Mental Illness in an Aspie

This post is not about whether or not Asperger’s Syndrome is a mental illness. I have already briefly touched on my gut response to that subject before. My question now is how to identify a mental illness in a teen who has Asperger’s syndrome?

I rarely hear parents of typical children talking about watching for signs of mental illness. It isn’t a subject a parent really wants to think about. Studies of mental illness in typical children have shown that in the midst of the emotional roller-coaster of puberty and the teen years, many parents fail to recognize behaviors that warn of an emerging mental illness. The Mayo Clinic has developed a new tool kit in order to help parents of typical children catch mental illness early, begin treatment plans quickly, and give the child the best chance of coping with their disorder.

Since every aspect of childhood and development has been atypical in my Aspie son. It logically follows that identifying a mental illness in my son would also follow an atypical pattern.

The ability to identify mental illness in all my children is a concern for me. We have a strong history of mental illness in my family. My paternal great-aunt suffered for years with an untreated mental illness before taking her own life in the mid 80’s. My father was diagnosed in college as a paranoid schizophrenic. He abandoned treatment a year or so later. My sister has successfully managed her bi-polar disorder for nearly a decade now but we all wish we could have see her struggle sooner.

So, what do I look for in my Aspie son as signs of mental illness?

Next: Part II My research.


About aspergersmom

I am a 35 year old woman. I am the wife of an amazing man, who keeps me sane. As a recent California/Florida transplant to the midwest and the mother to a combined family of 6 children; 3 boys, 3 girls, my life is an adventure. I blog and raise our family with my best friend.
This entry was posted in Blogs I Read, Challenges, Parenting on the Spectrum, Reasources. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mental Illness in an Aspie

  1. Good for you for having the courage to look for signs…That takes courage in a parent to want to know and prepare and it is a sign of a great parent!!! Kudos!!!! Thank you for this post and the ones to come….I look forward to reading them!!!

  2. David.R?Walker says:

    I have severe dyslexia and I have recently been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome . I had a melt down and was sectioned for four weeks . They allowed me home after three weeks. My dad died when I was in hospital so I was not able to help to help my Mum alot .School can be very distressing I was bullied at School and I had to take time of because of stress . I hated sports hall because of the squicky floors . I have had OCD and difficulties with eating when I was younger. I hope that you son enjoys his life , despite his difficulties . I don’t subscribe to autism as being a defacit of intellect . I think we are intelligent in ways that are different to most people. Dyslexics and AUtistics have qualities that most people would like to have or strive to have with us it is hard wired into our brains. Best wishes for your family in the future.

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