Advertisement

Study finds link between autism and depression, 1 in 5 suffer from the misery

The researchers said that people with autism without intellectual disabilities may be more prone to depression because they are greater aware of their difficulties © Shutterstock

A new research has shown that depression affects almost 20 per cent of young adults with autism, that's more than triple found in the general population.

Many studies have shown that mood disorders are more common in people with developmental abilities, but a new study from Britain has found that autistics who have high functioning, with lesser intellectual disabilities, are at a higher risk of depression that those who have more serious autism.

In the study, the higher-functioning sub-group was found to be four times more likely to suffer from depression, compared to people without autism. The researchers said that people with autism without intellectual disabilities may be more prone to depression because they are greater aware of their difficulties.

The study, led by Dheeraj Rai, of the University of Bristol, and published in JAMA Network Open, looked at a data of 2,24,000 Swedes living in one district between 2001 and 2011. Out of those, 4,073 were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Also Read

More News

After tracking the mental health of the participants, the study found that by their mid-to-late 20s, 19.8 per cent of people with autism had a history of depression, compared to just 6 per cent of general population.

The researchers added that the increased risk of depression was not genetic as autistics still were at double the risk than those who did not have autism. And linked the risk to the stress of living with autism.

The authors also added that many autistics, especially those without cognitive disabilities, received a delayed diagnosis, which often led to other psychiatric problems. And suggested that maybe it was the same reason that contributed to greater risk of depression.

The scientists pointed that individuals who got a late diagnosis of autism reported long-standing stress relating to social isolation, bullying, exclusion, and the knowledge they are different without the explanatory framework. And an early diagnosis could help lower the risk by giving the autistics a context to understand their difference and better ways to deal with it.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on