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Mental Health and Autism

Causes

‘There is no single cause of mental health problems - the reasons why they develop are as complex as the individual. Mental health problems are more common in certain groups, for example, people with poor living conditions, those from ethnic minority groups, disabled people, homeless people and offenders. Sometimes people with mental health problems are discriminated against. This can lead to social problems such as homelessness, and may make the mental health problem worse.’ (NHS Direct, 2007)

Causes of mental health problems in people with autism

Many mental health problems in people with autism are likely to have the same causes as they do in other people. In addition, some people believe that

  • some people with Asperger syndrome – and their families – are biologically more prone to some mental health problems, especially anxiety, depression, and OCD
  • the underlying problems associated with autism, including social and communication difficulties, may make some people with autistic spectrum disorders more prone to mental health problems.
  • people with Asperger syndrome are more aware of the fact that they are different to other people, which may make them anxious or depressed.
Updated
02 Nov 2017