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Featured Autism Spectrum Disorder and Depression

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Sportster, Aug 8, 2017.

When it comes to depression, I . . .

This poll will close on Aug 22, 2017 at 6:16 AM.
  1. Have experienced it ever since I was a child.

    14 vote(s)
    73.7%
  2. Have only experienced it as an adult.

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  3. Really don’t experience it.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Get in a “blue funk” occasionally, but nothing serious.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Sportster

    Sportster Aged to Perfection

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    The focus of this thread is not so much depression, but rather the correlation of depression and those on the spectrum. As I have studied the subject to the best of my understanding and spent time here on AC, I have noticed that most on the spectrum suffer from depression in one form or another.

    Is there a correlation between depression and ASD or is it brought on by other factors like life challenges, bullying, etc?


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    Looking back, I can clearly recall going through a serious bought with depression when I was very small, perhaps 7 or 8-years-old. I could not articulate what was wrong, but I recall being in a terrible funk and crying at the drop of a hat. Growing up in the kind of household I did didn’t help, and during a period when “children didn’t get depressed, so I suffered through.

    I don’t know if my depression was because of the AS or because of other factors like the dysfunctional home in which I lived or the challenges of trying to function with undiagnosed AS in an unknowing NT world. The 60’s weren’t very kind to those like us.

    As an adult, I still experience it, but somehow manage to “power through” until it passes. I’ve developed my own coping skills. I do think that my depression now is partly due to the AS since I don't have the factors with which to deal that I did as a child.
     
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  2. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    Good question Sport... I don't know the answer. I just know that maybe because we are different, people have to treat us different. You and I, and countless others were abused in ways that shouldn't even be disclosed.

    BUT... If I had of been raised in a loving home with patience would I have depression? Maybe, maybe not.
    I think ASD is just stressful all within itself. Our brains work very hard, we over think stuff, (or I do) and I sometimes complicate my own life with worries others don't seem to have.

    Depression is scary for me because until I learned more about it, it led me to some very dark places.
    These days I know I can overcome it. It makes me sad for those who cant because I know that sick worthless feeling that tries to haunt us.

    All in all I think maybe we are stronger because of it... Maybe thats just my sick mind trying to justify it.
     
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  3. ErinH

    ErinH Active Member

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    That's a tricky one. I have also suffered from depression since I was a child. But I also had a very toxic and turbulent childhood, and the depression could have very easily come from that. One thing I know is this: my depression has now all but gone away, and this started when I lost everything. I lost my family support, my best friend, all I had left was my fiancé. We didn't even have a home. That was the moment I realised I could not rely on anyone to support me ever. My fiancé had just moved back to Britain with me from Germany, and with me being the only British person, I felt I had to be the one to take responsibility. Since then my heart has had very little time/room for depression, it has all been replaced by panic and anxiety. There are times when I get depressed, but now it doesn't last longer than a few days.
     
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  4. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    I have experienced it in teenage years to a degree but nothing like how it hit me when I was 24. A matter of debate, I suffered something close to the lines of psychotic depression and wasn't too far from the edge of wanting to take my own life. I still am but I have help at hand now and I'm more stable than I've been in a few years. But it's not easy. I still hear voices, fortunately they're neutral and they don't talk about me or other people.

    Too many years alone in isolation from friends and expectations from others when you start adulthood, low confidence and self esteem making me feel like I was incapable of living up to the demands of life. It boils over eventually into the confusion of depression and the numbness of not know how to deal with it any more.

    I didn't know how to explain that I didn't know what to do. I still don't have very good life skills but I'm getting there slowly, learning to drive is a major step in the right direction. I feel like I want to get my head in the right place now but I'm still scared of what I need to do to get there.
     
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  5. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    What is the definition of depression without a diagnosis for depression?
     
  6. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    One of my favorite tee shirts says "I hate it when the voices in my head go silent... I never know what they are planning."

    I think we are all a little scared in our own way... I would be a liar to not say that most days LIFE scares the crap out of me, but yet I love and honor the ability to try and live it.
     
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  7. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    one of a thousand definitions:

    A gun pressed between your eyes at 3am trying to find any reason, any shred of hope to live, but at the same time praying with all you have for that darkness to leave, so you can live... It has nothing to do with crazy... yet many try and pair the 2 up.

    Diagnosis is just paying someone to tell you what you already know in most cases and then handing your life over to them... Been there... not too fond of it. : )
     
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  8. Jet Weiss

    Jet Weiss Incurably Weird

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    I've had depression since childhood, I never realised it may have something to do with my having Asperger's, but I suppose it could.
     
