Mental Illness in My Aspie

My grandmother’s sister committed suicide when she was in her 30’s. To my knowledge, she was never formally diagnosed with a mental illness but a forensic analysis by family, through conversations with medical professionals, has led us to believe she did have some type of mental illness. My sister was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder 8 years ago. Finally, I recently discovered that my father was a paranoid schizophrenic. While, this revelation gave a greater understanding to some of the more disturbing and chaotic aspects of my childhood, the family history along with schizophrenia’s genetic component has given rise to added concern as a parent.

I have not been diagnosed with mental illness. I am thankful to have escaped that genetic trait. However, in all my children, I am watchful for signs of mental illness. So,how do I watch for signs of mental illness in my already a-typical Aspie? Does mental illness present in an Aspie the way it would in a neuro-typical child? Can mental illness be co-morbid with Asperger’s?

A brief google search showed me the following:

AS often present with eccentricities, emotional lability, impairments in social functioning, anxiety and obsessive traits, demoralization, suicidal ideation, tempers, coldness, defiance, motor and phonic tics, repetitive behaviors, and stereotypies, that can mimic mental illnesses. The differential diagnosis with true comorbidity of schizophrenia, Bi-polar Disorder or anxiety disorders is not always easy. Children with PDD have a two-to-six-times greater risk of experiencing comorbid psychiatric conditions than their typical peers. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2590592/)

I do not question my son’s diagnosis. I am interested to understand more about the prevalence of disorders that are comorbid with PDD/Asperger’s/Autism. I have already begun my research and will report what I find.

 

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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 Asperger Traits, Awareness. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mental Illness in My Aspie

  1. Natalie says:

    Just stumbled upon your blog. My son has Aspergers and is 15 as well. I worry about anxiety as a lifelong comorbidity for him. It runs in the family and he is always anxious in a largely internal way over change, timed testing situations, etc

    • aspergersmom says:

      Thank you for stopping by and for your input. As a parent, what has worked for you in dealing with these types of issues in an atypical child/teen?

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