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Depression more likely in young adults on the spectrum

young woman

Almost 70% of young adults with Asperger syndrome, a type of autism spectrum disorder, have suffered from depression. Therefore, it is imperative that psychiatric care staff are aware if their vulnerability so patients can get early and effective treatment. This is from a new study out of Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Mood disorders and anxiety disorders are very common among young adults with Asperger syndrome. While 70% reported depression, as many as 50% said they had repeated episodes of depression and considering the average age of study participant was 27, that’s a remarkably high percentage in a short amount of time.

“The results mean that it’s important that psychiatric care staff keep an eye open for the symptoms of depression in young adults with autism spectrum disorders,” says Tove Lugnegard, researcher from University of Gothenburg. “This goes for both clinics that carry out assessments for autism spectrum disorders, and for general psychiatric care. Depression and anxiety can be more difficult to detect in people with autism spectrum because their facial expressions and body language are often not as easy to read, and because they may have difficulties in describing emotions. It’s also important to find out more about how to prevent depression among people with autism spectrum.”

During her research she also found that one-third of the participants also had ADHD. Additionally, she also explored recent revelations about the similarities of people with Asperger syndrome and those with schizophrenia concurring with the similarities in symptomology.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, University of Gothenburg

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