Why Do People With Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome Struggle with Anxiety and Depression?


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Anxiety. What a dreaded feeling! What an awful emotion! No one likes to have anxiety. No one likes the worrying, the jitters, the all consuming self consciousness, the thoughts in your head that won’t stop.

When you have anxiety, you can’t enjoy the things around you, you can’t even focus on the things around you. You can’t feel good about yourself, you can’t attend to your friends or work or classes; you have a million worrisome thoughts running through your head.

Anxiety and Depression Go Hand-in-Hand

Depression often goes with anxiety. When someone has too much anxiety, they can start thinking “What good is it all? What good is trying? Nothing I do will ever come out right. Nothing I do is worth it. I will never be able to do this right. I just know it.” This leads to feelings of depression and the person can become very demotivated to even keep trying; they can feel everything is futile. Anxiety and depression, unfortunately, go hand in hand and are very common in teens with Aspergers.

What does anxiety feel like?

The technical definition of anxiety is “A feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, and feelings of stress.”

But what does it feel like, especially for those with Aspergers?

Well, a person with AS is likely to be worried about many things. “What if the bully in the hallway pushes me again today? What if they don’t have turkey sandwiches for lunch? What if I forget or lose my lunch money? What if the teacher calls on me in class? What if she doesn’t? What if I have extra questions I need help with? What if the bus is late? What if my car won’t start? What if it rains and I don’t have an umbrella to use to go out at lunchtime? What if the noise of all the people in the office is too overwhelming? What if I can’t finish my work before the deadline?”

There are so many things to worry about, from the perspective of someone with Aspergers.

Obsessive worry, like the examples above, is common in people with Aspergers. They may seem smart, and they are. You might think that they’re smart enough to know not to worry about some of those things. But despite being smart, they don’t sometimes have the emotional smarts you might think they do.

Why are people with Asperger’s syndrome so anxious?

People with Aspergers get lost in their emotions and feelings of frustration. Their need to have everything just so, their need for predictability, their need to have some measure of control over what is happening to them can lead to intense anxiety.

They may be having social problems and worry that they’ll never have friends. Some older teens who have more self-awareness may realize that they’re not functioning the same way as their peers and wonder what this will mean once they get out of high school or for later in life. Most are worried about more day to day concerns, though.

Parents should be on the lookout for anxiety and depression in their AS loved ones.  There are many things you can do to help your loved one overcome some of the fears and anxiety. Battling the anxiety is an effective way to eliminate the depression that so many with AS have.

This is just a small part of the answers you will need to successfully survive and thrive with Aspergers. If you are looking for additional information immediately, go to the following: Solutions.

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