It’s not unusual for people Asperger syndrome to be be depressed. Studies have varied somewhat, but generally the rate of depression of those with Asperger’s is over 3 times that of the normal population. Studies have suggested that 18% to 22% of those with AS have depression compared with 6.7% of the general population. The times of highest risk for depression are late adolescence and young adulthood.
Most of the research shows both genders have these high rates of depression. Non-autistic full siblings and half-siblings of individuals with ASD (not just Asperger syndrome) also had higher rates of depression than the general population, although at half the rate of those with ASD. Large studies haven’t supported genetics as an explanation for this increased rate of depression.
This tendency to depression is particularly true for those with higher intelligence and capacity for self-reflection who have awareness of their social difficulties. They often internalize their negative experiences and feelings of loneliness into their sense of self and their outlook for the future.
Studies of suicide attempts are also very troubling. In studies of suicide, the rate of suicidal thoughts and attempts are prevalent in those with AS, especially in adolescence and young adulthood.