Experience of mental health diagnosis and perceived misdiagnosis in autistic, possibly autistic and non-autistic adults
AuthorsAu-Yeung, Sheena K.
Robertson, Ashley E.
autistic spectrum disorder
C841 Health Psychology
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPrevious research shows that autistic people have high levels of co-occurring mental health conditions. Yet, a number of case reports have revealed that mental health conditions are often misdiagnosed in autistic individuals. A total of 420 adults who identified as autistic, possibly autistic or non-autistic completed an online survey consisting of questions regarding mental health diagnoses they received, whether they agreed with those diagnoses and if not why. Autistic and possibly autistic participants were more likely to report receiving mental health diagnoses compared to non-autistic participants, but were less likely to agree with those diagnoses. Thematic analysis revealed the participants’ main reasons for disagreement were that (1) they felt their autism characteristics were being confused with mental health conditions by healthcare professionals and (2) they perceived their own mental health difficulties to be resultant of ASC. Participants attributed these to the clinical barriers they experienced, including healthcare professionals’ lack of autism awareness and lack of communication, which in turn prevented them from receiving appropriate support. This study highlights the need for autism awareness training for healthcare professionals and the need to develop tools and interventions to accurately diagnose and effectively treat mental health conditions in autistic individuals
CitationAu-Yeung SK, Bradley L., Robertson, AE, Shaw R., Baron-Cohen S, Cassidy S (2018) 'Experience of mental health diagnosis and perceived misdiagnosis in autistic, possibly autistic and non-autistic adults', Autism, 23 (6), pp.1508-1518.
- 'People like me don't get support': Autistic adults' experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality.
- Authors: Camm-Crosbie L, Bradley L, Shaw R, Baron-Cohen S, Cassidy S
- Issue date: 2019 Aug
- Compensatory strategies below the behavioural surface in autism: a qualitative study.
- Authors: Livingston LA, Shah P, Happé F
- Issue date: 2019 Sep
- Predictors of quality of life for autistic adults.
- Authors: Mason D, McConachie H, Garland D, Petrou A, Rodgers J, Parr JR
- Issue date: 2018 Aug
- Psychopathology in adults with autism and intellectual disability.
- Authors: Tsakanikos E, Costello H, Holt G, Bouras N, Sturmey P, Newton T
- Issue date: 2006 Nov
- The Mental and Physical Health of Older Adults With a Genetic Predisposition for Autism.
- Authors: Stewart GR, Corbett A, Ballard C, Creese B, Aarsland D, Hampshire A, Charlton RA, Happé F
- Issue date: 2020 Apr