMHT, you will find what you are looking for there if you complete the course and you will certainly meet new friends who are going through our life experiences,remember also that because autism spectrum disorders are difficult to understand and/or cope with,certain relationships can be disastrous to both party’s,a lot of patience and understanding is needed..
I took the test and scored 41. AS could explain my entire life. As for seeing a psychiratrist, the last one I saw laughed at my comments and said that I didn’t medication everyone does.
Reading the comments from other people has, in a way, been reassuring from me. I guess just reading that there are other people with similar challenges helps me to feel less isolated. Thank you for sharing.
Also reading about the indicators of Asperger’s (difficulty in social situations, physical clumsiness, fixation on a narrow range of interests, anxiety, etc.) and then taking the test, scoring 28, gave me some indication that I appear to have Asperger’s-like episodes.
But this article about depression was especially helpful. Depression is something that has been with me for decades. Understanding that it might be at least partially attributable to something like Asperger’s is also quite helpful.
The simple remedies that they suggest of exercise and meditation is something that I can confirm as being very effective in my own experience. I need lots of exercise regularly or I will almost certainly slip into depression. And going to meditation retreats plus daily meditation has had a large impact too. Just practicing concentration and awareness through meditation really does help me to at least be aware of my thought patterns and how easy it is for me to fixate on self-deprecating, depressive thoughts. Being aware of this can take away the “energy” of these thought patterns and the thoughts often will just quickly dissipate. I really am thankful that there are constructive steps I can take on my own that don’t require external interventions such as medication.
Thanks for these emails,it helps to know what is typical of AS. I am 59 and have suffered with frequent depression.all my life. Once I had a complete melt down, which lasted over 2 years. I have been married 3 times and have failed in all relationships due to intamacy difficulties.
I am 70 years of age and whilst I have suspected that I have Aspergers for some years it is only in recent times that I have given voice to this. I told my oldest son and he said “well that explains a lot.” I have always had problems interacting with others although this was offset somewhat by my intelligence, I was a whizz at maths at school for instance. I am very logical and can often see through the bumph to get to the heart of a problem. I have suffered from depression all my life and have been suicidal in the past. I have learned to adapt in some ways, I recognize a tendency to bore people to death and no longer go on about my latest interest, but I still despair sometimes about the fact that I find friendships so difficult to make and even more difficult to sustain, partly because when I do get to know someone I find I’m not that interested in their interests. So why bother? I have found the emails helpful but the last one was particularly useful as it goes some way to answering the why bother question. Reading that depression is the opposite of expression has been a light bulb experience for me. It suggests that despite the social awkwardness we do need to feel we belong and are understood. I’m not sure yet how to resolve the quandry but it gives me something positive to think about. And when that happens I take a hopeful step forward. Thank you
It is such a relief to see another older woman on this forum, Rachel. I am 62 and tested 38. The discovery that I probably have Asperger’s was such a relief to me. I have done well in my work life and with small or safe groups of friends but intensely dislike/dread many social situations that just drain me and leave me depressed. I force myself to engage socially so I would not be isolated but it has been tough. It seems I really experienced difficulties once I retired since my days are not as structured although I keep active and volunteer with my church. I can finally admit out loud that I have struggled with depression for my entire adult life and for the most part have learned how to recognize it coming on and how to fight it, so I don’t have long episodes like I did in the past. The one thing that has freed me in my Asperger’s self-diagnosis is to be kinder and gentler to myself. Finally, I am learning to quit comparing myself with others. I don’t know if I will ever let anyone in on my “new secret.” I have felt too much rejection in my life and I don’t want to give folks an excuse. Like many others on these sites, I don’t have problems perceiving the more dramatic emotions, but I don’t pick up on social cues. I always wondered what everyone else knew about social hierarchy that I didn’t. I hate mindless chit chat but love the good joking of camaraderie. We are such complex beings and each of us is so different, even with our similar ways. I have learned to just be wary of everyone, but of course, this wears me out. Once in a while I will find some one that I instantly connect with but that is rare. I am giving myself permission to do more of what I like without feeling guilty or labeling myself as anti-social. I love being alone since I find such peace there. I am married (23 years) and we are very compatible. I’m suspecting he may have a bit of Asperger’s too. It seems to work for us. Thanks for being there everyone.
