Significant large studies performed in the past 5 years provide new information about the strong connection between Autism and suicide.
In the general USA population suicide rates are around 1 in 313 .
In the diagnosed Autistic population, suicide rates are around 1 in 56.
Autistic women, especially those with other diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, borderline, etc. are up to 9 times as likely to attempt suicide.
Over 66 percent of diagnosed Autistic adults report having thoughts of suicide. Over 33 percent say they have made plans or attempted suicide.
In one study involving multiple hospitals and treatment facilities, adults admitted for suicidal behavior without an Autism diagnosis were screened for autistic behaviors. 44 percent were found to have Autistic behaviors strong enough for diagnosis of Autism.
Hospitals and treatment facilities are beginning to routinely screen for Autism in undiagnosed adults as part of the admission procedure when suicidal behavior is involved.
How many more undiagnosed autistic adults may be included in the overall statistics of suicidal behavior that has been gathered in the USA?
Doctors did not begin to diagnose Autism until 1980 and even into the 1990s the definitions of Autism only found severely Autistic and mostly learning disabled children. Criteria for diagnosis has been revised several times in the DSM , and current understanding of Autism is much better today.
Adults born before 1980 were never screened for Autism because such screening was simply not available.
DHS and the Census Bureau estimate that there are over 5 MILLION Autistic adults in the USA today; most have no idea of their Autism diagnosis.
If you have struggled with suicidal thoughts and behaviors or have a loved one who has done so, especially if treatment has been unsuccessful or diagnoses of other conditions has been labeled “unusual presentation” of that diagnostic condition, please consider the possibility that Autism might be present.
Knowing one’s diagnosis can give useful self-information, new insights and perspective on struggles of the past and present, and provide new ways of thinking and living.
Diagnosis can be life changing, even life saving.
Questions, discussions, studies citations, or for a speaker for small groups, please contact me: Autisticelders@gmail.com
See also: https://oldladywithautism.blog
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