Asperger syndrome is characterized by symptoms of certain repetitive behaviors, clumsiness and difficulty socializing as part of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Though many diagnosed with the behavioral health issue can lead relatively normal lives, a recent study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry shows that they may be at a greater risk for suicide and symptoms related to depression.
“Our findings confirm anecdotal reports that adults with Asperger syndrome have a significantly higher risk of suicide in comparison to other clinical groups, and that depression is a key risk factor in this,” said study co-leader Dr. Sarah Cassidy, of the Autism Research Center at Cambridge University, via Health Day.
For the study, researchers interviewed 374 adults diagnosed with Asperger syndrome living in Britain. Sixty-six percent of the participants admitted to having suicidal thoughts, while another 35 percent said they had even planned or attempted suicide at one point. The findings are statistically significant as only an estimated 17 percent of the general population reports suicidal thoughts in the area. Continue reading