I took the test and scored 29. I thought for a long time I have ADHD, but the test and these pages are like talking about me and what is internally going on in my head – and that I told no one before, not even my diary.
This article was especially interesting, from about 16 years and up I have suffered from depressions and also periods of low self esteem. Exercise is really the key to feel good. I will continue to read these articles, having or not having Aspbergers, makes me feel I’m not so awkward and different from everyone else. It makes me feel I’m not an alien.
Hi Erika, jus been reading your comment and I myself thought (and still do) that I had ADHD but I have been declined a test by the commissioning panel because I have got to 42 and at uni studying to be student nurse (I have since stepped off my course due to depression yet again!!)……I have dyslexia and I am dyslexic…..I got 36 in the Asperger’s test but like you, I do find exercise one of the best remedies to combat depression……..I just hope getting diagnosed will not be as difficult as being diagnosed as ADHD…….I too feel less alienated reading the experiences of other folk……thanx all…..take care…..thanx Erika xxx
I am also an adult with AS that this article greatly resonates with for all the aforementioned reasons. Exercise and diet and played a huge part in cognitively alleviating many symptoms I have had to struggle with. Compound weight training and a Paleo/Primal diet have done wonders for so many symptoms they are too many to list.
However, whilst you touched on diet, exercise and mediation. I am guessing that there is not much research into specifics for people with Asperger’s syndrome. My diet and exercise is optimised to illicit the optimal response in hormonal health and balance beyond anything else. However, despite my efforts on this journey I still find myself coming short in areas of depression, self discipline, self efficacy etc etc. Are there any sources for meditation that you would suggest? I have looked into Transcendental Meditation but after a great deal of reading they appear to be a cult.
Any help on self mastery through meditation or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.
Ian,,with anxiety,try EMDR,,this replicates the rapid eye movements during REM sleep,, move your eyes to the left and blink rapidly ten or twenty times,move your eyes to the right and do the same,,EMDR is used mainly for flashbacks with regards to post traumatic stress disorder but, I have tried this method with anxiety attacks and it works well..
I have been mostly depressed and suicidal since I was a young child. I always attributed this to an extremely disconnected, crazy upbringing in a home with VERY rare displays of affection and encouragement. My parents fought constantly, using the 4 children as weapons. Mom always alienating us from Dad and aunts, uncles & cousins on both sides. I thought I was so “different” because of this. I recently found out that I am Aspergers with a very disfunctional childhood. What a combo! Now, after taking care of my “difficult”Mom after her stroke for 7 months, I was so injured twice physically (mostly bedridden for 4 months since then) & mentally abused by my siblings as well as Mom, I can’t even look for a job. I am so depressed and I can not get a job with my injuries. I am lucky to have an understanding, comforting Husband – stuck with 2 jobs. He is irritated and loud occasionally (I get panic attacks and more depressed then). He is from a crazy upbringing (his Mother was diagnosed along with everything else he had to contend with – with his Father). He was isolated in his home and then sent away to a boarding school, where he was bullied for being Jewish. He gets touchy when he is tired or has had a bad day and then has to care for me physically and mentally. He is very kind though under the circumstances. We ran out of money for food last week and emptied the cupboards to eat. We have no insurance because the state of MN cut my husband’s job (along with many other workers) in half just before November’s election (2012), leaving us with no benefits and 1/2 his salary. He has been angry and depressed about it. He is filling in with another job. I feel very guilty and want to help financially. I am in constant pain from my injuries and bad teeth. Now our computer is acting strangely. I have a small computer survey job that pays very little and it is difficult to do many lately. I try not to get “freaked out,” but it is a fight inside of me that has seen little relief for most of my life. I know I have many blessings from Aspergers, but I don’t know how to benefit from them with my lack of education and training. Boo Hoo! I am so sick of the pity party constantly going on in my head! Thank you to everyone who read my self sorry rant. I am being terribly self indulgent. My Husband gets upset from talking about it. I have no friends to speak of. I can’t drive or leave the house much. The weather has been so nasty, I can’t busk (street singing with a hat). I have stopped singing at home anyway (which has always been a great comfort & helped). No one to talk to. I am so lonely.
