The statistics around suicide in people with autism are startling: Up to 50 percent of adults with the condition have considered ending their own lives, a rate two to three times that seen in the general population1.
Adults newly diagnosed with autism are particularly at risk, having spent decades feeling atypical without knowing why2. Rates of suicide attempts and death are also elevated among individuals on the spectrum3,4.
In the general population, we often think of suicidality as going hand in hand with depression. Although depression does emerge as the leading predictor of suicidality in people with autism, there is mounting evidence that a substantial proportion of people on the spectrum who contemplate suicide would not meet the criteria for depression3,5,6.