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Towards Success in Tertiary Study with Asperger's Syndrome

Posted Nov 16 2007 12:00am
Like all mental conditions which cause people to behave differently from the norm, Aspergers is associated with depression. Depression can be caused by a number of things including;
  • Social troubles because you do not seem to fit in

  • Guilt or regret over past actions/outburst/meltdowns

  • Overwhelming feelings and thoughts

  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks

  • Miscommunications / Misunderstandings

  • Fatigue or Tiredness due either to the condition that all to the treatment of the condition (eg: Ritalin)


There is a lot of research into the depression and ADHD or ADD (a common condition which exists alongside Aspergers)


There's not nearly as much information on depression from an Aspergers only standpoint.

Recent research...

(Tantam, D. (2000). Psychological disorder in adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. Autism)

...suggests that depression is common in individuals with Asperger syndrome with about 1 in 15 people with Asperger syndrome experiencing such symptoms. Personally, I think this figure is much, much higher and that the differences are related to how depression is seen by others (particularly the researchers) and how it handled by those who suffer from it. Remember that Aspies aren't always easy to read.

The aim of this post is to look at depression that is directly related to the Aperger's condition only. It's obviously going to take more than one post to get through this.

There are a number of factors an which are part of aspergers which would influence the onset of depression. These include as follows;
  • Very good long term memory

  • Obsessive compulsion - (I wonder if this is simply be one of my conditions or if it really belongs in the core Aspergers definitions)**

  • Obsession with completeness, order and patterns

  • Difficulty reading of other people's body language expressions and tone (leading to misunderstandings)

  • Unusual world view/Paradigm


Unfortunately, this post is already getting long, so I'll discuss these lists in the next post.

In the meantime, here are some links which may be of interest;





**Szatmari et al (1989) studied a group of 24 children. He discovered that 8% of the children with Asperger syndrome and 10% of the children with high-functioning autism were diagnosed with OCD. This compared to 5 per cent of the control group of children without autism but with social problems. Thomsen el at (1994) found that in the children he studied, the OCD continued into adulthood.
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