no one should suffer like this,,can you not go to the Salvation Army who may give you support to get yourself medically fit,,there has to be someone or a charity who will help you if only you will ask for it,,
P.S. I have always exercised (before my injuries) and naturally meditated. I always found both a tremendous help with my depressions. Thank you for reminding me to meditate. I will begin again.
I was reading this recently: http://www.aane.org/asperger_resources/articles/miscellaneous/aspergers_depression.html and it really struck me as relevant to me.
I basically have nothing going on in my life but depression and contempt. I have been unemployed my entire life, more or less, and I can’t stand most people. I have no sympathy or empthy for them. I am so sick of filling out DSHS forms only to be denied because I “lack documentation”, trying to go to mental health places only to find out they want money from the DSHS. I’m DONE filling out paperwork. All my life every encounter with these ‘mental health’ idiots shows me nothing but the pseudo-scientific moralizing and trite bullshit that makes up their vaunted profession.
I’m basically unwilling to try anymore, I REFUSE to look for a job, I REFUSE to talk to the DSHS. About the only thing remotely useful I could think of doing is being a medical study, because as it is I just wish everyone would fucking die and let me drug myself into narcotic oblivion.
Ricky, don’t give up. It’s only in the last few years that professionals have learned so much more about the magnitude of the Autism Sectrum! So many adults are just being diagnosed, including my own son, at 30. I realize that you may have had your hopes raised only to be let down in the past, but keep seeking help anyway. It takes time to find the right people, but once you find a doctor or therapist who truly knows about what you are dealing with, you will be so glad you hung in there. In the meantime, do the things you love to do, and that make you feel focused and calm. There are many people out there going through similar things, and also many people who are trying to learn all they can to be helpful to you and everyone else who is suffering with this. Give us a chance. Hang in there until the right help arrives. Keep seeking and it will.
we need to support each other, now that we are finding out that we are not alone. i am truly grateful for this information that lets me know that what i have suspected about me and my family is more than just a peculiarity. this explains so much. now, how can we be helped? i am too depressed to exercise as i should. i only want to eat comfort food, under a blanket with a book, when i have so much i want to do—painting, writing out my hurt feelings—but i can’t make myself follow through on all the great inspiring ideas that fizzle out. i do start some, but rarely finish…i can’t talk to anyone about it, they don’t get it. i am watching my sons turn into my brothers, who both died alone and miserable. what can i do?
As we become more aware af As the medical gp’s seem to be going the other direction.
GP told me last year asbergers doesn’t exist after a certain date,!
We are entitled to help from these people but the surgeries are full of children with colds and are unwelcoming places for people “like” me..
This doesn’t help with the overall depression,I compare this to eg cancer,can you imagine if they were reclassifying skin cancer as not being a cancer any more,this is what they are doing withAS and other conditions in uk
Exercise has never helped my depressions nor has meditation, as both tend to just give me more opportunity to ruminate. What HAS helped is the right antidepressant (keep trying-they’re not all the same), therapy (see above), and learning to take care of myself as well as conditions allow. A book on self-esteem I read once said that you should learn to treat yourself like you would an honored guest. Contrary to what the media tell us, antidepressants are not “happy pills”-but they can help to stop the downward spiral(s)so that therapy can actually work. I have hobbies that I’m obsessive about, but when depression and/or anxiety sets in, it may not be possible for me to concentrate on them. Then, I try to learn about something new-astronomy, physics, history, psychology-anything to get the left brain working (I’ve heard that stroke victims with damage on the left side are usually depressed).Just so I remember that when I go on and on about whatever I’ve learned, others will be as annoyed as ever. This is really a great set of articles we’re being sent!
