The Top Signs Of Asperger’s And Depression

By Sarah Fader

Updated November 20, 2019

Reviewer Audrey Kelly, LMFT

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The symptoms of Asperger's syndrome may point to a predisposition; people with this disorder may also suffer from depression. Asperger's and depression share similarities that show correlations between the symptoms of Asperger's and the risk of developing depression. Depression is a problem many individuals on the autism spectrum experience, some research point toward high functioning individuals being more at risk.

The Top Signs of Asperger's and Depression

The following list shows the correlation between the top signs of Asperger's and depression:

  • Social Isolation - This is a symptom for Asperger's as well as depression. It is important to know how this symptom affects the individual so you will notice changes in their behavior.


    • Anxiety - This symptom is very common for those with Asperger's. Noting changes in anxiety can warn of depression.
    • Difficulty concentrating - Many changes can affect the concentration of someone with Asperger's. Be sure to note changes, so depression can be found in the early stages.
    • Difficulty making decisions - An increase in difficulty making decisions is common in Asperger's and depression.
    • Difficulty with memory - Noticeable memory changes can be a warning sign of depression.
    • Restlessness - Look for changes in restlessness, it may be a warning sign of depression.
    • Irritability - Irritability is common for those with Asperger's. Look for changes in or increases in irritability to catch depression in its early stages.

    Because these signs are common signs of Asperger's, depression may go undiagnosed. This can lead to worsened depression and impairment. It can be difficult for family and friends to notice the signs of depression in those who have Asperger's because the symptoms for both are similar. It is important to take note of changes in mood, personality, and other traits in those who have Asperger's. It may be these changes that will raise the warning signs of present depression.

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If left unchecked, depression for someone with Asperger's can severely affect their lives. The physical symptoms combined with the mental changes can adversely affect the way they deal with everyday situations. Suicide is another awful problem associated with Asperger's and depression. It is important to keep therapists and medical doctors aware of the specter of depression and of any changes you have noticed.

Any individual on the autism spectrum is susceptible to depression. These individuals may not recognize the depression for themselves, but there are symptoms you will recognize if you know what to look for. If you think there may be some form of depression present, alert all caregivers and find a therapist who specializes in autism spectrum and depression. Depression and Asperger's is common enough that good therapists are already aware of the problem, and they will know how to diagnose and treat the problem.

Recognizing Depression in Those with Asperger's

The causes of depression in those with Asperger's syndrome are causes that would trigger depression in most people. It is important to notice depression symptoms in those with Asperger's because they do not always have the ability to bring themselves out of the depression.

Most people will experience depression at some point during life. People deal with short bouts of depression in different ways, but in most cases, they pull themselves out of the depression in similar ways. Going out with friends, beginning a new hobby, and spending time doing things they enjoy are some of the ways people deal with short bouts of depression. These coping skills may not be available to an individual with Asperger's.


Here is a list of signs to look for in those with Asperger's:

  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Reduced attention span.
  • Mood changes.
  • Withdrawal from usual interests.

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