ALL NEWS

BYU research address autism and suicide risk

Jan 15, 2021, 8:59 AM
AUTISM AND SUICIDE prevention in schools suicides pandemic...
FILE: A drawing hangs along with other messages of hope and remembrance as part of Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. Legislation under consideration in 2021 would expand suicide prevention programs to all grade levels. Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

PROVO, Utah — More research shows a link between autism and suicide, and it has been increasing in recent years.

The risk of suicide is even higher for women and girls with autism. It can be caused by diagnostic overshadowing: Some women are undiagnosed with autism and suffer from depression and anxiety. Others are diagnosed with autism but mask or hide it to try to fit in with societal expectations.

“They camouflage their systems. Our work at BYU has found, the more you camouflage, the more anxiety and depression and suicidal thoughts that you have,” said BYU professor of psychology and neuroscience, Mikle South.

South says studies out of Denmark, Sweden, the University of Utah, and BYU are showing these suicide risks for people with autism.

“There’s a lot of work going on right now around what’s called the double-empathy problem. It’s that autistic people have a hard time understanding non-autistic people, but just as much, non-autistic people have a hard time understanding autistic people,” he told KSL Newsradio.

“The conflict comes here, in between the autistic and non-autistic people. Both can communicate well, they just have a hard time communicating with each other,” he said.

South says when society becomes more accepting of people with autism, these rates and risks of suicide will go down.

“More acceptance of neurodiversity will benefit everyone in society and may also lead to a decrease in feelings of rejection and suicidal thinking for autistic individuals,” he said in a recent review essay.

South says there ought to be more research funding to look at prevention and risk detention. Clinicians should know what signs to look for and consider all possible diagnoses in their screening. Researchers would also like medical examiners to help with these studies, too.


If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time for free, by calling 1-800-273-Talk.

 

Read more of KSL Newsradio’s coverage of “Healing Utah’s Teenagers” here.

KSL’s combined coverage “Reasons to Hope” is found here.

And resources for help around Utah are here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

dead fish at a small tributary of the Klamath River, near Happy Camp, California, on August 5, 2022...
By Raja Razek and Christina Maxouris, CNN

Thousands of dead fish are washing up along a California river. It’s because of a massive wildfire and flash floods, the Karuk Tribe says

"Tens of thousands" of dead fish have washed up along the Klamath River in the area of Happy Camp in northern California this week.
1 day ago
salt lake flooding...
Simone Seikaly

UPDATE: Flooding, road closures, and power outages in SLC

Rocky Mountain Power reports that more than 3,490 customers are without power in the 84115, 84106, 84105, and 84119 zip codes.
1 day ago
Weather advisory....
Waverly Golden

UPDATE: Flood advisory for portions of Salt Lake Valley and Davis County

NWS reported that these storms historically produce minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas. 
1 day ago
Image of the scene where a man stole an excavator and broke a water line (Photo courtesy of Ray Boo...
Chandler Holt

Man steals excavator and starts ripping up the ground, breaks water line

A water line broke by a Smith's parking lot earlier after a man stole an excavator and began ripping up the ground. 
1 day ago
A depiction of the Salem Witch Trials (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)...
Scottie Andrew, CNN

The last Salem witch has been exonerated, thanks to an eighth-grade teacher and her students

Elizabeth Johnson Jr., a woman convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in the 1690s, was finally exonerated last week after years of petitioning by Massachusetts teacher Carrie LaPierre and her eighth-grade civics students.
1 day ago
costco samples senior hours...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

The mysterious companies behind Costco’s Kirkland Signature and Trader Joe’s O’s

As prices surge, store brands -- also known as private labels, white labels or generic brands -- have become an even more attractive option for inflation-fatigued shoppers who are looking to switch from pricier name brands. Store brands can be anywhere from 10% to 50% cheaper.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

BYU research address autism and suicide risk