thank emily for your comment and oh HOW I do agree (I dont use antidepressants though) . what as worked for me is cognetive behavor therapy and anger management and also learning how to increase my self esteem and condifence too also having a few very understanding close friends too I am also learning that being around posiitve people helps too very recently I have been really down and low I have not been eating or sleeping too well too Then the other week I totally lost my temper in a group I go to I havent been to that group since I have reallised that there are too many people in that group who were dragging me down with their emotional problems and negativity and thats my point I think to continue to recover on a daily basis I needto stick with positive people and people who just like me for who I am and not for what they can get from me also I wouldnt bother with anything the media says as they always will paint a bad picture of people who have some sort of problem/condition/disablity that theydont understand
My 3 yr old daughter is being assessed for special needs and autism is probably the medical label she will be given… I am 46, I am a psychic healer and have been incredibly focused in on this subject for many years and I have recently realised I have asperges syndrome. I also truly believe what we are seeing with some autism is humanities evolution because the symptoms mirror in children (well my child anyway) what adults aim for when they meditate to develop themselves spiritually. – The psychic senses opened up, clairaudience, clairscentience, clairvoyance, a huge big open heart, magical happenings, no fear, no boundaries and such joy to behold.
magicaal thinking is aa spin off of Aspergers and schizotypal disorder, nothing to do with clairvoiance can help your condition,thre answer lies within yourself not with your perception of the afterlife,,,your perception is totally different to religion in a true God centred way,,put your trust in God as your Creator realising the vastness of His majesty and His love for you, then and only then will you find peace..
I scored 37 on the test, and have long suspected I was on the spectrum. Depression has been a presence in my life since childhood, though at the time I didn’t know that is what it was. The tip on exercise is a revelation to me, and I intend to apply it. Looking back, the times when I was the most physically fit, I was generally the happiest.
As far as meditation, I use prayer and reading the Bible. I especially relate to the Psalms which frequently start with a human emotion such as fear or shame or sadness, and then follow up with a higher thought to break the negativity. Music also helps me grapple with moods that are difficult for me to articulate. And when the music points me to a loving heavenly father who will some day make sense of the chaos and vindicate me for misunderstood moments, I am encouraged and renewed.
I related to the description of depression as being overwhelmed by past hurts and traumas–so much so that I have often wondered if I have post traumatic stress disorder because the flashbacks of awkward and painful events can replay like a vine video in my head. In those moments I yearn for grace and deliverance, and I find that prayer brings me out of that mental pit if I only raise up a rescue flare.
Thank you for this series of articles. They are an invaluable tool in my journey of understanding.
I took the test and got 33, after I was told by my boss at the charity shop where I volunteer that I showed signs of Asperger’s. She said another volunteer, before I joined,had it.
I am waiting for a confirmation from my GP.
I am not currently diagnosed by am 90% sure I have AS.
I never had problems with depression until I was unemployed recently and trying very hard to find a job. I had a good job at an engineering firm before I was laid off. So not finding anything in my field was tough. I slowly lowered my standards and my self worth. I really was turning sour and bitter towards the whole world. Kinda scary. My wife noticed and tried to say it would work out, then after I slammed her comment as make believe she just avoided talking to me. (Understandably)
Luckily I got a job the week my UI was ending. I really don’t know what would have happened if I wasn’t able to find one.
Good luck to everyone!
Just wanted to share my experience.
I can relate to a lot of the comments made by others on this website. I am now 43 years old, and have went through most of my life suffering from depression on and off. I have been on anti depressants a few times, with limited success. I have recently began CBT, and have asked to be tested for Aspergers. So far my psychologist has taken me through 2 questionnaires regarding aspergers. I went through my youth drinking and taking drugs, with no confidence to get a job. It was not until I was in my mid 30s that I began working full time, and have worked at the same company for 8 years now. It hasn’t been without its problems though, and still find it hard to relate to work colleagues, and always avoiding any work nights out. I am expecting a diagnosis of having some form of aspergers/autism. Hopefully this will allow me to try and accept the way that I am , and allow me to move on in my life.