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  9. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Comorbidity: the simultaneous presence of two or more chronic diseases or conditions in a patient.

    Forms of depression can be comorbid to forms of autism.

    I am formally diagnosed with chronic clinical depression, social anxiety and OCD. But self-diagnosed with ASD/HFA. I would say I first became aware of my depression as a teenager.
     
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  10. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. V.I.P Member

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    I am one of the lucky ones who was raised in a loving family atmosphere. The only demons that I ever had to deal with were due to my Asperger's. It was hard in my teens and twenties, I was a social outcast. However, I have never been depressed. I am just a happy person. I have never made a conscious decision to be like this, it is just the way that I am.
     
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  11. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath?

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    I would have to say the later. Why? Because how does having ASD in and of itself cause depression. I mean, think about this for a moment. I'm not saying that ASD and depression are not linked. I'm just saying that it more of an "indirect" link, then a "direct" link.

    ASD => life challenges, bullying, etc. => depression.
     
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  12. Bolletje

    Bolletje Well-Known Member

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    I had my first minor depression at 14, although I didn't recognize it for what it was at the time. Had some more serious episodes as an adult as well.
     
  13. Sportster

    Sportster Aged to Perfection

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    I'm somewhat in that camp. However, it would be interesting to know for certain if the depression would not exist if the AS did not exist. I don't know how it affects others, but for me it's as though a switch gets flipped in my head and I go from "okay" to "blue funk" in a second. There doesn't have to be a trigger; it just happens without warning and it goes away just as suddenly. So, is the "underlying depression" because of issues brought on by the AS over the years that has built up or is it something else? That is a thought that will fester throughout the day.
     
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  14. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. V.I.P Member

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    I can certainly see how having ASD could cause a person to be depressed. However, it looks to me that depression is a lot more widespread than ASD. I know very few people with ASD. I know of many people who take meds for depression.
     
  15. Molly

    Molly Happily living inside my head

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    My lifelong (diagnosed) depression was formed due to a very turbulent and abusive (both mental and sexual) childhood. Something like that is bound to colour my perception of people and the world in general, it would be odd if it didn't.

    It's still tough for me, even now after three decades of therapy, but I have learnt to take my life one hour at a time, day by day. My depression isn't helped of course by having Aspergers and living on this alien planet, but I thank my lucky stars that I can find reasons to get out of bed in the morning, and I even manage to have a few laughs every day....:)
     
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  16. Sportster

    Sportster Aged to Perfection

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    True. I had an old aunt when I was a kid (over 50 years ago) that suffered from depression. That was back in the day when they gave electroshock therapy for it on a regular basis. I don't know if her depression made her unbalanced or the treatments. Whatever the case, she had some significant issues.
     
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  17. Sabrina

    Sabrina Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I remember a period of my childhood (8 or 9) when I would get sad everyday when night time arrived. It was intense, and it related to the fear of dying.
    I remember that my dad told me that I shouldn't be afraid because even if I died, I would go to heaven. I hung to that belief until today (although now "heaven" just means "life will continue somewhere else").
     
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  18. Abe1

    Abe1 Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with this.

    Having ASD gives a multitude of issues, some good some bad. but the bad ones can be a hindrance to relationships both personal and at work.

    I am good at my job, however I know I am annoying at times, and I don't fit in with the social norms and struggle with small talk and chit chat.

    As a result I am a bit of an outsider, and this causes me to be sad or even very sad at times, as I see people having normal lives, and i don't see me ever having kids etc.

    So I think the challenges of ASD can create issues of depression.
     
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  19. isthisreallife

    isthisreallife Active Member V.I.P Member

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    I remember having episodes throughout childhood, then at around 17 it stayed, until years later, when I dragged myself to the doctor because I was ready to end it. I had a very dysfunctional childhood as well, and I'm sure that it played a major part, but mental illness is prominent in my family. I think our circumstances have a role in how severe we experience depression, but genetics ultimately determine if we're susceptible to it. I think ASD plays a part in how severe we experience depression if we're susceptible to it. Living on the periphery in a NT world is a very isolating experience. Wanting to interact with people but not knowing how, or just wanting to express ourselves but not having the words. Yep, I'd say that that can be a depression booster.
     
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  20. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    I remember getting depressed when younger,I grew up in a very mentally abusive household where my dad use to abuse me from how I looked to even what my interests were,I also was getting badly bullied at school and one time my dad said outright to me that I deserved the bullying I got,I ended up developing Complex PTSD and also I didn't know I was on the spectrum at the time and didn't find out until I was 31.