In a study apparently conducted by Leo TolsDOY and Fyodor DOYstDOYevsky after watching DOY Story III from PixDUR Studios, it is revealed that autistic children are far more susceptible to suicidal thoughts than normal children. I bet they conducted that study in the DOYtime instead of nighttime, as that is when the DUHn shines most brightly and when DOYs ‘R’ Us is open for business…
Here are the stats: 14% of autistic children would rather be pushing up DOYsies (okay, this joke ends here. I promise that this joke is officially DUN DUN DUN…now) compared to 0.5% of normal children. Here’s the rub, though: we are still not as susceptible to suicidal thoughts as children who suffer from actual depression, as 43% of children with depression have suicidal thoughts. For the study, they tested 791 autistic, 186 neurotypical, and 35 neurotypical-depressed. In this psych-minor-in-college’s expert opinion, those numbers are really disproportionate.
Here’s where I give the media the finger: the articles that I found when researching this development had put emphasis on the 28x factor in the headline (because .5% x 28 = 14%). But you see it originally and you’re like, 28 TIMES? HOLY FLYING RAT FUCK THAT’S BIG. I MEAN 28 TIMES 28 IS 784. 784 IS A HUGE ASS NUMBER COMPARED TO 28. Then you read the actual statistics and you’re like, ‘oh.’ Technically, the math is correct but I’m slightly bothered by how some people try to present this story and make depression seem far more vivid for our kind than it really is by taking advantage of people’s short attention spans on the Internet.
But my anger ends there. This is still a significant difference but there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this that does not require any knowledge of science. And I couldn’t have articulated that reason better than Lynne Soraya, a writer for Psychology Today who has autism and writes about her experience with it in the column Asperger’s Diary, when she put it thus:
“…a history of bullying was also very much associated with thoughts of suicide. What’s interesting about this group of findings is that they suggest that the chances for suicidal ideation are less related to the neurological differences related to having autism, but more related to social factors….in other words, how we are treated as a result of those differences. This is an important distinction – one that’s missed by many.”
See? We got bullied a lot because we were different. We didn’t like getting bullied but we did. Because we get bullied, we think people hate us. Because we think people hate us, we think of suicide as a logical solution to our predicament. Elementary cause and effect, my dears.