When I recently took this test I scored a 34. When I retook it not being conservative, like I was being judged while taking it I scored a 40. My entire life I have always known I was different. That I just didn’t look at the world the same as other people. I never liked large social groups, even going shopping posed a threat. And as I got older and had to fend for myself cause I had to from a young age, I began to realize my social anxiety on a large scale. I have rarely been able to maintain a job over 6 months. This is greatly due to my inability to relate with people. I dropped out to help raise my lil bro and sis at 13 and never acquired Ged due to test anxiety and the fact SO many people are at testing sites. Just because I did not graduate or acheive my Ged does not mean I am dumb. I am intelligent, very, I just don’t have the paper. Any ways the only jobs I could acquire with such a low education is cashier or waitress. It has always been a HUGE struggle to go to work. Times I would get sick at work and they would send me home thinking it was flu or stomach bug, but in reality it was from nerves. And once i would call in for anxiety due to co workers and their judgemental views and ways ( I Hate feeling judged) thats all she wrote, that job was done. I would not beable to go back in, not even for my check. Reading this there is not a part that did not make me feel as if someone was reading my mind or merely reciting my life. I have always over shared personal information trying to connect. Trying to get someone to ‘fix’ my social awkwardness which always ended in disaster. I have alwasy been naive, in fact it gets my husband and I in many fights. When I get depressed I have a hard time entering the world, even opening front door to let my dogs go potty. I escape the world by sleeping through my depression, sometimes 24 hours.School events for my kids are scary scary scary. reading this makes me yearn for a diagnosis, yet fearful of the judgement or someone telling me that aspergers is not it. BUT I KNOW with every being in me that this is what i suffer from, and need the diagnosis to recieve the support to gain higher education. In order to gain my self worth back and a degree I can work alone. This is a relief but a huge anxiety at the same time. Thank you for this site. Hopefully I can gain assistance through my newfound knowledge.
I haven’t been diagnoised with aspergers but when i was a child i strugled in school making friends and was taught one to one in maths and english, my teachers said i must be deslexic. This was in the 80s i found it even harder in secondery school. I have strugled through out my adult life aswell and became severly depressed after losing both parents and also losing contact with my daughter(who is autistic).I was put on anti-depressents and they seemed to help me for a few years but then i stoped taking them as i wanted to be normal. I am now marreied and im happy with life but i still have outbursts where i get depressed and angry i sometimes hide my feelings by drinking alcohol which causes arguments with my wife and i get even more depresed and i lose my temper alot. I dont know what to do and feel i may lose my wife wich then depresses me even more and some times i feel suicidle. 🙁
Hi. I have Aspergers too. Married and have outbursts. That’s who we are. I drink to escape the anxiety when I am at melt down point and need my own brain space. My husband is supportive now after attending a seminar and reading books as he now understands that sometimes aspies need to scream and do things that are socially inappropriate just to RESET themselves and stop the,selves going into madness. Anxiety is higher in us, so the occasional self medication to bring us down to normal level is ok. Just don’t rely on it as a way of life as any drug can have negative effects on moods. Walk in nature, read, if you work like I do, keep the social interaction not business interaction to professional. Your wife will definitely benefit from reading “partners of Aspergers” as our fights have almost disappeared since, and I am left to just get my time till I am ready to interact again. Don’t apologise for being who you are. I am sure you have awesome qualities that are unique and creative. X
My dad was in the army so we moved around alot which made thing’s harder for me. I once had an imagenery friend who i always played with durring school play times but i supose all kidds had them. I was realy good at history and art but hated english and maths as i found it hard. I also strugle to keep eye contact with people when im talking to them and some times end up stuttering. I was also born with hearing problems and no one could understand me when i spoke. Im now 37 and i work as a storesman where there’s just me and another bloke which suits me as i find it hard anyway working with alot of people, i hate croweded places as it is. I don’t remember much of my childhood it’s very misty and im no good with remembering peoples names.I realy wish i knew what was wrong with me as it’s getting me down all the time. I dont have any fiends just my wife and two dog’s. I also have OCD.
Robert, Reading you articles and some of the others is like reading my own life story. I am 54 years old have always felt like an outsider to the rest of society, but never knew why. I scored high on the Aspergers test, and things are finally clicking into place. I can be in a crowd and still feel lonely. The conundrum is that I avoid social situations, but feel lonely and depressed when I do. I’m lucky to have a loving, understanding wife, who deserves so much more than I can give her. I’ve been on Prozac for years, with limited success. I tried cognitive therapy, but this is impractical in a busy life. Exercise and yoga do help, but my joints are creaking now,so as my exercise has reduced, my depression has got worse. I do have compulsions, like checking the hand brake is off when I’m driving, every couple of minutes. Like yourself I cannot remember people’s names and have no other friends except my wife. I was the youngest of 8 children, and some of my elder siblings made me feel even more inferior, with constant put downs e.g “you’re useless” Anyway, enough ranting from me
No one really takes me seriously when I try to tell them that I am happy the way I SEEM to them DEPRESSED!. They think that I am so happy all of the time but I struggle just to get out into the world and at least try to do the errands that need to be done. They have no idea how I hurt inside and that I can just feel like crying at the drop of a hat. They treat me as if I just don’t want to work or am too lazy to work so I create this illness of depression. I would be so much happier if I never had to bother with any people anywhere at all, because it seems as if I don’t like them or something, I can function fine just on my own doing my little things that I like to do just with the same routine every day! Perhaps to other people I sound like some kind of a recluse or loner, but I think that other people irk me. Always trying to find me a job or throw me in with other people. That’s when I suffer the most because I know myself better than anyone and I am content with my music, books, walks to the coffee shop etc., and if I was really depressed as I have been before, I would just stay inside with the drapes drawn and face the wall for hours on end…..not even really sleeping! My favorite movie is CASTAWAY!
i know the feeling im 33 going on 34 in september . depression suks and dealing with obligations and pressure and trying to get oput is a pain i sometimes turn around before I get on the bus and change my mind
How many times do I hear from professionals that exersise and meditation are a help to depression I would like to see some solid facts that this is the case I have aspergers and was diagnosed in 2004 I just think that depression and anxiety are 2 very complicated conditions that JUST CAN NOT be helped by exersize and meditation alone I have tryed these very things when I get depressed but they dont seem to work I dont understand how professionals keep saying that these 2 things work how do they know HAVE they experinced the sheer pain and torment of depression and anxiety I dont think so so where do they get this info from I will tell you from books written by other “professionals” thats who and CERTAINATLY NOT from personal experience What i THINK is needed in the some professions is less reliance on reading books from others and more actual personal experience sorry if this seems to be a rant but its how I feel about it
My doctor and others think I have Aspergers. I have only just found out at 63 having had problems all my live
I tend to agree with you about depression
I have tried doing more exercise at the gym and it worked when I was younger
But unfortunately tried it again in the last 5 years and it made absolutely no difference
I find dealing with so called experts very difficult as they have no idea what you are going through
Nobody can truly understand depression unless they have had it
following on from my comment on the 10th of may If the medical professionals start listen more to what their patients are actully telling them instead of just relying on books and their training then maybe these patients will get the REAL help they need I was and still am very upset at the way some professionals treat depression and anxetiy and as I said on the 10th treating depression SHOULD not be just about exersise and meditation I just think that ppl should look at ALL ways to treat this very complicated illness and then talior the treatment to the individual and not just say because some things have worked that they would work on everybody
This is whats so wrong with certain parts of the medical profession this insistance of because something works with a few then it works with everybody HOW can that be true as people are individual
What I would like to see is more person centered treatments for conditions such as depression where the patient and NOT the professional as more say No wonder a lot of ppl who have depression NEVER trully get well again and just seem to go round in circles of depression and then get well and then depression again UNTIL that cycle can be broken by more personalised treatment then well I just dont know
I know that all this seems like I am ranting but after having 20+years of been fobbed of by medical proffesionals I think I have EVERY RIGHT to be rather annoyed and yet more professional advice in this article
Thanks for this. I agree completely but I would like to add that withdrawal from certain substances, especially alcohol, can also reduce negative thinking, depression and anger. Also, being drug-free enhances self-esteem and motivation. However, I do recognise that for some people on the Spectrum it may be difficult (or even impossible?) to withdraw completely from all drugs, whether prescribed or not.
My depression has been eliminated by a doctor that has worked with me to balance my hormones, and test me for various food sensitivities. I take prescribed bio identical hormones, various antioxidants and herbs to cleans the liver and kidneys and eat foods that do not cause my body to respond negatively
Hello, all. I am 45 and my adult son was recently diagnosed with ASD-Aspbergers. My wife and younger adult son have been encouraging me to be tested as well. I was resistant but to placate them I took the 50 question AQ test. I was a 31. I, therefore, began reading all I could concerning adult Aspergers…
Depression… I can remember having deep depression as a four and five year old! Every day for the last twenty years I have been out of the military have been daily agony. I went into trucking upon leaving the service and have had difficulty maintaining employment due to conflict and my over sensitivity. I had come to the point where I wish I had been NOT.
I am getting tested in a month, but in the meantime I have found it very encouraging to read that my son and I are not alone; that I am not a waling, breathing, piped offense to humanity.
Thanks for reading…
How does this site help with Asperger’s individuals who are also depressed? Does a doctor review comments and make recommendations or is this site similar to talk therapy? Thanks
I am 58 and have had depression and anxiety disorders since age 13 and just now psychologists are starting to see the Aspergers signs and understanding it is why my emotional issues have been so difficult to treat or find the reasons behind them. Several have recently told me they know I have Aspergers but I need the testing to get it documented. So I will be getting that soon. Finally all the quirky symptoms and personality traits I’ve had all my life are coming to light with this knowledge. I have really been struggling the past two years since the death of my mother, the only person I was ever really able to bond with and feel at ease just being myself with. Not only was she like the other half of me, now I am left feeling lost, empty, no interest in anything, struggling day to day with anxiety/depression and like my world is gone. Left in a world I am not comfortable in alone. No other family, never married or had children, never wanted any other way of life but what I knew until two years ago. I had no one to turn to except one man I had been dating for a year. He is older and wanted someone to live with since he has health issues, too. Grateful to have somewhere to go, but, his personality is harsh. I’ve had to deal with the depression and anxiety in silence and hope I can ‘act’ as normal as possible for fear if the truth came out I would be out! In the time I needed support and comfort the most in my life, this is what I have had to do to survive. Hoping now that I know and my psychotherapists know what we are really dealing with there will be help and someday perhaps I will feel I have a life again. Hope to everyone here also.
Hello. I’m 39, not diagnosed yet, have appointment Oct 1st. ASD/Aspergers seems likely. Memories from infant age of confusion and obsessing over “patterns and textures”. Severe depression/anxiety disorders for 20+ years. I learned how to “hide” at a verrrrry young age. I’m invisible in a sense. Torture is the only word to sum up my depression. Divorced 2 years ago and omg….its horrible. I just wish she would acknowledge my pain and her lies to me. I’m sorry (tho i shouldn’t be) for not knowing what the smell was wrong with me for so long. She has been the only person i ever “let in”. My depression seems to stem from lonliness and isolation. Hope to fix that one day. Thanks for listening.
since i was a late teenager i have suffered depression and anxiety,leading onto post natal depression and a nervous breakdown at aged 27.I have always felt different and very awkward around everyone.After doing the online Aspergers test a few weeks ago,the result was 32 so i sae my GP who has referred me to a psychologist.I feel like it’s a eureka moment,almost a relief!! At age 45,finally i understand it all.
Hi Suze, I am 30 but your “short” story sounds familiar. I just wanted to offer a little personal advice. The eureka moment is the beginning of a whole lot more answers to the explanations you need. Be open about it. I think it makes it easier if people understand. But try many of the different coping strategies, one will work
I absolutely can relate to this. I have Aspergers and Pyroluria (which means that my body lacks the abitliy to make enough zinc and B6), among other chronic autoimmune issues. Isolating can definitely contribute to symptoms of depression. Exercise, though difficult to maintain when depressed, is often crucial – as is avoiding any mind altering substances – as hard as that can be, since I have self-medicated in the past in order to numb my senses to cope with sensory processing disorders.
It’s a process, and the more I find out about this disorder, the more my life makes sense.
Thanks for making this information available.
This is very true – I have suffered from depression from an early age and believe this is down to having Aspergers – which I have only recently realized I may have. I am still waiting to see a Psychiatrist to get a proper diagnosis but believe I have always had it. I have suffered years of work and social difficulties and worse – work bullying and even now I am getting ridiculed aged 50 and this is not helping me and driving me even more into my shell. When will employers, the DWP and the government finally get it in their head that Aspergers is a condition that makes it difficult for people with it – to get on at work, keep their job and be confident and well liked by employers and colleagues – non of which I have experienced – just depression, ridicule, bullying and self doubt. Bullies see me as easy meat and being quite small in stature am an easy victim.
So it’s no surprise that I have been going from job to job and the DWP see this as unwilling to work – just like so many others with Aspergers.
But depression is definitely the result of those who have Aspergers – which I’m convinced I have.
Now I’m 17 years old and i feel like my life is useless. I’m in my last year in high school right now but going in school everyday really makes me anxious and even at home when i try to study, i cannot concentrate and whenever i think of the world school i became so nervous. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to continue going to school cause i’m not comfortable at all. Going in there is like torture for me, changing environments and crowds really makes me anxious. Last day, I tried to drink lots of meds to end it all but i can’t do it instead i just end up crying. I haven’t diagnosed with ASD but i feel like i have aspergers and ever since kindergarten i always felt different like an alien no matter how i try to blend with the environment. when i heard about aspergers and watch people telling about their experiences with it, i realized that all my experiences does made sense especially when it comes to interacting with people and why they thought of me as impolite. And I also tried taking tests online and it says I have though it’s not design to make diagnosis or take place of professional diagnosis. Now it feels like I don’t want to live my life anymore.
I have known I have Asperger’s Syndrome since grade school (I’m currently one year removed from graduate school). I had a counselor who wrote this in a letter (which I use as documentation) about the link between my Asperger’s and depression: that when I struggle to understand or cope with a situation around me, my self-esteem suffers. That’s too true. I’ve been unemployed for 3+ months, while the coronavirus is shutting down the economy. Constantly looking for museum jobs and either finding ones I’m not quite qualified for, or interviewing for one and only making it as far as their short list, is more than hard. The “ruminations” this article mentions are a big problem. Did I spend the past few years of my life going after the wrong degree or experiences? Do I not have enough experiences, even with a Master’s degree, to even get a job? Why is everything I’ve done, all of my qualifications and achieves, never good enough? What else do they expect me to do? Why am I always good enough to be taken on as a volunteer, but never as a paid employee? On top of that, I’m coming off a museum job where I, a straight-A, hard-working kind of person, was fired for the first time, but my boss was abusive (blaming everyone for her problems but herself) and an all-around ass. How much was I the reason why that job was such a mess, and how much of it was my boss? Are my skills not as good as I thought they were? I needed to talk about it to get my self-esteem back up, but I have to be careful who I tell. I want to get another job in a different museum, so I can’t bash my old boss to people I’m not sure I can trust. That’s unprofessional, but that leaves some of the blame on me, to my mind.
Volunteering at a museum definitely helps – a fulfilling hobby, like this article mentions. I gain more experience, and I’m doing work that reminds me why I want a job in museums. I’m too depressed to keep up an exercising routine right now (I’ve tried, but I lose steam and just drop it). I’ll try meditating. That’s helped in the past. Playing open-world video games has also helped. They provide an escape when I’m preoccupied and help me decompress. But the ruminations are still there. They never stop, and it gets harder and harder. Without what I’ve been doing to manage the depression, though, I’d probably be more likely to apply and settle for a job I don’t really want but do qualify for (i.e. fast food). I just need to find a way to fight the depression enough that it doesn’t keep me from applying to good jobs.